Supplies + Instructions:
This feminine dress showcases pretty gathered sleeves with an open back tied together with an oversized bow. This dress is perfect for church or something special like a wedding or it can even be a bridesmaid dress.
*You’ll need a longer dress- preferably one that has a zipper down the center back. If it doesn’t you can add one later.
*Also need a fitted top or dress that has darts
*matching thread, scissors, pins, marking device or pins for this, sewing machine
1.Cut the sleeves off, and any unwanted trim (which you may need to seam rip and resew), and cut off the bottom half too as well as the zipper, leaving a little extra to keep the gathering or pleats in place. Also seam rip out the zipper from the center of the top if there is on or cut up the center to make a place for the open back.
2.Turn the top inside out and lay the fitted top down over it. mark where the new sleeve opening and shoulder seams with be trying to keep the collar intact. Also mark where it needs to be taken in at the sides – leave a little bit of room on the sides, if you are taking in and moving the darts. If the darts are where they need to be the take it in as much as you need. If you need to move the darts, then seam rip them and mimic the top or dress you already own to mimc where it needs to be sewn on the dress.
3.Sew and trim off the extra. Serge or zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.
4.Try on the sleeves and mark how much it needs to be taken in and sew along the marking.
5.Slide the right side out sleeve to the inside out top and pin together. Sew.
6.Cut off some of the length or get extra material elsewhere and cut out 20+ inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide of fabric. I liked cutting it from the bottom because it would already be hemmed.
7.Fold it in half and sew up one side and run a basting stitch along the top.
8.Pull the basting stitch to make it gather to the width of your sleeve opening.
9.Pin right sides together matching up the seams if you can. Sew and serge.
10.Line up the top with the bottom and check out how much need to be taken in with the skirt. There are 2 options to take this in. ONE – you can just take it in from the sides or two – you can seam rip the pleats and make them wider and sew them into place.
11.Pin and sew the top and the bottom together making sure to perfectly line up the zipper to the open back, concealing the zipper top and also preventing the zipper pull from coming out.
12.Now make or cut off ties from extra material or use some ribbon or grosgrain and pin it to the top seam ripped or cut open neckline or upper back. Sew it into place as well as hem the opening edges by folding it under.
13.Hem the bottom of the skirt by rolling under 1/4” then 3/4” to 1” and sewing on the upper folded edge.