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Give your Nettie dress a retro flair with a few design changes
Convert the Closet Case Files Nettie dress to a retro sheath dress. Design changes include boat neck, skirt vent, asymmetrical side seam pleats. Sample is sewn polyester ponte.

You can purchase the Nettie pattern here, http://store.closetcasefiles.com/products/nettie-pattern

Posted by Heather B from Media, Pennsylvania, United States • Published See Heather B's 7 projects »
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  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Retro Nettie Dress - Step 1
    Step 1

    For the front trace the skirt portion of Nettie and mirror it so that you have the whole front. Add seam allowance to the waist since it will now have a seam. If you want to lengthen the skirt do it at this time. I've added 5" of length here. When all your changes are done, cut out the pattern piece.

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

    Chose which side of the skirt will have the pleats. Measure down 2.5 inches from the waist and mark the location of the first pleat.

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

    Mark 3 more pleat locations 2" apart from each other.

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

    Using the pleat location marks, draw 4 lines across the whole pattern. Keep the lines parallel to each other, but they do not need to be completely horizontal across the pattern.

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

    Cut the lines from one side seam almost all the way to the other. Leave a small paper hinge.

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

    Place paper behind the cuts and open up the slashes to the width you want your pleat. On this dress I've spread them apart 1". Tape down the pleats at your chosen depth.

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

    Cut off all the excess paper to complete the front skirt pattern.

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

    For the back trace the pattern on the half. Add seam allowance to the CB and draw in a vent intake. I made mine 5" high and 1.5" wide.

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

    I used the same technique for converting the neckline to a boat neck as outline in the boat neck tutorial. The shoulder seam doesn't need to be narrowed on Nettie. Place the french curve on the edge of the existing shoulder seam and redraw the neckline higher. Here's a quick look at my back bodice.

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

    On the front add two pleats in the same manner as you did on the skirt. The lower pleat is 2.5" from the waist and the second is 2" away from the first pleat.

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

    When sewing the dress, fold the pleats up towards the waist. Secure them with some basting before sewing the side seam. Once the side seam has been sewn the basting can be removed.

  • How to sew a hand sewn dress. Retro Nettie Dress - Step 12
    Step 12

    The neckline is finished in the same manner as in the boat neck tutorial.

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

    The back vent is top-stitched just like you would on a woven garment.

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