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$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
4h00

The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style
A peplum adds flare and detail to a simple silhouette, creating the illusion of a smaller waist, whilst hiding the hips and tummy. What’s not to love? With a body-hugging bodice and slimline skirt, this dress looks striking made up in an African-inspired waxed cotton.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Intermediate

FABRIC SUGGESTIONS

We’ve used a waxed cotton, but this design works equally well in a medium- weight cotton, gabardine, satin-backed crepe or lightweight wool.

DESIGN NOTES

The bodice is fitted, with bust and waist darts, and finished with an invisible zip in the centre back, extending into the shaped peplum. The pencil skirt is knee skimming with a back slit for ease when walking. The short sleeves mirror the shaping on the overlapping peplum.
Use a 1.5-cm (5⁄8-in.) seam allowance.

LAYOUT PLAN
Trace off the pattern pieces – bodice front, bodice back, skirt front, skirt back, sleeve front, sleeve back, peplum front, peplum back, bodice front facing and bodice back facing. After preparing your fabric, fold it in half widthways, right sides together, and lay out the pattern pieces as shown. Measure to the selvedge to make sure that the grain is straight. Cut out and transfer any markings to the fabric. Note that the peplum pieces are cut twice – the second pieces are for the lining. Alternatively, the second pieces could be cut from a lining fabric.

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© 2019 Wendy Gardiner / Quadrille · Reproduced with permission. · The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner (Quadrille £25) © 2016 Love Productions. Photography © 2016 Jenni Hare.
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  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 1
    Step 1

    MAKE THE BODICE

    
Staystitch the bodice front and back neck edges 13 mm (1⁄2 in.) from the edge, stitching with a regular 2.5 stitch length just inside the seam allowance and stitching from the shoulder to the centre of the bodice each time.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 2
    Step 2

    MAKE THE SKIRT
    
Fold, tack and stitch the waist darts in the skirt front and back sections, as in step 3. With right sides together, sew the skirt backs to the front at the side seams. (The skirt back is not stitched together until after the zip has been inserted.)

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 3
    Step 3

    MAKE THE PEPLUM
    With right sides together, stitch a peplum back to a peplum front piece at the sides along the notched short edge. Press the seam open. Repeat for the peplum lining. With right sides together, matching the seams, pin the main fabric peplum to the peplum lining along the un-notched edge. Stitch along the centre back edge and along the lower edge of the peplum up to the front. Trim the seam allowance and clip off the corners. Clip around the curve.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 4
    Step 4

    Fold the bust darts on the bodice front by folding the fabric right sides together, matching the dart markings. Tack and stitch from the side seam, tapering to the fold of the fabric at the tip and taking the last two or three stitches right on the fold. Do not backstitch; instead, leave thread tails and
tie off the ends. Press the bust darts over a ham. Press the darts downwards.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 5
    Step 5

    Fold the waist darts on the back and front bodices by folding the fabric right sides together, matching the dart markings. Tack and stitch from the widest part (at the waist seam) towards the tip, tapering to stitch the last two or three stitches right on the fold. Press the darts towards the centre of the bodice.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 6
    Step 6

    With right sides together, pin and stitch the bodice front to the bodice back pieces at the shoulder seams. Pin and stitch the bodice side seams. Press the seams open and neaten the raw edges. Set the bodice to one side

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 7
    Step 7

    Press the seam towards the lining and understitch through the lining and seam allowances close to the previous seam, as far as possible.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 8
    Step 8

    Turn the peplum right side out and press. Tack the raw edges of the top of the top of the peplum together. Repeat with the remaining peplum pieces.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 9
    Step 9

    Turn the skirt right side out. Pin the left peplum to the skirt
at the front waistline,
matching the markings
on the waistline, and
then pin around to the
back centre seam. Tack
in place. Repeat for the right peplum piece, matching the markings on the waistline and overlapping the left peplum at the centre front.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 10
    Step 10

    ATTACH THE BODICE TO THE SKIRT
    With the right sides together, matching the centre front, waist darts and side seams, slip the bodice over the peplum and skirt and pin all layers together around the waist edges. Stitch in place, trim the seam allowance and press the seam towards the bodice.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 11
    Step 11

    ATTACH THE FACING
    Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the facing pieces. Once cool, stitch the back facing pieces to the front facing at the short ends and press the seams open. Then neaten the outer edge of the facing by overlocking, overedge stitching or turning a narrow hem.

  • Step 12

    With the right sides together, matching the shoulder seams and the centre front and back edges, pin the facing to the neck edge of the bodice. Stitch in place. Trim seam allowance, clipping at the curves.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 13
    Step 13

    Press the seam allowance towards the facing, then understitch 
through the facing,
close to the seam,
catching the seam allowances underneath. Turn the facing to the inside and press. Hand stitch the facing in place at shoulder seams.

  • Step 14

    Insert the invisible zip in the centre back seam, with the top of the zip teeth close to the top of the neckline (open out the facing and pin the peplum back out of the way). Stitch the seam as far as the large dot marking the skirt vent.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 15
    Step 15

    Reinforce the inner corner of the vent and stitch the
upper end of the vent
extension by starting
 2.5 cm (1 in.) above the
large dot on the seam
line, stitching to the
dot, and then pivoting and stitching across the upper end of the extensions. Clip diagonally back to the dot at the inner corner. Press the seam open above the clip. Neaten the raw edges by turning a double narrow hem and topstitching.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 16
    Step 16

    Press the vent extension towards the left back and tack it in place. On the right side of the garment, stitch the left back along the tacking, as shown.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 17
    Step 17

    At the top of the zip, tuck the upper ends of the zipper tape inside and fold the facing back down. Slipstitch the facing to the zip tape.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 18
    Step 18

    INSERT THE SLEEVES

    With right sides together, matching the notches, stitch the sleeve front to the sleeve back at the underarms (the straight edges). Press the seam open. Turn under and press a 1-cm (3⁄8-in.) hem on the lower edge of the joined pieces, tucking the raw edge under to meet the crease. Topstitch the hem in place.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 19
    Step 19

    Working from the right side, lap the front sleeve over the back, matching the small dots. Tack the raw edges together. Ease stitch (stitch with a slightly longer 3.5-4 stitch length on the seam line and 6mm/ ¼ in from the raw edge) between the notches.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 20
    Step 20

    With the sleeve right out, hold the bodice wrong side out with the armhole towards you. With right sides together, pin the sleeve to the armhole edge, matching the centre dot on the sleeve to the shoulder seam and the underarm seam to the bodice side seam. Pull up the bobbin thread of the ease stitches to fit the sleeve head, distributing the fullness evenly until there are no puckers on the seamline. Tack and machine stitch. Stitch again 3 mm (1⁄8 in.) from first row but within the seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance and press the seam allowance only with steam to shrink out any fullness. Repeat steps 18–20 for the second sleeve.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 21
    Step 21

    HEM THE DRESS

    Let the garment hang for 24 hours. Mark the length and open out the left back extension. Press up the hem allowance along the marking and trim the hem allowance depth evenly if necessary. Neaten the raw edge of the hem allowance with an overedge stitch or overlocker. Finish the hem by hand, slipstitching it or blind hemming by machine. Press the left back vent to the inside and slipstitch it to the hem.

    TIP
    If using a fabric with a one-way print, make sure that all pattern pieces are laid out the same way on the fabric, top to bottom.
    *Transferring markings
    The pattern pieces have lots of useful information and markings to help with construction. Some of these need to be transferred to the fabric to match pieces and to correctly place pockets, darts, pleats and zips. Marking pens and chalks are the perfect tools. Test out pens on a scrap of fabric to ensure the mark can be removed and that it doesn’t ‘bleed’ into the fabric.
    NOTCHES – these should have been cut outwards around the pattern pieces However, if you have missed one, mark the placement of notches by snipping into the seam allowance a little.
    DARTS – you will need to transfer the circle marks for the dart onto the fabric. A super quick method is using a pin and marking pen or chalk pencil.
    1. Make a tiny hole in the paper at the circle placements, then use a chalk pencil or marking pen to dab a dot through the hole on the top layer of fabric (remember you are working on the wrong side of the fabric). Repeat for all the circles of the dart.
    2. Insert a pin in the holes through both fabric layers, lift the fabric to reveal the bottom layer and mark fabric at the pins.

    **STAYSTITCHING – a row of straight stitching, made just inside the seam allowance on areas that you don’t want to stretch out of shape while you are working on them.
To staystitch, sew with a
regular stitch length just within the seam allowance. You will need to staystitch areas that are cut on the bias, such as necklines and curved princess seams. On necklines, stitch from the shoulder towards the centre from both shoulders to prevent stretching.

  • Step 22

    *** CORE SKILL Darts
    Garments are shaped with darts to fit over body contours at bust, hips, through the midriff and at the shoulders. The majority of darts are V-shaped, with the widest part at the outer edge, tapering to a point in the garment. Double darts, which are widest in the middle tapering to a point at either end, are used for waist darts, to provide a closer fit on dresses, fitted jackets and shirts.

    SINGLE DARTS
    1 Having marked the
dart position and length,
fold the fabric right sides
together, so the marks
sit one on top of the
other (check by pinning
through the layers).
Either pin along the
stitching line or mark
the line with a chalk pencil and then pin at right angles to the dart.
    2 Starting at the garment edge, sew towards the point, taking the last two or three stitches
in the fold of fabric at the very point. Do not back stitch; either fix/lock stitch, or leave long thread tails and knot the ends together.
    3 Press waist darts towards
the centre of the garment
and press bust darts
downwards. Bust darts are
added to give shape to the
bodice, so they need to be
pressed carefully to keep
the shaping. To do so, press the dart over a tailor’s ham (or a rolled towel, or use the end of the ironing board), holding the side seam up as you press into
 the tip.
    4 On heavyweight fabrics that would cause a ridge if pressed to one side, cut open the fold of fabric to within 1 cm (3⁄8 in.) of the tip and press open.

    DOUBLE-ENDED DARTS
    A double-ended dart can be used to shape the back of the garment from shoulder to hip, or the front from below bust to hip.
    1 Fold out the dart, with right sides together, and pin or tack. Start stitching at the centre, stitching to one point, then fix/ lock stitch or leave thread tails to knot.
    2 Flip the fabric over to stitch the other side, starting at the centre again and slightly overlapping the stitching at the centre by 1 cm (3⁄8 in.). Stitch to the other point, stitching the last two or three stitches on the fold.
    3 To help the dart curve into the body and the folded fabric to lie flat, cut a wedge out of the widest part of the dart fold. On fabrics that fray easily, add a tiny dab of fray check. Press the dart towards the centre front or back of the garment.

    *+ OVERLOCKING
 The overlocking stitch
is formed of either
three or four threads
and neatly encases
the raw edges. A
four-thread overlocker
will sew a straight stitch to the left, with
a second straight stitch to the right, anchoring the two looper stitches that form over the edge of the fabrics interlocking together. As you feed the fabric through the machine, a cutter trims the excess seam allowance before the stitching covers it.

    OVERCAST/OVEREDGE STITCH
 If you don’t have an overlocker, you can use the overedge or overcast stitch, which has a straight stitch to the left with a zigzag going over the edge to the right. It is sewn on the edge of the fabric to neaten the seam allowances. Most machines come with an overcast foot.

  • Step 23

    *@ INVISIBLE (CONCEALED) ZIP
    An invisible or concealed zip is sewn in place without any stitching being visible on the right side of the garment. It differs from a regular zip, as the teeth are on the underside of the zip tape with just the little zip pull on the right side. Use a special invisible zip foot.

  • Step 24

    Neaten the edges of the seam allowances and press. Then fold the seam allowances to the wrong side along the seam lines and press to form a crease. (An invisible zip is inserted before the seam is stitched.)

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 25
    Step 25

    Open out the seam
allowances. With the
fabric right side up,
place the opened zip
face down on the seam
allowance, with the teeth
along the crease. Pin
and tack in place, to the
seam allowance only, positioning the zip so that the teeth start at least 1.5 cm (5⁄8 in.) below the top edge of the fabric.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 26
    Step 26

    Attach the invisible
zip foot, with the
needle in the centre
position so it will go
through the small
hole in the foot.
Place the fabric
under the foot so that the zip teeth slip
into one of the grooves on the underside
of the foot and the needle will stitch into the zip tape next to the teeth. As you stitch, gently uncurl the zip teeth so that the stitching is under the teeth. Stitch as close to the bottom as possible. Reverse stitch to secure.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 27
    Step 27

    close the zip and check you have stitched close enough to the teeth (you should not be able to see any of the zip tape on the stitched side). If not, simply stitch again, moving the needle a tad closer to the teeth. Then bring the
garment sections right sides together and pin the zip tape to the seam allowance as before, with the zip teeth along the crease made earlier, then open the zip and unpin the garment sections, just keeping the zip pinned to the seam allowance.

  • Step 28

    With the second
garment piece right
side up, tack the zip to
the seam allowance.
 Again stitch from top
to bottom, with the
teeth running through
the other groove in the invisible zip foot and the needle very close to the teeth.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 29
    Step 29

    Change back to your
regular zip foot. Pin
the rest of the seam
together and then start
stitching 1–2 mm (about
1⁄16 in.) to the left of and
6 mm (1⁄4 in.) above the
base of the zip stitching. Sew to the end of the seam, reverse stitching a little at start to strengthen the stitching at the base of the zip.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Peplum Dress - Step 30
    Step 30

    Finish by stitching the ends of the zip tape to the seam allowances only on either side of the zip to keep them from flapping about. Remove any tacking stitches. Press.

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Comments

Margaret M.
Margaret M.
Great creation, I loved it!
Reply
kristyangel
kristyangel · 1 project
Very cool
Reply