Have you ever fallen in love with a fabric and immediately knew what you wanted to make with it? That was me with this 1” buffalo plaid fabric from fabric.com. I saw this larger print and started brainstorming dress options right away. I have loved this type of print for years now, but haven’t picked up any for a sewing project until the end of last year. Although I was anxious to start sewing my new material, I put the project on hold since the fabric arrived right in the middle of the holiday season. That didn’t stop me, however, from continuing to plan the design of my dress. My goal for this project was to make and use a beginner sewing pattern that did not require a zipper. Since the plaid pattern is throughout fabric, the simple design helps the finished product not look too busy.
Materials Needed for your Dress
- 2 yards of apparel fabric
- Matching thread
Below are the pieces I cut out for this dress. For this pattern, I included measurements for a size small dress, but you can easily modify the measurements for a different size dress. If you’d like to learn how I create my own patterns, read my blog post here.
Steps to Create a Fit & Flare Midi Dress
- Step 1: Using pattern paper, design the pattern pieces for your dress.
- Step 2: Pin the pattern paper to your buffalo fabric (or fabric of your choice) and cut out all of the pieces for your dress. (The ties at the end of the SLEEVES are optional) If you’re using a patterned print, you’ll want to match up your material as much as possible before cutting the fabric.
- Step 3: Pin the FRONT and BACK BODICE pieces together (right sides of the fabric together) and sew the sides of the BODICE together.
- Step 4: Next, pin the top of your BODICES pieces together and sew.
- Step 5: Hem the neckline of your BODICE. This can be done by using the hem foot attachment for your sewing machine or by manually folding and sewing your hemline. (For this dress, I used a hem foot on the neckline and manually sewed the hem of my skirt)
- Step 6: Take your SLEEVES pattern and pin the top of the SLEEVES to the BODICE. Sew the pieces in place.
- Step 7: After the SLEEVES are attached to the dress, sew the arm together.
- Step 8: To make the tied sleeves, lay out your fabric next to the end of your SLEEVES and mark where the extra fabric starts. (See images below) Next, pin the right sides of the TIES together and sew the ends of the fabric. Before you sew the TIES to the dress, turn the sewn edges right-side-out and pin the fabric to your dress. Then, sew the ties to the end of your SLEEVES, leaving about an inch at the end.
- Adding ties to the end of the SLEEVES of this dress is optional. If you decide to skip this element, you can just hem the end of the SLEEVES.
- Step 9: Next, we will be getting the SKIRT pieces ready to add to the BODICE. Before you attach the SKIRT FRONT and BACK together, you’ll want to add 3 baste stitches to the top of the BACK and FRONT SKIRT pieces. Grab hold of the ends of 3 of the baste stitches and pull, to start gathering the fabric. Gather the fabric until each piece is the same length as the bottom of your sewn BODICE piece.
- Sewing Tip: I find it helpful to add 3 baste stitches to your fabric because this allows you to evenly gather your fabric as you pull on the stitches. Also, if one of the baste stitches happens to break as you’re pulling the thread, you’ll still have 2 additional stitches to work with.
- Step 10: After your SKIRT fabric has been gathered, pin the right sides of the SKIRT together and sew the edges of the skirt together.
- Step 11: Pin the gathered end of the SKIRT to the BODICE and sew the two pieces together.
- Step 12: The last step is to hem the bottom of your dress to your desired length and you’re done!