Floral Dress with Pleated Bodice – Free sewing patterns

Essentials

Main fabric, 1.7m (2m), 150cm wideLining, 60cm, 150cm wide Zip, concealed, 56cm

Cutting Guide

1. Front Side Panel, cut two pairs; one in fabric and one in lining2. Centre Front Pleated Panel, cut one on fold3. Sleeves (optional), cut one pair4. Back Bodice, cut two pairs, one in fabric and one in lining5. Front Skirt, cut one on fold6. Back Skirt, cut one pair7. Pleat Band, cut one

Dimensions List

Sizes 8-16

Make a sleeveless dress

Download the pattern. Print and piece together. Lay the pattern pieces onto fabric and cut out. Neaten across the top edge of the centre front panel by either zig zag stitching or overlocking. Use the notches on the sides of the panel to form the pleats, pin in place, then stitch across to secure. Press all the pleats towards the base of the panel, then fold and press the neatened top edge to the wrong side.

Stitch the darts into the back bodice and the lining. Match the notches together at the base of the dart on the back bodice pieces, pin together, then stitch the darts as far as the dots. Repeat the process on the lining back bodice pieces. Press the darts towards the centre back of the bodice.

Match the back bodice pieces to the front side panels along the shoulder seams, pin, then stitch together. Press the shoulder seams open and repeat on the lining pieces.

Stitch the back bodice and front side panels to the lining pieces around the back neck, then sandwich the centre front pleated panel between the layers. With the right sides of the back bodice and front side panel lining pieces facing, match the back neck edges, the front parts of the neckline, then match the notches on the side panels to the centre front panel. The centre panel should be sandwiched between the side panels and the linings. Pin in place, then stitch both sides of the centre front panel around to the centre back. Clip around the neckline, turn to the right side and press.

Attach the lining and the bodice around the armholes. With right sides of the bodice and the lining facing, match the shoulder seams together, pin, then stitch. Clip around the curve of the armholes and turn to the right side and press.

Stitch the bodice side seams together. Match and pin the bodice and bodice lining at the side seams, making sure that the ends of the armhole seams are matching, then stitch together in one continual seam. Press the seam open and fold the lining inside.

Stitch the darts on the front and back skirt pieces. Match the notches together at the top of the dart on the front skirt, pin together, then sew the dart as far as the dots. Repeat the process on the back skirt pieces. Press the darts towards the centre front and centre back of the skirt pieces.

Stitch the side seams of the skirt together. Neaten the side seam of the skirt pieces edges by using either zig zag stitch or by overlocking. Match the side seams together, pin, then stitch together. Press the seams open.

Stitch the skirt to the bodice. Match together the bodice and the skirt side seams, pin, then sew around the waistline. Neaten this seam edge with a zig zag stitch or by overlocking. Neaten the centre back seam edges from the top of the bodice to the base of the skirt and around the edge of the pleat; treat the back bodice and the back bodice lining as one piece.

Attach the back pleat to the one in the back skirt. Neaten all the edges of the back pleat and the base of the skirt. Turn and press up 3cm to form the hem on both the skirt and the back pleat. Match and pin the centre back seam, then stitch between the dots in the skirt. Press the seam open and continue pressing the flaps that form the front of the pleat. Lay the back pleat onto these flaps, pin, then stitch down each side and across the top of the pleat. Hand sew the hem on the skirt and back pleat.

Insert the zip. Stitch the concealed zip into the back opening from the marked notch, using a zip foot or a concealed zip foot. Fold and press the seam allowance along the two sides of the back opening. Open out the seam allowance and with the right side of the fabric facing, place the opened zip face down matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance. Pin in place. If you are using a concealed zip foot, place the teeth of the zip into the groove and as you stitch, the foot will uncurl the teeth and the stitching will be placed right alongside the teeth. If you are stitching with a normal zip foot you will need to uncurl the teeth with your fingertips; stitch to the top of the centre back seam. It is impossible to stitch to the end of a concealed zip so leave approximately 5cm of the base unstitched. Back stitch, then sew the other side of the zip in place.

Carefully thread the zip pull through to the right side at the top of the centre back seam and pull up to close. Fold the top of the zip to the wrong side and hand stitch to hold the top of the zip in place.

Make a dress with sleeves

Download the pattern. Print and piece together. Lay the pattern pieces onto fabric and cut out. Neaten across the top edge of the centre front panel by either zig zag stitching or overlocking. Use the notches on the sides of the panel to form the pleats, pin in place, then stitch across to secure. Press all the pleats towards the base of the panel, fold and press the neatened top edge of the panel to the wrong side.

Stitch the darts into the back bodice and the lining. Match the notches together at the base of the dart on the back bodice pieces, pin together, then stitch as far as the dots. Repeat the process on the back bodice lining pieces. Press the darts towards the centre back of the bodice.

Match the back bodice pieces to the front side panels along the shoulder seams, pin, then stitch together. Press the shoulder seams open and repeat on the lining pieces.

Stitch the back bodice and front side panels to the lining pieces around the back neck, then sandwich the centre front pleated panel between the layers. With the right sides of the back bodice and front side panel lining pieces facing, match the back neck edges, the front parts of the neckline, then match the notches on the side panels to the centre front panel. The centre panel should be sandwiched between the side panels and the linings. Pin in place and stitch both sides of the centre front panel around to the centre back. Clip around the neckline, turn to the right side and press.

Stitch the bodice side seams together. Match and pin the bodice and bodice lining at the side seams, then sew together. Press the seams open and fold to the right side. Sew the sleeves. With the sleeve pieces placed right side outermost, align the under arm seams and pin in place. Join to create the sleeve with a straight machine stitch, press open and turn through to the right side. Repeat for the second sleeve.

Insert the sleeves. Work a line of gathering stitches around the head of the sleeve, just inside the 1.5cm seam allowance. Pull the threads lightly to enable the sleeve head to fit into the armhole. Pin in place and affix to the armhole using a straight machine stitch. Neaten around the armholes and the base of the sleeves by either overlocking or using a zig zag stitch. Fold and press 3cm at the sleeve base, then hand sew to secure the hem.

Stitch the darts into the front and back skirt pieces. Match the notches together at the top of the dart on the front skirt, pin together, then stitch the dart as far as the dots. Repeat the process on the back skirt pieces. Press the darts towards the centre front and centre back.

Stitch the side seams of the skirt together. Neaten the side seam of the skirt edges. Match the side seams together, pin, then stitch together. Press the seams open. Stitch the skirt to the bodice. Match together the bodice and the skirt side seams, pin, then sew around the waistline. Neaten the centre back seam edges from the top of the bodice to the base of the skirt and around the edge of the pleat.

Attach the back pleat to the one in the back skirt. Neaten all the edges of the back pleat and the base of the skirt. Turn and press up 3cm to form the hem on both the skirt and the back pleat. Match and pin the centre making back seam, then stitch between the dots in the skirt. Press the seam open and continue pressing the flaps that form the front of the pleat. Lay the back pleat onto these flaps, pin, then stitch down each side and across the top of the pleat. Hand sew the hem on the skirt and back pleat.

Insert the zip. Stitch the concealed zip into the back opening from the marked notch, using a zip foot or a concealed zip foot. Fold and press the seam allowance along the two sides of the back opening. Open out the seam allowance and with the right side of the fabric facing, place the opened zip face down matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance. Pin in place. Stitch as described for the sleeveless dress. Carefully thread the zip pull through to the right side at the top of the centre back seam and pull up to close. Fold the top of the zip to the wrong side and hand stitch to hold the top of the zip in place.