The Magnolia Dress - Free Sewing Pattern

Posted on April 19, 2018 by Lee Norris

Every time I see a new gown during fashion week, I find myself staring at it and wishing I had a reason to make something similar. Alas, I've no red carpets to walk down any time soon, but everyone needs a good cocktail dress in their wardrobe. Mood is putting out more and more gorgeous embroidered laces recently and I knew while designing The Magnolia Dress (inspired by one of the Marchesa gowns I constantly dream of), I needed to get my hands on some. Like many, this meant doing some budgeting. Luckily, Mood has some stunning satin that you would never guess was polyester!

Fabrics & materials used:


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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 22.


Begin by interfacing your two strap panels. Fold them each in half, separately matching up the faces of the fabric, and stitch along the length. Rather than hide the seam, press it so it's about 1/2" from the top of the strap, like you see below. This will be the front of the straps, and look like a pleat. Set the straps aside temporarily.

Next, start on the bodice of the dress. Sew the side front panels to the center front, stopping at the top notch, like you can see below.

Pin the overlay to the center front, and pin outward toward the edge of your center front panel. Create a 1.5" dart with the lace and continue sewing the center front to the side front panels, sandwiching the overlay dart in between, like in the photo below.

Take this moment to fit the bodice to the wearer. Pull the overlay taught and pin to raw edges of your side front panels. Trim any extra lace.

Take each of your straps and lay them 1" from the top of your side front panels. Pin them into place and trim the end to match the angle of your side panel.

Pin your overlay pieces to their respective side back and center back panels and then sew the side back to the side front, with the strap layered in between.

Following the guidelines on your pattern pieces pleat and iron each of the the satin over lay panels. Pin and sew them together in the center front, and then pin the sides to the raw edge of the side back panels like below.

Add your center back bodice panels and you're ready to start on your lining! I love when a lining can perfectly match a garment, and since this satin is so wallet-friendly, I chose to use it for constructing the inside of the bodice as well. This layer goes together much easier than the first: center front, side fronts, side backs, and then center back respectively.

Pin the loose end of your straps to the back of your bodice outer layer. Press all of your seams flat and then pin and sew your lining along the top edge of your bodice, sewing the straps into place as well.

Attach your skirt to the bottom of the outer bodice layer, and then insert an invisible zipper along the center back of your dress.

Fold the raw edges of your bodice lining inward and pin and slip-stitch into place along the zipper and waistline.

Lastly,  finish off your skirt with a tiny rolled hem, and your new cocktail dress is complete!

I love how many options Mood has on their site for embroidered mesh and lace. Which one will you be using for your dress? Let me know in the comments!

The Magnolia Dress - Free Sewing Pattern - Mood Sewciety
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