Friday, April 12, 2013

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

Today's pattern is beyond simple. This little dress would be a perfect project for anyone who is learning to sew. There are very few measurements needed and very few seams. The project gives someone who is learning to sew a chance to sew straight seams, roll finish the edges of the neckline and the arm openings and finally do a little gathering. Simple!!
I'm calling this dress,
The Magic Rectangle Dress 
The dress is made up of just 2 rectangles and then 1 more rectangle for the obi type belt. I made this dress out of a piece of vintage rayon fabric, so a woven fabric will work just fine.
To make the dress, you will need your hip measurement and the length that you would like the dress, or if you would like, a top to be.
If your hips are 40", add 2" of ease to that measurement, 42". Divide this number by 4, 10 1/2".
For the length, I cut 2 long rectangles, so there is no shoulder seam. If your desired length is 40" from your shoulder to the hem, then double that number, 80" and cut 2 rectangles 10 1/2 wide, by 80" long. Remember to add seam allowance as well as hem allowance.
Sew the 2 rectangles together leaving an opening for neckline. I marked where my shoulder would be and then measured down from my shoulder the amount that I wanted for my front opening and then for the back neck I measured down from my shoulder 4".
Once the center seams have been sewn, try the dress on and mark the opening for the armhole. Sew up the side seams.
Roll finish the neckline and armhole openings. I do this by turning over the edge 1/4" and sewing an edge stitch. Once this is finished, I turn the seam once again and stitch once again with an edge stitch. Much easier than turning the edge twice, pinning it and then sewing it.    
At this point, the dress will look like the dress above. You could actually stop here if you like. This makes a great night gown for the summer.
For the dress I have done, try it on once again and mark where you would like the gathers to be.
I did 5 rows of gathers that are approximately 1/8" apart.
Once the gathering stitches have been sewn, pull the threads of one end to the back and tie in a secure knot. Pull the opposite side so that all lines of gathering are equal. Gather to the width that you would like. Once again, pull the threads to the back and tie securely. I like to put just a small drop of Fray Check on my knots.
Above, you can see the back neck opening.
The gathering stitches give the appearance of a little cap sleeve, but it's just 2 rectangles and a few lines of gathering stitches. Like I said, very easy!!
The belt is just 1 long rectangle. I made mine long enough to tie around my waist twice and still have enough to tie in a knot and hang.
Now, who would believe that this is just 2 rectangles sewn together?!!

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  1. What a lovely dress and a very cleaver pattern. The gathers make it! I am for sure going to try this. Thanks! ~Teri

  2. Wow such a wonderful idea! Love this dress, I think I'm going to try it, thanks a lot for sharing :)

  3. what a pretty dress for a beginner to make.

  4. Love the dress and think you could cut it off and make it a good looking blouse also.

  5. Oh that is interesting and very clever. Thank you for posting - I'll have to try it :)

  6. Cute! I made a couple very similar dresses last summer, but the gathering at the front shoulder and the addition of the obi belt really change the look!

  7. This is so softly pretty, Rhonda and would be so comfortable in the summer heat. Thanks again.

  8. I love this! I might be one of my favorites! Do you think this would work for a broad shouldered gal?

  9. Your shoulders shouldn't be an issue.

  10. Thank you for sharing. Great dress and looks fun to make.

  11. An adorable dress ... I think this pattern is good because it leaves all the attention to fabric, perfect for summer approaching ... Thanks for the wonderful idea, my dear Rhonda!

  12. Oh,what a nice dress,with a terrific look...one project more!

  13. I really want to try this after I make my currently planned project. I love how the neckline comes out once you gather.

  14. molto bello (y), bravissima! :)

  15. Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern! I will have to try this soon!