A Frock by Friday™: Monday

April 26, 2010

1. Print out the multisized pattern. AT 100%, NO PAGE SCALING! Size charts here.

2. Cut the left and bottom extra white space of all the pages. (see left image). To make this go faster, stack one row together and cut all at once. If you have a paper cutter it can go even faster.

Just post any questions in the comments section and I will try to answer them in the comments section. And remember for the next few steps BE SURE........to please overlook my ugly kitchen vinyl flooring:)

3. Find a wide flat space to spread out. It must be a space of at least 4.5'x4'.

4. Match the letters and numbers of the papers together.
(See left image). Papers are arranged like this....
I recommend working your way up from 8a-f.

3. Tape together. I used packing tape. It's nice and wide. I found it was easiest to tape the horizontal rows first then tape the rows together.

I did find one mistake in the pattern here. (See left image.) It is the Skirt Front Pattern. The pieces did not match up exactly. Maybe it was my printer, but if you have the same problem just overlap the pattern by about 1/2" and cut off the excess on the right (as shown in pic to left).

I know working with a printable PDF file seems super inconvenient but I actually PREFER them to storebought patterns. If you ever want to use the PDF pattern again just print out the piece you need. Storebought tissue patterns are always getting ripped or wrinkled or lost. Plus if you ever want to sort through your patterns, it's easier to do it on the computer rather than digging through a pile of envelopes, pulling out all the tissue sheets, finding your piece, then folding the tissue paper in just the right way to fit it back in the envelope.

4. Once you have everything taped then cut out all the pieces..

5. Fold fabric on the natural crease that was made before being cut from the bolt at the store. Place your pieces on your fabric before you cut.

*Remember if you have lines or an image on your fabric, place the pattern on the fabric as you want them to look on the dress. (IE, DON'T cut a front bodice piece with the lines on the fabric going horizontally and then cut a back bodice piece with the lines going vertically.)

* Remember the "Bodice Front Pattern", "Skirt Front" and "Bodice front facing" all need to be placed on the fold of your fabric so that after it is cut you have two patterns that connect at the middle. The rest of the pieces can be cut anywhere else on your folded fabric.

* The "Ruffle Line Template" does not get cut from fabric. It is just a guide.

* But don't forget the ruffle! It is not in any of the pattern pieces. Just cut a 6"x18" rectangle on the fold of your fabric. When opened up it should be 6"x36".

* I am making a sash for my dress. For size 36, if you would like to make one too, cut a 5.5"x17" rectangle on the fold of a complimentary colored fabric. It should be 5.5"x34" when unfolded. For each size up (ie 36, 38, 40) add1.5" or 3/4" to the folded pattern.

*Please don't be confused that I am using a different fabric for my skirt piece. I thought it might make things easier to see when we're sewing the pieces together. And I thought it would look cool:)

6. Pin pieces to fabric.

7. Cut out pieces (THIS PATTERN HAS NO SEAM ALLOWANCE) bummer. So you must cut 1/4" away from the pattern's edge. But don't do this for the edges that lie on the fold since it isn't a seam:)

8. Take out pins and remove patterns from fabric.


Pattern courtesy of The Selfish Seamstress.

41 {comments}:

Jo said... Best Blogger Tips

Good morning! Thanks for doing this. I have a question already. How do I know what size I should cut out? I have no idea what my dress size is. I haven't made a dress for myself since I was 12. I didn't see any measurement charts on the pattern or in the instructions. Thanks!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Ribbons Undone,

For some reason your comments did not show up?

But let me answer the ones that were questions....

In the article I mention to cut 1/4" away from the pattern for you allowance but 5/8" works well too. I guess it's totally your preference. I tend to sew close to the foot. I don't know why I just can't break the habit.

Ribbons Undone,
Do you have any pics of what you were working on so I could get a better idea of how your project looked.

If you don't have any documentation of the project, I might suggest using a wider trim. Also, are you pinning your layers of fabric and removing the pins as you sew?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

I linked some burda size charts in Step 1. It might have gotten lost when also looking at the multisized pattern link.

Corina said... Best Blogger Tips

Hahaha! I started cutting the pattern out last night and just about threw a toddler fit. I'm SO GLAD I decided to wait until this morning to see if you'd give any cutting tips! Huh - tape BEFORE cutting: genius! HAHA!

...And to think I almost stomped and spit on this poor pattern that did nothing but wait patiently for me to figure it out. HA!

Thank you *SO* much for helping us TRUE beginners!!

Shannon (knitnpal) said... Best Blogger Tips

be sure to print the PDF at 100 % !! I had to do some math to compensate for this mistake.
Also, thanks for doing this!

Il cucito per ME said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you!! Great tutorial and great idea!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, thanks for the emphasis! I put it in the post for everyone else.

tjp said... Best Blogger Tips

My question exactly: set the printer to 100%? Important step, thanks for the clarification!

Jo said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks! That's what I get for not reading word-for-word. That always gets me in trouble ;-)

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

It's really no problem. I figured with so many steps, things would get lost in the shuffle.

And anyone else, don't feel bad if you ask questions that are answered in the post.

I do the same thing myself. A...lot:)

jbr said... Best Blogger Tips

Does it matter what type of fabric you use? Is one better than the other for this pattern?

Geo said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi! Any chance you would include some tips on how to make sleeves (anywhere from short to 3/4) for this dress? I'd be so grateful!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

I would use almost any fabric BUT knit. If you are using a heavier weight fabric I might suggest using a lighter weight fabric in a matching pattern or color for the ruffle as heavy weight fabric doesn't bunch well and looks bulky.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Also, chiffon wouldn't work well either.

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so excited to try this!! Thanks for doing this with us all - I've never made myself a dress (started a couple times but never finished) I am determined to finish this one!!

Christen said... Best Blogger Tips

I've cut out my pattern! Wahoo! So excited! I would also be interested in sleeves.

Marianne Elixir said... Best Blogger Tips

I found the "test square" quite helpful to know if I had printed it properly (I printed just page 16 to check first - first time I did it wrong, second time worked!)

My question is - Am I supposed to wash my material first? Or if I don't (as I am about to cut it all out) does that just mean I'll have to hand wash and air dry the dress?

Jo said... Best Blogger Tips

Do you have any tips for making the dress fully lined? I'm using a light-coloured fabric and can't stand wearing slips.

Amanda said... Best Blogger Tips

I have two questions. The first is that my bust measurements are more like a 34 while my hips and waist are more like a 36. Would it be crazy to cut different sizes for the skirt and the bodice? Is there a better way to adjust for this sizing discrepancy? The second is fabric related. For cutting the fabric should be right side to right side, so I'll be placing pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, right?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Depending on your material you might have to wash it first. If it is knit (which it shouldn't be with this dress anyway) then you should definitely wash first. If you want to be on the safe side, wash it first, it can't hurt. If you've already cut it, it's probably okay.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

You can cut two different sizes for the top and bottom. HOWEVER, you must make sure that the waist seams are the same length so the pieces match up at those points properly.

As for your second question,
I think your asking about placing the pattern on your fabric and then cutting, right? If so, be sure to cut your pattern on FOLDED fabric. So that your two pieces are mirror images of each other. NOT identical. Otherwise you'll have one piece showing the wrong side of your fabric when putting them together.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Without having to write another tutorial about lining, what I might suggest would be to cut another piece of opaque (but not heavyweight) fabric for the bodice front and back and skirt front and back.

When you're sewing with me just keep the more opaque pieces on the wrong side of your fabric as if they were one.

Sara said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for doing this! I can't use the free pattern unless I regrade it to a larger size so I picked out another pattern to play along. Regardless, it's gotten me sewing again for the first time in MONTHS! AND something for myself for once! Thanks again!

Mrs. S said... Best Blogger Tips

This is such a great idea. Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into something like this.

Ali said... Best Blogger Tips

do you have any idea what the length of the dress will be when complete, I am tall and want to add a few inches on the bottom to make it a little longer?

lajamison said... Best Blogger Tips

My pieces are all cute out and I am excited for tomorrow.

Will we be wearing this 'Frock' on Friday or will we be finishing sewing it on Friday? I have a dinner party Thursday night and wondered if I'd have a new dress to wear?

The Sew Convert said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for this sewalong! I'm so used to patterns with seam allowances that I found adding it myself unnatural haha. Oh, I'm so spoilt! I thought of adding sleeves from Burdastyle's Ute blouse which is another pattern I have used. Not sure if it will work but am gonna give it a try:)

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

The last steps will be posted on Friday. But as the week winds down the steps should be simpler. If you have printed out the instructions here:

You could try to finish early. If you know how to sew in a zipper, the hardest steps will be tomorrow. If you don't know how to sew a zipper, refer to this video:

MrsHeeltoe said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, I just found your site through MADE and I would love to join this project. I am unable to download the file. The site where it is posted is not allowing the download to happen and the "click here" link for download trouble is not working either. Any chance of just posting up the PDF file or sending it my way?



Brenbren said... Best Blogger Tips

So I know I am a day late, but better late than never. I want my dress to be longer (just below my knee) how much fabric should I get. I haven't started cutting. I only found out about this today. I have the pattern printed out. also, you mentioned adding sleeves. Will that be in there as well or do I have to figure that one out on my own?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Here are the instructions for the pattern:

In it you will find how much fabric you need. Are you using the same fabric for the top and the skirt?

And yes, I'll be adding the sleeve pattern and instrustions tomorrow.

lajamison said... Best Blogger Tips

I watched the youtube video you posted about attaching a invisible zipper. The zipper foot she uses is different than what I have. I searched 'zipper foot' on amazon and it looks like it is one especially for invisible zippers. Would a normal one work or should I hit the sewing shop in the morning?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Does your zipper foot look like this:


If so, you can use it to sew your zipper. See this video:


Emily Heizer Photography said... Best Blogger Tips

I screwed up! I need help!

I read the cut instructions yesterday, but didn't print it out and cut it until tonight (I had to go get a new ink cartidge).

Well I cut off all the extra white off the sides. Did I just screw the whole thing up? You said we only cut off the left and bottom?? Do I need to reprint and recut everything to get the margins back?? This confused me a bit because with those gaps then the lines don't line up perfectly. I'm confused!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

No, you don't have to print it out again. The extra space on the top and side I left so that you could over lap the paper when you're taping. You can still put the pattern together. Your pieces will just butt up against each other. No big deal.

Kirsten said... Best Blogger Tips

Do I cut a seam allowance around the dart lines?

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

Maybe I am just crazy, but I can't seem to find out how to print out the pattern. I have clicked on the link and hit the download now button, but nothing happens. Help!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

The Baggetts,
Try this link for the instructions:

And this for the pattern:

If you still have trouble send me your email address to mytumtumtree@gmail.com and I will send it to you that way.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I think I may be making this more complicated than it should be!! Should i have 3 seperate pieces of material for the skirt or just 2???

denise said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for doing this! I am a beginner and have never followed a pattern. You have inspired me to try something other than tote bags and skirts.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Ok, I'm a few months behind you here, so I'm just starting this dress! I'm wondering how to add a seam allowance within the darts. Should I add seam allowance here, or just cut directly on the dart line?

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