We don’t like to boast, but we think Amanda Walker may have just created the ultimate ‘throw on and feel great’ outfit! Alongside its sultry front split and dramatic keyhole back, this midi offers a modest high neck, long shapely sleeves and a figure-hugging waist panel. Style up with sandals and sunnies – the picnic basket is optional!
- Fabric, 2.5m (150cm)
- Concealed zip
- Lightweight wovens with drape,
- such as viscose or rayon challis
- Front bodice: cut one on the fold
- Back bodice: cut one pair
- Sleeve: cut one pair
- Front skirt: cut one pair
- Back skirt: cut one on the fold
- Waistband: cut one pair
- Neck binding: cut one on the bias
- Cuff binding: cut two on the bias
- 1.5cm seam allowances used throughout, except around the bound neckline
Download the pattern from sewmag.co.uk, then print and follow the cutting guide. Stitch the darts into the front bodice piece, from the side edge of the darts to the points marked on the pattern. Press the darts down towards the waistline. Neaten the side edges of the front and back bodice, across the shoulders of both the front and back bodice, and the centre-back edges of the back bodice.
Position the front and back bodice pieces together, right sides facing, then match, pin and stitch the shoulder seams together. Press the seams allowances open. Match and sew the centre-back seam, from the base of the bodice to the notch marked on the pattern. Press the seam allowance open and continue to press in the seam allowance, above the end of the stitching, up into the neckline.
Fold and press in 1cm on either side of all the bias strips or use a bias binding folder to complete this process. Open one side of the neck binding bias strip and position it around the neckline on the wrong side. On the right side of the centre-back opening, position the binding in line with the neatened centre-back edge and on the lefthand side, leave the pressed folded seam allowance in place; there should be excess binding extending past the end of the neckline. Pin in place and stitch along the fold line pressed into the bias strip.
Fold the bias strip over onto the right side of the neckline and position the remaining folded edge over the stitching line, pin and edgestitch in place sandwiching the raw edge of the neckline inside the bias binding.
Form the excess binding into a loop and tuck the raw end of the binding under the folded seam allowance. Pin in place and stitch over the end of the loop to secure it in place, then down and up the opposite side of the opening. Match, pin and sew the back and front bodice side edges together. On the left-hand side of the bodice only, stitch the top part of the seam as far as the notch; this opening will accommodate the zip. Press the seam allowance open.
Neaten the side edges of both sleeves. Adjust the stitch length to number five and sew two rows of gathering stitches within the seam allowance, around the head of the sleeves starting and finishing as indicated on the pattern piece. Make two rows of gathering stitches across the base of each sleeve. Pull up the gathering stitches across the base of the sleeve until they measure the length of the cuff bindings. Unfold one of the bias folds, then position and sew the binding to the right side of the gathered sleeve base.
Match, pin and stitch the underarm sleeve seams together, right sides facing, then continue to sew into the cuff binding, un-folding the remaining folded edge. Press the seams open and turn the sleeves to the right side. Re-fold the binding, position the folded edge over the gathered stitching line and edgestitch in place, sandwiching the raw edges inside the binding.
Pull the gathering threads up and place the sleeves, matching the notches into the armholes of the bodice. Match the side seams and the underarm seam of the sleeves together. Distribute the gathers evenly and when you are happy, pin and stitch the sleeves in place. Neaten around the seam allowances of the armholes. At the base of the bodice, make two lines of gathering stitches within the seam allowance between the notches marked on the front and back bodice pattern pieces. Pull the threads up and evenly distribute the gathers until the base of the bodice measures the length of the waistband.
Match the notches indicated on the waistband to the side edges, centre-front and back. Pin and stitch in place. On the remaining waistband, press in the 1.5cm seam allowance on one of the long edges. Match the remaining edge to the base of the bodice this time on the wrong side. Pin and stitch in place, sandwiching the base of the bodice between the two waistbands.
Neaten the side edges of the front and back skirt pieces and the centrefront edges of the front skirt. Lay the front skirt over the back piece, match the side seams together and stitch. On the left-hand side, edgestitch as far as the zip notch. Press the seams open. Match the centre-front edges together and sew from the waistline to the notch marked of the pattern piece. Press the seam open and continue pressing the seam allowance over down through the slit to the base of the skirt.
At the waistline of the skirt, make two lines of gathering stitches, within the seam allowance, between the notches marked on the front and back skirt pattern pieces. Pull the threads up and evenly distribute the gathers until the waistline measures the length of the waistband. Match the notches indicated on the waistband on the right side dress to the side edges and the centre-front and back skirt. Pin and stitch in place.
On the inside, position the pressed folded edge of the inside waistband, over the stitching line, attaching the skirt. Pin and hand stitch in place, sandwiching the raw edges of the skirt inside. The concealed zip can be stitched into the opening created between the side of the bodice and skirt. Neaten around the base of the skirt. Stitch around the pressed edges of the front slit, then turn up and edgestitch around the base of the skirt. Sew a button to the righthand side of the back neck opening.
As you approach the left-hand edge, carry on sewing the binding in half; this excess strip will become a loop to fasten the top of the keyhole opening.