Fabric for bodice and belt, 103cmFabric for skirt, 114cmLining fabric, 103cmHeavyweight interfacing, 5.1cm x 38.1cm
To fitBust: 36”Waist: 27”Hip: 36”Neck to waist: 17”Shoulder to shoulder: 15”Cutting guideBodice Front: cut one on fold from fabric and liningBodice Back: cut two (one reversed) from fabric and liningSkirt: cut two 54.6cm x 61cm rectangles from fabricBelt, cut four 6.35cm x 114cm strips from fabricNote: a 1.3cm seam allowance is included except on the neck (6mm seam allowance also included)
Stitch a belted dress
1 Draft the patterns for the bodice front and bodice back using the dimensions on the diagrams (above). Cut out as per the cutting guide. Sew the bodice front pieces together, main fabric to lining, with right sides facing around the neck and armholes. Clip around the neck and press.
2 Sew the back pieces together down the centre. Do this for the main fabric, followed by the lining. Then stitch the bodice back pieces together, main fabric to lining, with right sides facing around the neck and armholes. Clip around the neck and press.
3 Introduce the complete bodice back piece (right side out) into the complete bodice front (right side in). Make sure that the main fabric parts touch and the lining pieces touch as well. Sew the shoulders closed. Pull the bodice back piece out and press.
4 Sew the side seams closed by aligning each seam perfectly at the armhole point and pinning outwards. Attach the skirt pieces at the side seams. Sew the bodice to the skirt with right sides facing. Finish the seam with an overlocker or a zigzag stitch. Alternatively use a French seam.
5 To hem the skirt, fold up 6mm, press, then fold under another 2.5cm and edgestitch by sewing a few millimetres away from the folded edge.
6 To construct the belt, sew the four strips in pairs on the short side. Stitch the two pieces right sides together around all four sides. Using a seam ripper, carefully unpick the centre seam on one side and turn the belt out. Clip the corners and press.
7 Thread heavy weight interfacing through the gap, adhesive side facing the opening, and centre. Sew the gap closed with invisible hand stitches and press to fuse the interfacing to the belt.