Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tutorial: How to sew a knit dress with pockets

Tutorial: How to sew a knit dress with pockets!

I think you will like what I have for you today! It's a long sleeved knit dress with pockets (optional), cuffs (optional) and a neck binding! Do not let those pockets freak you out, they are so simple and I will show you exactly how to do it! See how cute... READ MORE HERE...




She's trying to find the other pocket here, but this picture just tugged at my heart - she's growing up way too fast! I am going to keep sewing for her as long as her sweet heart lets me!

Know what's funny - I just noticed she crosses her fingers when she puts her hands on her hips! Maybe she's making a wish that I would stop taking her picture :)

 And of course as soon as she took those pictures, she threw on her bat girl costume (I did not make that!) and wanted a picture of that, too!  Ready for the dress tutorial? Let's get started and you can do it!
*This will make a size 5T. 

1. Gather Materials:

long sleeve t-shirt that fits (for tracing)
1 yard knit fabric for dress front, back and sleeves
5/8 yards knit fabric for skirt, pockets and cuffs
ribbed knit for neck binding 
iron, sewing machine, ballpoint needle, thread

**For the binding I'm using a cotton/poly blend, ribbed waffle shirt. Check the clearance section at stores for great deals on this! I found an XXXL shirt for $7 at Walmart. It's a ton of binding fabric - great for cuffs, necklines, armhole bindings and more!


2. Fold your t-shirt in half and trace a front and a back (the back neckline is higher than the front) onto your dress fabric. *I wanted it to hit slightly above her waist, so I stopped 2 inches above the bottom of the t-shirt hem that I was tracing. Cut out your front and back.


3. Fold the left selvaged edge over towards the right until you can fit your t-shirt sleeve onto your fabric. Line up the fold of the sleeve to the fold in your fabric. *You want the stretchy part of your fabric to be the sleeve width - this is the fabric that goes around the armhole so you can stretch it into place. 

4. Trace your sleeve and cut around your sleeve. Repeat so you have 2 sleeves. 


5. I cut two pieces of fabric that are 20 inches wide by 14 inches long for the skirt. I angled mine in 1 inch at the top from each edge to give it an a-line shape.


6. Lay your hand (or your little girl's hand of course - she just was not home when I made this!) on the fold of the fabric and trace around it. Cut out 2 on the fold. Then cut up the fold so you have 4 pocket pieces. 



7. Cuffs - open up your sleeve piece. Cut 2 pieces of fabric that are 4 inches long x the same width as the end of the sleeve. 


8. Time to sew!
Lay your dress front and back right sides together. Sew at the shoulder seams only. Serge or zig-zag stitch.

9. Take your cuff and fold it in half so it is now 2 inches long x the width of the end of the sleeve. Lay your sleeve right side up, pin the raw edge of the cuff along the end of the sleeve. Sew along the pinned edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Serge or zig-zag stitch. Trim threads. Repeat for other sleeve cuff.


Iron cuff away from sleeve and press seam away from the cuff. Topstitch cuff in place using a 1/8 inch seam allowance. This secures the cuff and gives it a professional look. 
9. Lay your dress right side up and spread at the shoulder seams. With right sides together, pin the center of the sleeve to the shoulder seam. Continue pinning the curve of the sleeve to the armhole. Repeat for other sleeve. 


10. Sew along your pinned edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Serge or zig-zag stitch. Trim thread. Repeat for other sleeve.

11. Lay your dress top right sides together, matching up the end of the sleeve first, pinning and continuing to pin down the sleeve and down the dress' side seam. Sew along your pinned edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Serge/zig-zag stitch. Trim threads. 

12. Serge or zig-zag stitch around all pocket edges and down each side of the skirt pieces.

13. Lay each skirt piece right side up. Place each pocket 2 inches below the skirt's top edge with right sides together. The straight edge of the pockets will be touching the straight edges of the skirt and the pockets will be angling down towards the bottom edge of the skirt. Sew along the straight edge of each pocket using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim threads. 


14. Press pockets back with an iron. Topstitch pockets in place. Lay skirt pieces right sides together. Pin down each side seam until you reach the pocket, pin around the pocket's edge and continue pinning down the side seam all the way to the skirt bottom. Sew around your pinned edges using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. 


16. Run a basting stitch all the way around the skirt's top edge, leaving a 6 inch tail of thread before and after your starting point. Pull on the basting stitches to gather the top edge to be the same width as your dress bodice. 

15. Lay dress bodice right side out and facing up. Turn skirt inside out and upside down. Insert the dress bodice into the skirt. Match the side seams of  the skirt and side seams of the dress bodice first. Then pin skirt all the way around, connecting it to the bodice. Sew around your pinned edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. You are sewing through two layers at a time. Trim threads. 


16. Flip skirt down and press seam up with an iron. 

17. Cut a piece of binding that is 2 inches long x the width of your neckline minus 1 inch. Fold binding in half and pin at the short edge. Sew along your pinned edge using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Now it makes a loop. Press seam open. 




18. Turn binding upside down so the raw edges face up. Place it around the neckline so the raw edges of the binding meet the raw edges of the neckline. Pin in place at the shoulder seams and center front and back. Stretch the binding to fit the neckline as needed and pin. Sew around your binding using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Serge/zig-zag stitch. Trim threads. 



19. Flip binding up and press seam down towards the bodice. Topstitch  1/8 inches below the seam line to secure the binding in place. Trim threads. 

20. Fold up a 1/4 inch all the way around the skirt. Sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trim threads. 

21. You DID IT!! Let your little one wear it be PROUD of what YOU MADE!!


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