Sunday Afternoon Dress

The other day I found this cute blue and turquoise fabric on clearance and I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it. I have this vintage dress that I love and it seemed simple to replicate – it’s really just a square with some sleeves and a collar.

I’m not a sewing expert, but I know that sometimes a little bit of direction makes sewing a little easier. I tried to include everything, so hopefully this will help! I used a thin, non-stretch cotton material for this dress. You could use an old sheet, cotton fabric, or a non-stretch synthetic material as well. The thinner the better because you need it to drape. Too thick and it will look unflattering.

You can include an elastic casing or just cinch it with a belt like I did! No zippers or button-holes required. I imagine this dress would be easy to make into maternity wear as well.

Here’s how I made it:

First I folded the fabric for the front and back pieces in half – it would make it easier to be accurate while measuring and cutting.  As you can see from the diagram, I took all my measurements and did my best outlining the dress and cutting in straight lines. If it helps, you can use a dress or shirt of similar material has a guide.

Excuse my typos, I didn’t want to put the extra work correcting them in paint…

I then traced the collar. The back will be in two pieces – make sure you cut seam allowances for where they join at the bottom of the “v”

Use tracing paper for your collar

Cut your collar pieces from the same fabric and from iron-on fusing - which will add more stability. Iron the fusing onto the collar pieces.

Now onto the sewing:

Sew the front and back of your dress at the shoulders – the right side of the fabric should be facing each other.

Try on and make sure you have a big enough hole for you head to go through.

Press seams open.

Sew dress together along the sides. (Don’t sew your arm holes!).

Sew the bottom of your sleeve and down the side to finish the body of the dress

Have a lot of extra room to spare? Take it in some more.

Hem your sleeves and the bottom of your dress. I did a rolled hem on the sleeves and thicker hem on the bottom. Hem length is up to you.

When hemming, your iron and pins are your best friend!

Now the collar is left:

Sew your neckline/collar pieces together and press the seams open.Sew along the bottom edge of the pieces to make sure fusing will stay.

The collar pieces are inside the dress and again, the right sides of the fabric are facing each other.

Attach the collar pieces – the dress will be inside out and the neckline pieces will be inside the dress. Pin the neckline. I like to pin first at each should seam so I can make sure it all fits correctly. Pin your button loop between collar pieces. The edges should stick out and the loop should be inside.

Use ribbon or embroidery thread as your back button loop.

Sew along the top edge and remove pins.

Flip inner neckline up – sew the inner collar pieces and the seams together – close to the original seam.

The dress will be inside out, and you will sew the inside neck piece on top of the seam you just sewed.

Flip the dress right side out, and press the neck down. Sew along the edge of the neckline on the back, to help keep the lining inside the dress.

Make sure to go back and forth over the button loop to secure it.

Sew on a button and you are done!

Use a button that has has a back - not the holes on the face


One thought on “Sunday Afternoon Dress

  1. I love that material, super cute! 😀
    And these do work out great as maternity dresses, just give yourself a teensy bit extra on the measurements and they work out for the whole time. I used plain fabric and bought some of that patterned elastic ribbon that is used for headbands and hair ties to use as belts. Since it has more give than a belt it was more comfy, and with a quickly expanding waistline it adapts easier than belts (plus it’s cheaper so you can get tons of different colors and styles). 🙂

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