I got to spend a day at Quilt Market a few weeks ago, and while I was there I found this beautiful blue and white large gingham print knit fabric from BOLT by Girl Charlee’s new collection, Modern Reflection. BOLT by Girl Charlee fabrics are exclusively sold wholesale online, but can be found among the following retailers.
When I walked into the Girl Charlee booth, my eyes quickly found this bold and yet fresh gingham print, and I instantly pictured it as an easy, summer dress. This fabric is SOO soft. I was worried about it being a little sheer on top but it’s not, so no extra layering required underneath (besides a skirt slip, I’m old school like that). It’s dreamy!
Just when I was a little worried about looking too much like Dorothy from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, I found this page while flipping through the July People Style Watch. Move over, Dorothy!
The perfect summer dress is RIGHT here! I’m obsessed with the new Indie Sew 2016 Summer Collection in collaboration with Seamly. I love the Basic Tee. For the dress I pictured a fitted, sleeved bodice with a gathered skirt. I then had the brilliant idea to use my Seamly Basic Tee pattern for the bodice. (You can also use another t-shirt pattern you might have on hand, or you can even trace an RTW tee that fits you well).
This tutorial is based off the Seamly Basic Tee pattern.
-Fabric (about 2 1/2 yards of 60″ width fabric or 3 yards of 45″)
Step 1: First we need to alter our basic tee pattern just slightly. First, trace your pattern off of your original in your preferred size, closest to your measurements. Second, measure from your underarm to your side waist straight down. Add 1/2″ for seam allowance. (Just 1/2″ because the weight of the fabric pulls the waist seam down farther than you intended). Next, mark this measurement on your front and back bodice patterns, and draw a straight line across.
Next, using tracing paper, trace your pattern, (the bottom edge will be this new line we just drew).
On your traced pattern piece, slightly straighten out the side seams for a more form fitting look, I would recommend doing this, otherwise your side seams stick out a little at the waist. You can see where I straightened mine between the ruler and my pen. (You can also see this in the above picture on both bodice pieces).
Now we are ready to cut out our pattern!
You’ll need your basic tee front and back bodice, neckband, pocket and sleeves.
For the skirt piece, measure your waist, times it by 2 1/2-3, (I did 3) and that is your width. Decide on how long you would like your dress to be plus a 1″ seam allowance for your hem. Mine ended up being 81″ in width x 26 1/2″ in length. You will then need to divide your width in half, because we will be cutting out two pieces. So your pattern will be a rectangle, and you will cut two with your fabric folded in half, but NOT cut on the fold line. Cut two, a skirt front and a skirt back.
*I cut my pocket on the bias.
Once you have everything cut, sew up your basic tee bodice as directed in the pattern instructions.
Once, your bodice is done, it’s time to prep the skirt. Also while at quilt market, I was introduced to this amazing stuff.
You simply iron it on around the top edge of your fabric, and you’re ready to gather your skirt! There’s also no unpicking involved because the Fuse and Gather is ironed on the backside of your fabric. It’s fab. I like to pin the skirt and bodice pieces right sides together, matching up center front and back, and side seams for both, and then gather the skirt to fit. Evenly spread your gathers, and pin. Sew at 1/2″ around the whole waist edge. This is mine finished:
At this point, flip your dress right side out, and make sure all your gathers look good. I like to lightly iron the waist seam, with the seam allowance pressed up towards the bodice.
All that’s left is the hem. I just folded my hem 1/2″ to the wrong side and sewed along the edge to finish. (I ended up cutting off two inches in length off my hemline). Yay! We’re all done!
Shout out to my sweet sister-in-law for playing with my daughter while my brother photographed this dress for me! We sure love you Hannah!