Throw it back to the 50s with this fit and flair frock designed by mother and daughter duo, Posner and Posner. Not only will you be channelling vintage vibes with the classic number, but you’ll also have the opportunity to master the use of darts, facings, concealed zips and linings.
- Fabric, 3.5m (150cm)
- Lining, 3.5m
- Concealed zip, 32cm
- Fusible interfacing, 25cm
- Use a 1.5cm seam allowance throughout, except for the sleeve hem edge which needs to be 0.5cm.
- Front and back: cut two on the fold in fabric and lining
- Back bodice: cut one on the fold in fabric and lining
- Back neck facing: cut one on the fold in fabric and interfacing
- Back sleeve: cut two in fabric and lining
- Front bodice: cut one on the fold in fabric and lining
- Front bodice side panel: cut two in fabric and lining
- Front sleeve: cut two in fabric and lining
- Front neck facing: cut one on the fold in fabric and interfacing
Download the templates, print and cut out. On the back bodice, stay-stitch the neck edge, then make darts and press them towards the centre back. Repeat this process on the lining. Stay-stitch the neck edge on the front bodice then, with right sides together, join each front bodice side panel to the front bodice, matching up the notches. Ease the fabric in between the notches, then press the seam open and repeat for the lining.
Stitch the front and back sleeve together, matching the notches, then repeat for the sleeve lining and press the seams open. Join the front sleeve to the front bodice, matching the notches and leaving 0.5cm on the sleeve hem edge unstitched. Join the back sleeve to the back bodice, matching the notches and leaving 0.5cm of the sleeve hem edge unstitched. Repeat for the lining.
Place the fabric and lining bodice right sides together, then stitch a 0.5cm sleeve hem. Turn it to the right side and press flat. Pin and tack the fabric and lining bodices together at the neck edge. Apply interfacing to the front and back neck facings, then join at the shoulder and press the seam open. Finish off the edge of the facing. Match the centre back, centre front and shoulder seams of the bodice and facing. Stitch the facing to the bodice and bodice lining.
Pivot the stitching at the ‘V’ on the back and front, then remove the tacking. Clip it to the sewing at the back and front ‘V’, then trim the seam allowance. Under-stitch the facing and turn it to the wrong side of the bodice. Press in place and slip-stitch it to the lining.
With right sides together, stitch the right side of the bodice and lining side seam separately and press the seams open. Leave the left side seam open for the zip. Turn the lining back on itself and sew the right-hand side underarm in between each edge of the sleeve, being careful not to include the sleeve edge. Clip the curve and trim the seam, then turn it back to the right side and press the underarm edge.
On the left side, leave the side seam of the fabric and lining bodice unstitched, but sew the underarm edge in the same way as the right-hand side, from the edge of the sleeve to the side seam on the front and back. Clip the curves and trim the seam allowances, then press. With right sides together, stitch the right-hand side skirt seam for the fabric and lining, then press the seams open. With right sides together, add pins vertically to attach the skirt to the bodice at the centre front.
Add pins vertically to attach the skirt to the front bodice until you come to the front panel seam. Fold the skirt towards the centre front against the pins, then pin the skirt to the centre front. Working the other way, pin the skirt to the bodice from the side edge towards the front panel seam. Hold the material in place with a vertical pin next to the pleat that you’ve just made, then fold the fabric against the pin towards the side edge.
Match up the bodice and skirt side seams on the right and the raw edges on the left. Repeat this for the other side of the front skirt, back and lining. Sew or tack in place over the vertical pins, then press the lining and bodice seams upwards. Insert a concealed zip into the left side seam, making sure that the underarm edge and the waist seams are level.
Stitch the skirt side seams and lining up to the end of the zip and press the seams open. Turn under the edge of the lining and slip-stitch to the edge of the zipper tape. Turn up the hem to your desired length and sew. On the lining, cut off the amount you measured for the outer fabric hem so that it is shorter than the dress, then turn up and sew a 2.5cm hem on the lining. Press both hems.