Boxy Shift Dress Tutorial

Created By:

Merrick White

Skill Level: Intermediate
"One of my biggest challenges when creating my own clothes is finding fabrics that I love and match my mental vision. I don't know why it hadn't dawned on me to create my own textiles, but when I received my Sprout by HP and started playing around with its capabilities, the idea just came and wouldn't go away. 
My inspiration was the tropical getaway my husband and I are taking at the end of this month, as well as my current favorite color combination -- blue and violet. With the two combined (and the help of some google images of flowers), I drew out this floral pattern using my Sprout. I printed the fabric on, choosing their modern jersey fabric option, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the result!" 
Janome Supplies Required
  • 2 yards fabric (This dress is made with lightweight knit, but any fabric works as long as it has a good drape)
  • Matching thread


Fabric and Notions Required
This dress is made with lightweight knit, but any fabric works as long as it has a good drape.

Step 1. Using similar pieces of clothing as a pattern, cut two boxy DRESS pieces, two 3/4 SLEEVES, two CUFFS (measure loosely around your arm an use this for your width measurement, and make it 3 inches wide), and one strip for the NECKLINE LINING (make the width about 4" shorter than your neckline opening and 1" long). 

Step 2. With right sides together, sew the DRESS up at the shoulders. 

Step 3.  With right sides together, pin the top of the SLEEVE and the top of the shoulder together, as shown. Continue down the rest of the arm hole, pinning the sleeve in place. 

Step 4. Sew the sleeve to the arm hole with a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other sleeve. 
Step 5. With right sides together, sew from the elbow to the knee with a 1/2" seam allowance. Make sure your seams match up at the armpit!
Step 6. Fold the neckline in half with right sides together, and sew the ends together to make a circle. Make sure this circle is slightly smaller than your dress neckline so it has to be stretched to fit around -- trim if necessary before sewing the ends together.
Then, with right sides together, pin the NECKLINE circle the neckline of the dress, making sure the NECKLINE seam is at the back of the dress, and then stretching evenly so it fits around the neckline. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance around the entire neckline, stretching slightly as you sew so the pieces lay flat. Trim the seam allowance and then tuck the lining inside the dress and press flat. 
Step 7. Now let's move to the CUFF. Fold it in half (right sides together) so the short ends are lined up and then sew across the short side with a straight stitch. Once the CUFF has been sewn into a loop, fold it in half, as shown. Repeat for the second CUFF.

Step 8. Now it's time to attach the cuff to the sleeve. Stretch the cuff wide, as shown. Now slide the stretched CUFF over the end of the sleeve, with the folded side facing up, and the raw edge facing down. Pin in place. 
Step 9. Sew around the end of the sleeve with a straight stitch, stretching in between pins so the fabrics all lay flat together. Repeat for the second sleeve.

Now lay the cuff down flat and it should bounce back to be smaller, making your sleeve gather and become perfectly puffed.
Step 10. Using a wide stitch, top stitch around the neckline to tack the lining in place. Then hem the dress to your desired length.

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