How to navigate this post (and find the pattern):
Easy Breezy Summer Lounge Dress Pattern Sewing Instructions
(Open page 1 for more pattern details and photos.)
- fabric (2.75 yards of a 44-inch wide fabric w/ nap for a knee length dress. You could get away with a bit less on a wider fabric with no nap. If you want to add the bottom ruffle you would need an additional +/- 1.375 yards of fabric. <Every inch over/under 5’4″ add or subtract 3 additional inches of fabric>)
- bias tape (or make your own from your extra fabric
- basic sewing supplies
Products used and Recommended:
- My favorite fabric shop for knits: Funkalicious Fabrics and Girl Charlee. My favorite shop for cottons and other fabrics: Fabric.com.
- My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
- My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
- 1/4 inch seam allowance
- Light, flowy fabrics recommended (rayon, knits, voile, cotton lawn, polyester/silk type fabrics)
- Sew as a knee length dress or add optional ruffle
- Transfer pattern markings, shorten or lengthen if needed by cutting at the specified mark and redraw side seam
Pattern layout guide (not including optional ruffle):
Step 1. Print pattern, tape together and cut out size needed.
Step 2. Cut pattern pieces from fabric
Dress pieces: Fold the fabric so selvages line up, wrong sides together. Cut 4 main dress pieces (not on the fold!!), transferring the pattern markings. 4 pockets, and 4 facings. (Since the fabric is folded, you will be cutting 2 at a time.)
Fabric tie: Cut fabric strip 74 by 5 inches. (you’ll have to piece 2 strips together.)
Bias tape: Cut a 50-inch strip of fabric for sm/med and 60 inches for the lrg/xl on the bias, 1.5 inches long. (It’s ok to sew together a few pieces to get 50 inches. Since you only need a little, I recommend just lining your fabric up on the bias and cutting a few strips and pressing them by hand to make coordinating bias tape. Store bought double fold bias tape works fine too.)
Step 3. Assemble the dress.
Line up 2 dress pieces right sides together and sew along the center front seam. Finish this seam and press.
Starting at the “start sewing here” pattern marking, sew the back 2 pieces together (right sides together and finish this seam) along the center seam. This leaves an opening at the top of dress back, where we will later be applying bias tape.
Line up 2 of the facings pieces (right sides together) and sew. (as shown) This is the facing for the front of the dress.
Line the front of the dress and the front facing together. (right sides together) Sew along the top .25 from the edge.
Press the seam up and top stitch along the facing.
Repeat the facing application for the back dress pieces. (The facings should be in two pieces for the back.)
Add bias tape to back pieces:
Cut 2 pieces of bias tape about 7 inches long. Open bias tape and apply tape to the top of the center seam of the back dress piece. Line the bottom of the bias tape up with the pattern marking “start bias tape here.” Pin in place and sew along the 1st fold of the tape.
Fold bias tape around the edge of fabric and sew in place. Repeat this step on the other side of the dress back.
Sew the two sides together as shown below and continue sewing down the back dress piece center seam until you meet up with the original “start sewing here” pattern marking. Finish this seam and press.
Step 4: Adding the pockets and sewing dress together.
Right sides together, line up the top of the pocket with the pocket markings. Sew along the edge of the pocket a scant .25 inches from the edge.
Finish this seam.
Fold pocket open and press.
Line up front and back dress pieces and sew along the sides and around the pockets. Finish this seam and press everything including seam edges around pockets.
Step 5: Adding Bias tape to Armscye.
Apply bias tape around the edges of both arm armscyes.
Step 6: Create Casing.
Finish the edge of the facing by serging or folding the edge over .25 inches. (I tested it both ways in the photo above, just use your preferred method.)
Fold facing over on the seam and press. Trim up any uneven pieces.
Sew along the bottom edge.
Step 7: Make the Fabric tie.
Line the fabric strips up right sides together. Cut the ends of the strip at a slight angle.
Sew the strip together all the way around the edges, leaving a 2-inch gap in the middle.
Flip the fabric strap right side out and press. Sew the opening closed.
Use a safety pin or bodkin to thread the fabric tie through the casing.
If making a knee length dress, hem and you are finished!
Optional Step 8: Adding a bottom ruffle.
Try on the dress, adjust fabric straps and dress to the right place. Measure from bottom seam to the location of the desired hemline. Add one inch for seam allowances and hem.
Cut strips the height of your measurement by 130 inches wide. (For me that was almost 3 full widths of fabric sew together.)
Hem or serge the bottom (1/2 inch hem allowance included in measurement.)
Sew a gathering stitch along the top of the ruffle strip.
Gather fabric, until the ruffle is the same width as the bottom of the dress.
Right sides together, pin raw edge of ruffle to bottom of dress.
Sew along gathering line. Flip fabric right side out and press.
That’s it, you are done! Try on your new dress.