Ever since I made my contrast back sequin dress, I’ve been itching to make one from scratch. The initial idea came from this Stella McCartney dress that Rachel wore, so when I found this gorgeous floral fabric with metallic gold detailing at a local fabric shop, I knew I had to make it. I finished it just in time for Easter, and it was so much fun that I’ve vowed to make myself an Easter dress every year from now on. Maybe I’ll even have a baby girl someday I can make us matching dresses. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…
made by me dress
CLICK THROUGH FOR THE FULL TUTORIAL
- 1 yard floral fabric (can be any material, stretchy or not — mine is a medium weight quilting-type cotton with a slight stretch)
- 1 yard knit (I used a nice thick ponte knit)
- matching thread
- 20-22 in. zipper
1 // Cut all your pieces (BODICE TOP, SLEEVE (2), SKIRT FRONT, NECKLINE) out of your floral fabric, using a pencil skirt and tank you own as a pattern (tip: when using your clothing as a pattern, lay it out on a piece of parchment paper and cut that first, the use the parchment paper on your fabric as the actual pattern)
2 // sew darts in the BODICE TOP and in the SKIRT FRONT, as shown, so it fits nicely around your bust and hips.
3 // Once your darts are sewn, attach the BODICE TOP and SKIRT FRONT, sewing with right sides together.
4 // This is how it should look now.
5 // From your ponte knit, cut the DRESS BACK and a second NECKLINE piece.
6 // Add long darts down the back of your DRESS BACK so it fits nicely around your back.
7 // Cut down the middle of the dress (I cut it all the way in half and then sewed the bottom back together after inserting the zipper) and insert the zipper.
8 // Pin the FRONT (bodice top/skirt front) and DRESS BACK pieces together, then sew together at the sides and the shoulders.
9 // Take your two SLEEVE pieces and, with right sides together, sew them together as shown.
10 // Then insert the sleeve into the bodice with right sides together, matching up the seams, and sew them together. Repeat for second sleeve.
11 // Sew the two NECKLINE pieces together to form a loop, then with right sides together, pin to the dress neckline and sew together. Then flip it inside and press into place.
12 // Sew around the neckline, tacking the lining into place, then hem the bottom to your desired length and the sleeves to your desired length. And you’re done!
The dress is beautiful! I love the bright colors and the floral print. Was the material hard to sew with? It looks like something I would never dare to us either because it would slip all over the place or snag and run. Do you have to use different needles?
No, both materials are super easy to work with. Ponte knit is thick, so it's not very slippery. And the front fabric was just a thick quilting cotton so it was also super easy to use. I always use ballpoint needles and have no problems with them!
Love this dress!
Wow, that turned out so good! You always make the directions seem pretty easy – I'm going to have to pull my sewing machine out and give it a try!
What a beautiful color on you!!! I'm excited to try the tutorial! I'm 7months pregnant, so I'm thinking I should (obviously add some yardage–ha!) skip the dart step and add ruching along the sides? Any advice is appreciated!
Yes, definitely add some ruching along the sides. And make sure you use a nice stretchy fabric for the front, unlike the cotton I used!
That dress is gorgeous!!!!!
This dress is amazing! I love the pattern and the cut!
This turned out so pretty!! Looks great on you.
Kristina does the Internets
please open an etsy shop already!
this dress is so pretty. you did a great job girl!
This dress is gorgeous! I want one in my closet desperately!
You can makes matching dresses for you and me next Easter. Twinners! 😉
Where do you get your fabric?
It's from a local shop. There's a link in the post!
LOVE this dress!!!
Merrick (can I call you Merrick? haha), you and this dress are stunning! I have to finally tell you that I've just about read your entire blog over the past couple months and you have inspired me to get my own sewing machine and begin refashioning my clothes. Refashioning is such a revelation! So far I've "skinnified" one of my hubby's old t-shirts, made a maternity skirt into a pencil skirt, and made a maternity dress into a maxi skirt. I'm obsessed! I hadn't realized how few of my clothes I was actually wearing, but now that I know how to alter my existing clothes to fit me perfectly, more and more items are in the regular rotation. Thank you, thank you, for creating this blog and sharing your tips with us. I can honestly say that you have changed my life. Can't wait to see what you come up with next!
Wow, what a nice comment! So glad I've been able to help! Thanks for letting me know!! xx
Love this dress!! I want to make one like this, but I always just stick to knit shirts so that I don't have to deal with darts — how do you know where to put the darts?
I don't know all the technicalities of dart placement — I'm sure there are certain measurements you're supposed to take to get them right in the right spot, but I'm mostly a self taught seamstress so I just add the darts by fit. Just try on your bodice piece inside out and pin the dart in, making it bigger or smaller, or shorter or taller until it fits you perfectly in your bust and on your hips. They should go from right under the center of your breasts and then straight down, or slightly angled in toward each other. Hope that makes sense and helps!
So cute! I need to get better at sewing. Love that floral fabric.
This dress is so pretty Merrick.
I don't see the darts on the dress which you explain in the tutorial. Wasn't it needed?
Thank you! Yes, the darts are definitely needed so the fabric fits around your curves. I don't have many curves but they were still necessary to get the fabric to fit correctly on my bodice and hips. You can't really see mine on this dress because the floral pattern hides them, but they're definitely there! 🙂
This fabric is gorgeous! I love that it's a modern twist on the classic Easter dress.
LOVE it! You are so talented sista!
Absolutely gorgeous! This dress is truly stunning!
ahh, this is so beautiful! i love the floral fabric:-) i'll definitely be going through your tutorials again once i'm reunited with my sewing machine! xx
Uuuugggggghhhhh…I wish you were my sister so I could guilt you into making me clothes.
If it makes you feel better, I almost never make anything for my sisters 😉
Love love love your tips and ideas! Can't wait to try this!
Your dress is absolutely amazing, love your photos!
Eleventh & Sixteenth
Did the back of the dress pucker up close to the zipper when you sewed it back up after putting the zipper in?
This looks like the Stella McCartney dress from last season! I love how you make it seem so easy and effortless… I cannot sew so I won’t be trying this ;0
This dress is gorgeous and you look amazing in it.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! This is bomb!!!!
do you happen to have a video on how to sew the neckline? that part seems confusing to me.
Yes! I created an online course, The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sewing, where I teach all the basics of clothing construction, including necklines.
Check it out right here: http://moderngirlsewing.com xx