It’s Ladies Night Out, and do you know what that means? We are all scrambling to find the perfect cocktail dress, party dress, or any dress that’s going to knock ’em dead! Well, Mood Fabrics’ Empress Dress free sewing pattern is here to make your search stress-free. The Empress silhouette is where modesty and sexy meet. This long sleeve micro mini will give you the confidence to step into any space and own it! Try using one of Mood Fabrics’ luxurious silk prints for a stunning look, or keep it simple and chic in a solid charmeuse.
Purchase Materials Used Below:
- 2 yards Italian Pink and Turquoise Abstract Digitally Printed Silk Charmuese
- 1 spool of 5500 Old Rose 250m Gutermann Thread
- MDF158 – The Empress Dress Sewing Pattern (free download below!)
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.
The side sash on this dress can be easily altered if you want to add that extra dramatic length as I did. Here’s how:
Once you have your pattern all tiled together and cut, tape a large piece of pattern paper to the end of your sash extension. Measure out how long you would like to extend the length. I extended my sash approximatly 8″ from the edge. Use tracing paper to trace the out line of your extended piece. You will cut this piece seperate to use as the facing.
I suggest using French seams for this dress to add durability and a nice clean finish.
Before sewing the backs together, use a 1/4″ rolled hem to finish the edges of your key-hole opening.
Press the edges once they are complete. Now starting below the key-hole, you can pin the backs together and sew the center back seam using a French seam finish.
Sew in your back darts and press toward the side seams.
Now we can work on the front. If you decided to extend your sash, you’ll need to sew on the facing first.
Finish the top edge of your sash facing with a 1/4″ rolled hem.
With right sides of the fabric together, pin your sash facing to the side sash and sew all around the edge. Trim down the seam allowance.
Turn the sash right side out and press.
Attach your front to your back at the shoulder and side seams. When sewing the side seam along the side that has the sash, only sew right above and below the sash mark leaving a small opening.
Now that your side seams are complete, we are going to attach the small loop to our side seam opening. This will be used to gather and hold the sash in place.
Once your sash is in place, gather and slip stitch the sash attaching it to the side seam.
Sew the sleeve seams on each sleeve and press. Next pin your sleeves to your bodice and set them in using a French seam. Turn and press. I added shoulder pads for an extra dramatic look. This is however completely optional.
Finish sleeve openening using a 1/4″ rolled hem.
Sew together your neck facings. Pin your facing to your neck opening and stitch in place. Clip into the curve of your seam allowance then turn and press.
Add your hook and eye closure to your key-hole opening.
Lastly, hem the bottom of your dress using a 1/4″ rolled hem and press. That’s it! You’re all done.