June 23, 2015

Strappy Sundress Tutorial

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Strappy Sundress Tutorial

I'm sewing 4th of July outfits for each of my girls, and I came up with this strappy sundress for my middle daughter. I used the free Party Dress pattern, but you could adapt really any basic bodice for this dress.

From the front it looks like any other dress, but then it has that fun little detail in the back. I also pieced together red and white strips of fabric to make this striped skirt. 

This version screams the 4th of July, but you could use other fabric combinations to make a cute summer sundress.

She has to test all her dresses to make sure they twirl. That, in her opinion, is what makes a dress worth wearing.

Here's how I made it.

First, you're going to need to adapt the back. I just drew a straight line from the bottom of the arm curve to the center back. This will be your back piece.

Here are my two pattern pieces for the bodice, the front and the back. Cut two of the back main fabric, two back lining pieces, one of the front on the fold of the main fabric and one on the fold of the lining.

For your straps, cut strips of fabric two inches by about seven inches (I wanted to make sure I had enough room-you might need to do even longer for an older child). Fold in half, wrong sides together and press. Open up and fold the raw edges in to the pressed line, then fold back in half, like you're making double fold bias tape. Stitch along both long ends to form the straps.

Sew the back pieces to the front at side seams. Repeat for lining pieces.

Pin the straps to the front bodice at shoulders. You want to make sure that the outside straps are lined up with the seam allowance. For example, since I had 1/2 inch seam allowances, the white and red straps were 1/2 inch from the edge of the shoulder seam. Baste the straps in place.

Taking care not to twist the straps, pin them where you want them on the back bodice. Make sure to leave room for seam allowances and overlap for buttons.

This is tricky and hard to photograph. Match up the lining to the main fabric and stitch all the way around, except for the straight bottom edge. Make sure not to catch your straps in the seam allowance anywhere. Clip corners and curves.

Turn right side out and press. You now have a bodice that is ready for the skirt to be attached. I just used the skirt measurements from the pattern, except I pieced together red and white strips to make the striped skirt.

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Laura J. said...

Oh, I love this dress so much! Wonder if I can make time to squeeze one in.....

Majella Vandeputte said...

What a beautiful dress!!! I love it!

Rachel R said...

You are one of my FAVORITE bloggers. I love your site and I'm always so inspired! This is no exception. I wish I had a daughter, this is so very cute!

Terra Sews said...

Thank you for the super nice comments!

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