Episodes - 603

Althea Harper

Darling Dress by Althea Harper

Make a stylish draped dress in time to wear out on the town tonight. 


2 1/2 yards of stretch-knit fashion fabric (such as jersey or double-knit; see "Sources") & test knit fabric with similar stretch

Rotary cutting system

Tailor's chalk

All-purpose thread

Pattern weights (optional)

Serger (optional)

Test It

Use 1/2" seam allowances.

Download the dress pattern HERE.

Fold the test fabric in half lengthwise and spread it out in a double layer on a large, flat cutting surface. Center the pattern on the fabric; secure with pins or pattern weights.

The dress pattern is a size 4, so compare your waist and hip measurements to the pattern measurements to determine how much to add to the pattern side seams. For example, adding 1" to each pattern side adds 4" to the overall dress circumference. Using tailor's chalk, draw a line parallel to each side seam according to the needed amount, blending to nothing at the sleeve.

Trace the pattern lower edge and sleeves, adding or subtracting length as desired. Trace the pattern neckline and shoulder seams.

Using a rotary cutter, cut out the dress through both layers following the traced outline. The dress front and back are identical.

Align the dress pieces with right sides together; pin the shoulder seams and side seams. Select a zigzag stitch on the machine. Stitch the shoulder seams and side seams. Turn the sample dress right side out.

Try on the sample dress to test the fit. Determine whether to add any additional room through the dress body or whether to alter the sleeve or hemline length. Transfer any needed changes to the circumference and length to the pattern.

Sew It

Lay out the fashion fabric in a double layer on a flat work surface. Center the pattern over the fabric, and then trace in the same manner as the test sample, making any needed adjustments from the fitting. Cut out the dress front and back through both fabric layers.

Select a zigzag stitch on the machine, or select a 3-thread overlock on the serger, if applicable.

Align the dress front and back with right sides together; pin the shoulder and side seams. Stitch or serge the shoulder and side seams, being careful not to stretch the fabric.

Turn the dress right side out; press. Knits don't ravel, so leave the neckline, sleeve and lower edges raw to allow them to roll and drape gracefully.

TIP: Use the dress pattern to create a tunic or top by simply cutting the lower edge to the desired length. 


ALthea Harper

Purchase jersey knit fabric:

Nature's Fabrics: naturesfabrics.com/

Fabric.com: fabric.com

Girl Charlee Fabrics: girlcharlee.com/cotton-jersey-knit-fabric-c-90_103.html

Fashion Fabrics Club: fashionfabricsclub.com/c/655/Cotton-Jersey-Knit

Dana Marie Designs Co. carries double-knit fabric: danamarie.com


Products used in this episode:

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