Do you have your heart set on stitching a suits-all seasonless pattern? Well, this spotted midi dress by Posner and Posner is just the thing for you! With its soft-as-butter fabric, flattering three-quarter length sleeves and romantic three-tiered trapeze skirt, it really is the epitome of effortless chic. It’s also the ultimate masterclass in stitching buttonholes, inserting sleeves and most importantly for the skirt, cracking gathering stitch.
- Fabric: 3.5m (150cm); lining, 50cm
- Fusible interfacing, 25cm
- Buttons, 6mm x 15mm
- Non-stretch wovens, such as viscose challis, cotton or voile
- Frill: cut two
- Skirt: cut two on the fold from fabric – one for the front skirt and one for the back skirt
- Front bodice: cut one on the fold from fabric and one on the fold from lining
- Back bodice: cut two from fabric and two from lining. Cut two 5cm-wide strips the length of the centre-back bodice from fusible interfacing
- Sleeve: cut two
- Front neck facing: cut one on the fold from fabric and one on the fold from fusible interfacing
- Back neck facing: cut two from fabric and two from fusible interfacing
- 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout unless otherwise stated.
Download the pattern from sewmag.co.uk, then print and follow the cutting guide. With right sides together, pin and sew darts in the front bodice and the front bodice lining. Press the darts down towards the bottom of the bodice. Apply the fusible interfacing strips to the centre-back bodice up to the facing line on the wrong side of the fabric. Press the centre-back facing to the wrong side along the fold line. Turn under 1cm, along the raw edge of the facing, and stitch.
Pin the bodice front and bodice back, right sides together at the shoulder, and sew. Trim the seam allowance and press open. Do the same for the bodice lining. With wrong sides together, pin the lining to the bodice at the neckline. Line up the notches and shoulder seams. Tuck the centre-back edge of the lining under the facing and pin in place. Stitch the bodice and the lining together around the neckline, close to the raw edge, but avoid sewing over the facing. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the front and back neck facings. Pin the facings together at the shoulder and sew. Trim and press the seams open. Neaten the outer edge of the facing using an overlocker, or by turning under a very narrow hem.
Pin the facing to the bodice neckline, matching the notches, shoulder seams and centre front. At the centre-back, unfold the back facing and bend it back on itself to reveal the wrong side. Pin the neck facing over the top of the turned-back centreback facing. Stitch around the neckline taking a 1cm seam. Clip the curved edge and trim the seam. Understitch round the neckline facing. Fold the neck facing to the wrong side and unfold the centre-back facing so it is right side out. Press the edge.
Make the buttonholes down the centre-back. Overlap the centre-back and sew the buttons in the correct position. Stitch across the bottom of the centre-back facing at the waist edge, close to the edge, to secure in position. Pin the bodice side seams right sides together and sew, then trim and press the seam open. Repeat for the bodice lining. Pin the lining and the bodice together around the armholes, making sure that the shoulder seams and side seams are lined up and at the bottom edge. Stitch in place, close to the raw edge and within the seam allowance.
Pin the sleeves right sides together at the underarm seam and sew. Neaten the edges with an overlocker or zig zag stitch and press the seam towards the back sleeve. Turn up and press a 2cm hem at the bottom of the sleeve. Fold the raw edge under to meet the pressed fold, then stitch. Sew two rows of gathering stitches between the notches at the top of the sleeve. Insert the sleeves, matching the centre notch to the shoulder seam, the underarm sleeve seam to the bodice side seam, with the back and front notches lined up. Ease the gathers to fit the sleeve into the armhole, then sew in place. Remove the gathering stitches and neaten the edge using an overlocker or zig zag stitch. Press the seam towards the sleeve.
Pin and sew the back skirt and front skirt together at the side seams, right sides together. Neaten the seam using an overlocker or zig zag stitch, and press the seam towards the back. Stitch two rows of gathering threads all around the top edge of the skirt. Pin, then sew the frill pieces, right sides together at the short edge. Neaten the seam edge and press towards the back. Mark the centre of each piece of frill. Turn under a 2cm hem at the bottom of the frill and press. Fold the raw edge under to meet the pressed fold and stitch. At the top of the frill, sew two rows of gathering stitches all the way around.
Attach the gathered edge of the frill to the ungathered edge of the skirt, right sides together and match the centrefront, back and side seams.
Distribute the gathers evenly, then sew in place taking a 1cm seam. Remove the gathering stitches and neaten the seam, then press the seam down towards the hem. With right sides together, pin the gathered edge of the skirt to the waist of the bodice. Line up the centre-back, front and side seams. Distribute the gathers evenly, then sew. Remove the gathering thread and neaten the edges of the skirt and bodice together. Press the seam down towards the skirt.