A cute dress that's easy to stitch? Yes, please! This is the perf project if you're newer to garment sewing, and a great addition to your summer wardrobe.
The Flirty Dress
What You Need
This project teaches how to make a dress with set-in sleeve options and an invisible zipper, using McCall 7681 . You’ll need the fabric and zipper specified in your pattern, or you can shop our all-in-one kit!
Shop the Kit
Before you lay out and cut your fabric, wash and press it as you would your finished dress — this will take care of any shrinkage up front.
1. Cut and Mark Your Fabric
Fold your fabric wrong side out; lay out your pattern pieces as shown in the video. (Note that some pattern pieces are designed to be used both right side up and upside down; reference your key for proper layout.)
Use a ruler to make sure all your pieces are on grain, then cut.
For accurate cutting, your fabric should rest flat against your surface — don’t lift it as you cut.
Snip each notch in the pattern and use transfer paper to mark your ease and darts.
2. Add Fusible Interfacing to the Neckline
Lay the interfacing bumpy-side down onto the wrong side of your fabric, then press with an iron to fuse the two together. Let the interfacing cool.
If you also add a long strip of interfacing down the center back of your dress, it will make your zipper insertion much easier.
3. Address the Darts and Zipper
Fold the dart areas in half so the transferred marks align. Pin through the dotted lines to bring the sides together evenly. Sew along the dotted line.
Drape darts over the tip of your ironing board, as seen in the video. Press the dart flat, but stop just short of the tip.
Open the zipper so it looks like a big V. Pin the zipper onto one piece of fabric, right sides together. Use an invisible zipper foot to sew one half of the zipper to the fabric. (Get as close as you can to the bottom pull.) Sew the second half of the zipper onto the other piece of fabric.
Place the back fabric pieces right-sides together. Sew the rest of the seam below the zipper to finish the center back.
4. Bring the Body Together
Line up the shoulders by the notches and sew together. Then line up the neckline facing by the shoulder seams, and add to the garment.
Pin the dress together along the sides. Sew the fabric together from the armhole to the hem.
5. Add the Sleeves
Ease stitch the cap of the sleeve with long basting stitches, leaving your thread tails long. Fold the edges together and sew the sleeve into the round.
To prepare the flounce, staystitch around the smaller rounded edge and baste around the larger bottom edge (leave your basting thread tails long). Fold your flounce fabric with right sides together; sew the flounce into the round.
When sewing the seams, use the notches to determine which sleeve goes on the right and which on the left. The flounces can go on either side.
Pull the basting threads to gently bunch the fabric along the bottom edge of the flounce. Work your way around the flounce twice — pressing as you go the first time and pinning the second — to create a double rolled hem as seen in the video. Stitch in place.
Clip around the staystitching on the flounce. Pin the flounce to the sleeve and attach the two pieces.
Pull the threads of the ease stitching on the cap of your sleeve to gently bunch the fabric, just as you did with the flounce. Align the notches and attach the sleeves to the armholes.
6. Add the Final Details
Pin and hand stitch the bottom hem of the dress.
Finish the facing at the top of the dress, then add a hook and eye closure above your zipper (optional). To make your flounce really pop, add a liner fabric inside!
Adapted from Startup Project: Sew the Flirty Dress .