Spring is here and that means my jeans are going into hibernation. Weather that allows me to not wear pants is the best. Though I have quite a few dresses, I have a couple that I tend to gravitate toward every time I reach into my closet. My faves tend to be:
1. Colorful! If I only get one piece of clothing, I’m not about to make it boring.
2. Comfortable. None of this tight everywhere or super short business. I just don’t end up wearing those ones very much.
3. Flattering. If you feel good in it, you’ll always want to wear it!
If you’re looking for your newest go to dress, you’ve come to the right place. My high neck fit and flare dress pattern is based off of a dress I purchased last summer (similar) and brought on all of my trips because of it’s versatility. The tighter bodice and flared skirt make this dress super flattering on all body types, nipping you in at the waist. The high neck and above the knee length balance out the tightness and allow you to wear it to work during the day with a light jacket, and then out to a dinner date at night!
With buds in bloom all around me, I was inspired to pick this beautiful fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, covered in purple flowers. Did I mention it’s also incredibly soft? Comfort – check!
The pattern is shown below and only requires you to use three different pattern pieces. I also threw some lace on there, because who doesn’t want a little fun to carry around on their shoulders? I promise you’ll be wanting to bring it on every adventure you take this coming year! You may just need to make a couple versions for good measure…
DIY Fit and Flare Sun Dress Tutorial
2 yards Stretch Cotton Fabric
Thread to Match
Paper (used to make the 3 pattern pieces)
1 yard Lace Trim (optional)
1. Use some paper, a pencil, and some tape to make the three pattern pieces shown below. Make sure you also make 2 “Side” pattern pieces. Fold your 2 yards of fabric in half and pin your “Center”, 2 “Side”, and “Neck” patterns on to it as shown. Use your scissors to cut along the pattern edges, and then unpin the patterns from the fabric.
Amendment: After it was brought to my attention by a helpful reader, the cutting and pinning could be a bit confusing. The fabric that I purchased stretched in both directions, so pinning the pattern pieces the way I have shown allows for the body to stretch horizontally and vertically. Most fabrics stretch only from selvage edge to selvage edge, and this will not work because you will not have any stretch along the width of your body. If your fabric stretches only in one direction, turn the pattern in the other direction so that the width of the dress will stretch. This may actually allow you to buy less fabric if you would like the dress to be shorter (you only need to buy fabric in twice the length of the dress).
2. You now should have eight pieces of fabric cut out for your dress. To patch the dress together, start with one “Center” and two opposite “Side” pieces (two that were cut together because of the folded fabric will be opposite) and pin the long edges to one another with the nice side of the fabric touching. Repeat with the other “Center” and two “Side” pieces. Grab your sewing machine and matching thread and sew a straight stitch along these lines (4 long seams total) at about a 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric. You now have a front and a back to the dress!
3. Take the front and back of the dress and pin them to each other with the nice side of the fabric facing inwards. Sew the front and back to one another at about a 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric (2 long seams).
4. Turn your dress right side out. Pin the “Neck” pieces with the nice sides of the fabric touching one another along the front and back of the neck of the dress. Sew the “Neck” pieces at about a 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric, overlapping the two “Neck” pieces when you sew so that they get stitched together. Flip the neck pieces inward.
5. Carefully fold the edges of the fabric under about 1/4″ all the way around the arm holes and at the bottom hem of the dress, and sew along these edges to finish off the dress.
6. To add lace to the sleeves, cut the 1 yard of lace trim in half. Pin the lace to the underside of the fabric on each arm hole, starting and finishing at the arm pit, so that just a little lace sticks out beyond your fabric. Sew along the edge of the lace to attach it to the dress using the same thread as before. Trim the excess lace off.