Step up your sewing skillset with this fabulous frock that’s ideal for venturing out into the sunshine. Shirring elastic is a handy technique to have in your back pocket as it helps to cinch in waistlines and add a beautifully intricate effect – finish by topping off your neckline with a bias binding bow!
- Fabric, 2m
- Shirring elastic
- Front bodice: cut one on the fold
- Back bodice: cut one on the fold
- Front and back skirt: cut two on the fold
- Neck binding: Cut a strip on the bias, 5cm x 82cm
- Armhole binding: Cut two bias strips, 5cm x 50cm
1 Download the pattern from sewmag.co.uk/templates and cut out the pieces according to the cutting guide. Fold and pin a small pleat into the centre front neckline, then stitch across the top to secure. Fold and press 1cm on either side of the neck bias strip, or use a bias binding maker.
2 Neaten one of the front shoulder seam edges and the adjacent back shoulder seam, then stitch together and press the seam open. Open one side of the bias strip and position it around the neckline. Pin in place, then stitch along the fold line pressed into the bias strip.
3 Fold the strip over onto the wrong 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; this process can also be completed by hand slip-stitching.
4 Trim away any excess binding at the edges of the shoulders, then neaten the edges of the remaining shoulder seams. Match, pin and stitch the two together and press the seam open. Secure the two binding ends to the neckline.
5 Attach the two armhole bindings in the same way as the neckline. Neaten all the edges of the side seams and, with right sides together, stitch the side seams. Press the seams open and secure the top bound part of the seam; this will help it to remain open and stop it from peeping out of the top.
6 Stitch the shirring elastic to the top waistline of the two skirt pieces. Stitch five rows at 1cm intervals. Neaten the side seam edges of the two skirt pieces. Match the ends of the shirred lines, right sides together, then stitch and press the seam open.
7 Press 1cm up around the base of the skirt, then another, and edgestitch to complete the hem. With right sides of the bodice and skirt together, match the waistline of the skirt to the bodice, making sure that the side seams and the centre front and back areas of the bodice are matching the skirt.
8 Pin the two together – the skirt will need stretching out to fit the bodice – then stitch and neaten the seam allowances. Using a scrap of binding, make a small bow and hand-stitch it to the binding, just above the centre front pleat.