How to Sew a Dress from a Pattern - a tutorial by The Sewing Korner

In this article, we’re going to outline some of the best tips on how to sew a dress from a pattern. After finishing this article, you’ll be ready to start sewing!

Things to consider when sewing from a pattern:
  • Choose your pattern
  • Decide on the right fabric
  • Read the pattern carefully
  • Prepare your fabric and pattern
  • Consider making a practice garment

Learning how to sew can be tricky at first, but it helps if you can get some good advice from a professional or someone who has had a lot of experience sewing. This way you’ll be able to avoid making any mistakes.

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    Best Tips on How to Sew a Dress from a Pattern

    Sewing a dress might seem complicated, however, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you divide the whole project into smaller, more manageable parts, it won’t really seem like that big of a project at all!

    Besides, sewing a dress is one of the best ways to improve your sewing skills. If you follow these tips on how to sew a dress from a pattern, you’ll probably be surprised at the result.

    Tips on Carefully Choosing Your Pattern and Fabric

    The first thing for you to do is choose your fabric. If you’re a beginning sewer, you’ll probably want to avoid using fabrics like silk, which can be difficult to work with. Generally, patterns provide you with a list of fabrics that would work well.

    It’s also important to remember exactly what the dress is going to be used for, too. Fabric can have a huge impact on the end product; some look better during the day than at night. All these things should be considered before finally deciding on a fabric.

    If you are going to be making a dress for a certain person, make sure that you take their measurements first and choose a pattern that will fit.

    • Watch out for multi-size patterns. They can be useful, but you need to make sure that you’re cutting the right parts of the pattern!
    • It’s a good idea to choose a simple pattern for your first dress-sewing project

    Consider making a muslin practice garment

    Mybecca White Muslin
    This muslin is 100% cotton and great for curtains, apparel, aprons, sheets, quilting. It has a smooth finish, with a soft touch. It also has a natural light drape and stiffness.

    If this is your first time working with a particular pattern, it can be reassuring to make a practice garment with muslin beforehand. This will help to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes on the final product and will make you much more confident. Plus, you’ll get more practice!

    Tips on Preparing Your Fabric and Pattern

    First, make sure that your pattern is flat and wrinkle-free, and that it can lay flat atop your fabric. Once that’s settled, it’s time to start prepping your fabric.

    Now, whether you’re making a muslin practice garment or jumping straight into making the garment, the next step is to prepare and cut your fabric so that you can get started working with it.

    Ensure that your fabric is totally flattened and wrinkle-free, then set the pattern pieces on top of your fabric. One of the best ways to do this is to iron your fabric before you actually begin to cut it.

    Important: at this stage, it’s important to make sure that the grain of your fabric is going the right direction! If you sew a garment with the grain the wrong way, it might not fit right.

    It’s also important to make sure that directional fabrics lineup so that the images correspond with each other. For example, if the fabric has trees on it, make sure they are pointing the same way.

    iStock-1189313534 950 x 540 How to Sew a Dress From a Pattern
    • When you’re actually laying out your pattern, make sure that you follow the user guide. This will make things much less complicated. The guide will allow you to find the optimal layout for each piece of the pattern.
    • When cutting the parts of the pattern, it’s a good idea to purchase specially made scissors. You can find scissors that have been earmarked and are ideal for smoothly cutting patterns.
    Fiskars RazorEdge SoftGrip Fabric Scissors
    This Fiskars Fabric Scissors are 8” and are great for cutting a variety of materials including denim, leather, and multiple layers of fabric with less effort and minimum hand fatigue.
    • If you make a mistake cutting the pattern, it’s not going to be a huge deal. If you cut something off or slice something you didn’t mean to, you should be able to just tape it back into shape. The end result won’t be badly affected.

    General Tips That Will Improve the End Result

    • Be intelligent about your fabric use! This generally takes practice, but more experienced sewers generally waste far less fabric than novices. Simply bring awareness to your fabric usage and you’ll find ways to improve on it.
    • Avoid lined patterns for your first dress. These are much more complicated and could confuse or discourage you.
    • Great ideas for beginner projects are simple tops and A-line skirts. Practice these garments until you’re comfortable before moving onto something more complicated.
    • Try on the dress once it’s done! This way, you’ll be able to tell if it’s really finished, or if it needs to be adjusted at all.
    • Use a bias binding to polish up the arm holes and the neck holes. These will make your project a bit easier in addition to making your finished product look more ‘complete.’
    • Press or iron the seams before and after you sew them together. In the end, this will make your dress look fantastic.
    • Make sure the pattern isn’t too difficult. A lot of patterns will have some sort of measurement to indicate its complexity or difficulty level on it. Look for patterns that are geared towards beginners, not towards experts – this will be a great place to work.

    Video - How to Read a Sewing Pattern

    In Summary

    At first, it might seem a little overwhelming to start a new project sewing a dress. However, if you approach the project properly, it doesn’t have to be difficult at all!

    If you follow these tips you should have no problem learning how to sew a dress from a pattern and putting together your first dress. Good luck and happy sewing!

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