If not being able to find a casual and practical dress for the sunny weather is making you feel like walking the plank, then fear not, this fabulous frock is here to save the day! Amanda Walker’s nautical style piece gives you the opportunity to perfect vital stitchy skills such as using interfacing, attaching bias binding and adding hem tape – with talents like this under your rope belt, the dressmaking possibilities are endless.
- Jersey, 1.5m (150cm)
- Bias binding, 2cm wide
- Twisted piping cord
- Fusible interfacing
- Hem tape
- 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout, unless otherwise stated.
- Front: cut one on the fold
- Back: cut one on the fold
- Sleeve: cut one pair
- Neckband: cut a strip, 5cm x 64cm, with the grainline running lengthways
Download and print the template, then follow the cutting guide. Neaten the shoulder and side seam edges on the back and front pieces. Match the shoulder seams on the front and back, then pin and sew one shoulder, right sides facing, and press the seam open.
Neaten one long edge of the neckband and position it around the neckline from one side of the open shoulder to the other. Stretch the band slightly, then pin and stitch in place with a 1cm seam allowance. Trim any excess binding at the edges of the shoulders.
Match, pin and sew the remaining shoulder, continuing the stitching into the neckband. Fold the neckband onto the wrong side of the neckline and position the remaining neat edge over the stitching line. Pin and edgestitch in place from the right side of the neckline, sandwiching the raw edge inside.
Match, pin and stitch the side seams of the back and front pieces, right sides facing, then press the seams open. Complete a row of gathering stitches around the head of the sleeves, starting from the front notch and finishing at the back ones. Match, pin and stitch the underarm sleeves, right sides facing, then turn right sides out.
Pull the gathering threads up and place the sleeves into the armhole. Match the side and underarm seams of the sleeves, then pair the centre notch of the sleeve to the end of the shoulder seam. Adjust the gathers to fit the armhole, then pin and sew in place. Overlock the seam allowance and pull out the gathering stitches.
Neaten the base of the sleeves, fold and press up a 2.5cm hem, stitch hem tape inside, then machine-stitch in place. Make two buttonholes, 2cm long, and attach a small rectangle of fusible interfacing over them, then cut through. Starting from one side seam, position and pin the bias binding around the dress along the line marked on the template.
Edgestitch both sides of the binding to create a channel and use a safety pin to thread the cord into one buttonhole, around the bias channel, and out the remaining buttonhole. Tie a knot in each end of the cord. Overlock the dress base and press a 2.5cm hem, then place the hem tape inside and machine-stitch in place.