Are you looking to add some chic dresses back into your wardrobe? Mood is here to help solve your problem with the Sweetbay Dress! It’s simple, on-trend, and features a flattering wrap silhouette. You can use any woven fabric with some structure like medium-weight linen, taffeta, or sateen!
Note: all seams will be sewn with a French seam, besides the armhole. This means 1/4″ and 1/4″ seam allowance for each part of the French seam. If you want a more clean look for the armhole, use a serger (if you have one), zigzag stitch, or bias tape.
1. Cut out your pattern pieces.
2. Mark all of your pattern pieces and trace your darts. Front waist darts are optional, but bust darts are needed. For some pieces that have two notches, I used pins to mark one and a clip notch to mark the other.
Tip: when marking, use two different sheets of tracing paper so you can place one on top and one on the bottom. This will eliminate marking the dart twice.
Here is an example of the pin and clip notch.
3. Make sure your notches are marked on the sleeve for the gathering notches.
4. Start by sewing all your darts together.
Tip: when you are sewing a dart, make sure your pin goes through the marking on the other side. If it doesn’t, that means your dart is off and won’t look good.
5. Using French seams, place wrong sides together, pin, and sew. Press the seam open, then press closed and trim seam allowance from ¼ to 1/8 in.
Tip: mark the right side with pins using an X.
6. Now sew the side seams
7. Measure your forearm with elastic and cut 2 pieces of elastic to size. Keep in mind that you’ll lose 1″ to the seam allowance, so cut the pieces accordingly so they don’t pull too tight.
8. Pin the elastic to the wrong side of each sleeve along the guideline on your pattern piece.
9. top-stitch the elastic in place with a long straight stitch, stretch the elastic as you sew.
10. Sew the inseam of each sleeve.
11. Sew a basting stitch between the gathering notches along the top edge of your sleeve.
12. Set your sleeves into the armscye matching the side seam with the sleeve seam.
13. Hem the sleeves using a 1/2″ rolled hem. Hand sew or topstitch to finish.
14. Sew the facing pieces together and press seams open.
15. Now hem the facing using a 1/4″ baby hem. Alternative finishes include serging and or zigzag.
16. With right sides together pin facing along the neckline and sew.
17. Hand tack facing on the front side edges.
18. Finish the hem around the front, sides, and bottom using a 1/2″ rolled hem.
19. Lastly, add hook and eye closures at the side seams and at the corners of each front panel. For a better fit, you can put the dress on you and mark where the wrap hits you best with a pin or marking tool. Sew the hook and eye closures where you marked.