Learn to Sew Part 4 & FREE PATTERN: The Brigitte Dress
Welcome to Part 4 of our Learn to Sew series. In this final instalment, you're going to build on your existing skills to make a perfectly-fitting dress.
Your Free Pattern: The Brigitte Dress
This elegant tunic dress is a pleasure to make due to the sheer simplicity of its construction. Brigitte can be made in lightweight fabrics for casual holiday/daytime wear or perhaps in heavier more luxurious fabrics for office and formal wear. It is also suitable for both woven and stretch fabric, so why not step up your skills and make a comfy jersey dress?
You will need:
- thread (good quality)
- iron on medium weight interfacing (0.2 metres)
- 22” concealed zip
Find Your Perfect Fit
So far in this series, we've only sewn simple garments which are easy to fit. When you progress to dresses, you might find that you need to make more tweaks - but don't worry, we can keep it simple! Claire-Louise Hardie shares her expert tips for adjusting dressmaking patterns to perfectly fit your bust, back and height.
Download your pattern here!
Need a refresher on working with PDF patterns? Take a look back at parts 1 and 2 of this series.
Seam allowances unless otherwise indicated are 1.5cm.
Follow pattern notches.
It is really important to launder your fabric (according to instructions) before you sew with it. This allows for shrinkage. On the pattern sheet there are labels you can cut out to pin onto your fabric pieces after you have cut them out to remind you which piece is which (handy if you cut out and leave to sew at a later date). You must then apply interfacing to the wrong side of your facing pieces. Finally you must overlock or zigzag stitch all raw edges. These are: dress side seams, bottom edge of skirt pieces (hems), the bottom edge of the neckline facing and sleeve side seams and edges.
This simple pattern can be sewn in woven (non-stretch) or jersey (stretch) fabric for a comfier feel.
You don't need a fancy machine to sew with stretch! Your regular machine will do just fine - you simply have to learn your way around a couple of handy stitches.