I’ve sewn this dress first of all for the Double Challenge “Refashion the Sixties” we decided to do on “Stitch once, Rip Twice” FB sewing groupI’ve collected some inspiration from my Sixties Pinterest board 

 
Then, a friend of mine decided to get married and the Dress code for her truly informal wedding was: Violet

Last (but not least) Kollabora and the Fashion Manifesto announced a lovely challenge: Refashion Manifesto Challenge... how could I say no? 

(You can vote for me here, if you like my project, 
by clicking on the little red heart you see on the right sidebar)
 

 


As usual, I try to adapt my sewing projects to my necessities (and not vice versa), so it rarely happen that I sew something that I don’t truly need
One other goal I achieved with this dress is to release my very first pattern and tutorial for a woman dress: it’s my first time working in a big PDF pattern, so I hope you’ll understand if something isn’t perfect: I’m planning to release some more FREE pattern soon, so any kind of feedback (again, please be patient!) will be more then appreciated!
UPDATE: check my daughter’s Eriqua dress FREE pattern here!


Now, into the tutorial!

Let’s start from the materials, as usual!
Being a refashion, I used clothes instead of fabrics:
– a pair of wide leg polyester pants, with a nice drape
– an XXL T-shirt
– invisible zipper (30 cm is more than enough, is going to be placed on side seam)
– some fusible interfacing (used to stabilize the violet jersey)
– thread, scissors, sewing machine/serger (optional)
the pattern 
here‘s a thumbnail of the pattern, to figure out how to assemble it

First of all: fuse interfacings, if you’re using a T-shirt (no pic available, sorry!)

My Mod Dress is designed for a chest girth of 90 cm (35″) and a B cup size.
Consider that it has enough ease to be worn above a lightweight shirt but the armscyes aren’t too big, so you can wear it without (almost) nothing underneath and it won’t show your bra 😉
Plans are to grade this pattern (to be put for sale) by the end of the year 2015 so… stay tuned 😉


Now let’s sew french darts on front sides. It’s a strange kind of dart, this one: you have to finish it as it was a normal seam, by cutting out exceeding fabric and pressing it opened (use your ham, it’s way more simple), in order to have a smooth result (not so “pointy”!)
Sew also the more ordinary back shoulder darts and press them toward sides

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY


Sew the central violet strip on both front and back, then press outwards s.a.; topstitch these seams.

 
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Sew top front to the assembled central front and top back to the assembled central back; insert the invisible zipper onto right side seam. I have a tutorial coming about how I like to sew on an invisible zipper: waiting for it, use the method you like best! Remember then to close the right side seam below the zipper.

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY


Sew together lower front strip to lower back strip along right side, then press the seam opened.

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Sew lower strips to the rest of the dress (I’ve made it like this to perfectly match violet strips on side seams…)

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Now, the lining: sew darts and finish them like you’ve done on the main fabric (use your ham to press perfectly your newly created darts)

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Pin together necklines and armholes of dress and lining, leaving the zipper unzipped; go on stitching until the fabric and the lining ends on the zipper, this will help you turning the lining around the zipper (we’re going to finish this zone all by machine, no hand stitch is required here today!)

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serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY
serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY
Sew around necklines and armholes, then clip curves: this will help the fabric to lay flat when turned inside out; turn and press very well, trying not to leave the lining to show out too much.
 
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Pin the lining above the zipper, matching waistline notches and then darts, then sew, turn and press well!
Remember to close the right side seam below the zipper.

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY
serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY
serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY
Match shoulders seams front/back on the dress, paying attention to the start/end points: they have to match perfectly (this is one of the places you can make the difference between handmade and homemade IMHO). Sew together, press seams opened (use your Sausage Roll and you’ll be really pleased!).
 
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Match lining shoulders, slip stitch by hand and give a good press.

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY


If you paid attention to the pattern instruction, you left 4 cm of seam allowances on the violet lower strips; I’m sure you noticed I didn’t, so I had to join a strip of fabric (roughly 5 cm height) and understitching it because I don’t want it to show on the righ side (why I used the black and not the violet? I had no more violet, simply!!)

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY


Sew left side seam all at the same time, starting from dress hem, finishing with lining hem (matching waistline notches along the way)

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY


Last: hem dress and lining, separately.

serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY
serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY


Here you are, the Dress is completed! Do you like it? 
If you sew one for you, please share some pic on my flickr board!

 

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serger-pepper-FREE-pattern-tutorial-Mod-Dress-DIY

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