A couple of years ago I wrote a post about my top places to purchase fabric. It’s hard to buy fabric online, but Fabric.com has always been my go-to for online fabric shopping. So today I’m really excited to be teaming up with them for DIY Friday!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so I’ve been working on some fun (and very pink and red) projects, one of which is this pretty little knife pleated dress. I usually stick to more classic and muted colors (my closet is full of gray, black, and white), but I couldn’t resist a hot pink for Valentine’s Day!
Ponte knit is a perfect choice for a dress because it’s stretchy and it has a gorgeous drape. This one from Fabric.com isn’t too heavy, but it’s not see through at all, so it’s great for summer and spring dresses and tops. But I also picked up this red lace that you’ll see on the blog in a few weeks!
This dress is so easy to throw together, and the knife pleats add a little preppy sophistication to the look, which I love. You could also make the sleeves shorter, the hemline shorter or longer, the waistband higher or lower, and the neckline deeper or higher. So many modifications to make it your own!
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 yards of fabric (I used this ponte knit that has a gorgeous drape).
20-22″ invisible zipper
1. First cut your pattern pieces. You’ll need a BODICE FRONT (cut on the folded edge), 2 BODICE BACK pieces, NECKLINE LINING (cut 2), 2 SLEEVES (cut along the folded edge), and a big rectangular piece for the skirt (the measurements for the skirt are so individual since it depends on how big you want your pleats as well as your size. But it should be roughly your waist measurement x 2, and as long as you want).
2. Sew darts into your BODICE FRONT piece.
3. Sew the BODICE FRONT and two BODICE BACK pieces together at the shoulder seams (with right sides together).
4. Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. Line up the top of the sleeve with the bodice shoulder seam (as shown) with right sides together. Pin in place.
5. Continue pinning the sleeve to the bodice, and then sew along the arm hole with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve.
6. With right sides together, sew the sides of the bodice up with a straight stitch.
7. Sew the two neckline pieces together to form an “O,” and then attach the NECKLINE LINING to the BODICE neckline with a straight stitch (there’s a more detailed illustration and instruction for this step over here).
8. Tuck the LINING inside the dress, pin in place, and then sew around the entire neckline with a straight stitch to secure the lining in place.
9. Pleat your skirt to your desired width. My pleats were about 1 1/2 inches wide. Use a basting stitch to hold the pleats in place.
10. Take your pleated skirt (which should just be a big rectangle of fabric that is now pleated) and pin it to the bodice with right sides together, as shown. Sew across the entire waistline, attaching the skirt to the bodice.
11. Insert your zipper following the instructions on the package, and then sew up the remaining opening of the dress. Finally, hem the bottom of the dress and the sleeves to your desired length, press all your seams, and you’re done!