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  • Writer's pictureCraft Cotton Co

Vienna Jersey Dress

Project by Kimberley

This wrap dress is a flattering, versatile style that can be worn casual or more dressy. I've made mine in jersey for a more summery day time dress. The fabric I've used is gifted from The Craft Cotton Company and is an organic jersey spandex that was designed by Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons. This jersey collection features lots of pastel rainbow colours and bold geometric prints which will just brighten up your wardrobe! 

The Vienna dress pattern is by Fibre Mood and suggests using fabric with a good drape and not too stiff.  I opted for the PDF version because I am impatient! The instructions are all on the website and can be accessed once you set up an account. 

I've used an overlocker (Janome AirThread 2000D) to finish edges and roll the hems of my dress but this can all be achieved on a sewing machine too.

Some tips for working with jersey -

  • if you find that the fabric is curling too much, spray it with some spray starch to make it firmer so you can cut the patterns easier.

  • the fabric will curl inwards along the cut edge and outwards along the selvage edge, this is a good way to determine the direction of the grainline. It will also probably be stretchier one way than the other, this is the grainline.

  • use a jersey needle or ballpoint needle to help your machine to sew through the jersey with ease. There's nothing worse that your machine struggling to stitch your fabric.

  • use a walking foot to help the fabric move under the foot (this feeds the fabric through from the top as well as the bottom so it won't slip as easily)

  • don't stretch the fabric as you're sewing seams, this will give them a warped shape. Let your machine feed it through.

How I made my dress - 

1. Cut out all pattern pieces carefully. Mark the notches on your pattern pieces. 

2. Overlock the shoulder and side seams of the front and back top pieces. Do the same with the side seams of the skirt back and the side seams of the two front pieces.

3. Sew the shoulder seams right sides together and press open. If you are using striped or and other bold print, try to match the pattern if possible.

4. I used a rolled hem on the overlocker to finish the neckline. 

Settings used on my overlocker: 

- switch to "R" 

-switch to "tight"

-bigger dial on the side set to "R"

-smaller dial is on 1.25

(practice on a scrap piece of fabric to see how it will look and adjust accordingly)

Alternatively, create bias binding from the fabric for the neckline and arm holes. (instructions for this on Fibre Mood website)

5. Finish the arm holes in the same way.

6. Sew the side seams right sides together and press open.

7. Sew the sides seams of the skirt right sides together.

8. Use the rolled hem seam to finish the diagonal edges of the front skirt and the hem.

9. Wrap the front of the dress by overlapping one of the front pieces on top of the other and stitch in place. (decide which way you want your wrap over to go first)

10. Do the same with the top part of the dress. Wrap one front piece over the other and stitch in place. 

11. Turn your skirt wrong side out and slip the top inside the skirt, lining up the raw edges. Match up the side seams and notches, pin and sew in place. (pattern match in possible)

12. Measure a piece of elastic against your waist to decide how tight you'd like the waistband to be. 

13. Sew the 2 raw edges of the elastic together using a zig zag stitch on your machine. This will create a band.

14. Mark 4 points on your elastic, front, back, and the 2 sides evenly.

15. Place the elastic around the seam of the dress you have just created, pinning the 4 points to the dress. Match the side seams with the side points on the elastic and same with the front and back. 

16. Sew the elastic to the waistband, stretching between each point as you sew. 

17. Turn the dress right side out and you are finished!

Optional - add a small stitch or popper to the V neck if it is a bit low 

To see more from Kim, visit her on Instagram @whatkimberleymakes or visit her blog What Kimberley Makes.

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