Squeee! It’s my favorite month of the year on the blog everyone – (30) Days of Sundresses!!!! Today I’m sharing the free pattern and tutorial for this tie back dress. And I have to throw out a compliment to the Coach here – not only did he guest write last week’s post, I think he did a FABULOUS job with these photos.
This pattern is a size small, for bust 34″ and waist 28″. There’s a little give, since you can tie the back a little looser and it’s sewn from knit, so if you adjust the elastic you could maybe make this fit a medium. If you need to make the pattern bigger or smaller, check out this post.
So, ready to make your own? You’ll need
- At least 2 yards of fabric, depending on skirt length. The bodice and lining take a full 60″ wide yard by themselves. See this post for a chart of skirt lengths to help you figure out yardage.
- The pattern. To get it, subscribe to the Melly Sews Weekly Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!
- 3/4″ wide elastic, the same amount as your waist measurement.
(PS – if you have trouble finding either your confirmation email or the email with the pattern link, try checking your spam, trash, junk, bulk, social and/or promotional email tabs or folders. Free pattern links are also included in every weekly newsletter; these go out on Friday afternoons. Due to the number of subscribers I can’t email pattern links to individuals.)
This pattern includes 1/2″ seam allowances and should be sewn with a stretch stitch unless otherwise noted. Need knit sewing tips? See this post.
Alright, to start, place your two backs right sides together with the front and stitch across the shoulders. Repeat with lining.
Sew the ties to the center of each back piece as shown above.
Place the bodice and lining right sides together, lining up all edges. Stitch the armholes, neckline and the curved parts of the back cutouts as shown above. Use a straight stitch for the back bodice cutouts – it will help stabilize the knit over the back bodice. When you’re done, turn the bodice right side out and press, and it should look like the image below.
Line up the openings at the top center back as shown above. Whipstitch one side of the tubes together (the parts touching above) then turn in the raw edges and switch to a blind stitch to finish. It will look like the image below when done.
Take the bottom part of the bodice and pin right sides together, matching the seam, and then stitch, as shown above.
The next step is tricky to show in a picture. You need to pin the outside bodice back to the outside bodice front at the side seams, right sides together, then pin the front lining to the back lining at the side seams, right sides together. You’ll be able to sew this all in one seam for each side after you match the armscye seams that you sewed earlier. It will make a U shape, as shown below. Stitch these.
Turn the bodice right side out; it will look like the image above.
Cut a skirt panel using the skirt chart as a reference. I wish I had had enough fabric to make this a maxi dress length, but I didn’t. Sew your skirt into a tube (either one center back seam or two side seams – depends on how you cut your skirt) the gather the skirt to match the width of your bodice as shown below.
Place the skirt inside the bodice, right sides together, and stitch around the waistline as shown above.
Stitch a line across the front of the dress that is even with the top part of the waist on the back bodice to create a channel for the elastic to run through.
Unpick just a few stitches at the center back waist and insert elastic equal to your waist measurement through the casing. Overlap the ends of the elastic 1/2″ and stitch them together. Hand stitch the seam shut again, or sew over the seam and the elastic with your machine.
Style note – I had to wear a strapless bra with this – the side cutouts are too wide to hide regular bra straps for me. The bag I’m carrying is from this tutorial.