Hi friends! Well, Spring has finally made an appearance around here (hooray!!!). In fact, I had a long coffee date with a friend yesterday where we sat outside for nearly two hours and my arm got sunburnt… oops! Totally worth it, though, getting all that vitamin D!
TODAY, I’m pumped to share with you a little D-I-Y on how to turn your Out and About Dress into a perfect sleeveless dress for Summer. It is really simple + I hope you enjoy!
Before we jump into the tutorial, though, I wanna talk a bit about this amazing knit designed by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman. Its so soft + luscious + all kinds of amazing. Great quality, great color, and great drape. It’s not too heavy, not too light, and even though it is a lighter color it is NOT see through one bit. I love it + definitely think you need some in your life. Looks like you can snag some over at Hawthorne Threads (you’re welcome! ;))
So here we go!
First of all, you’ll need to purchase the Out and About Dress pattern (if you haven’t already). You’ll need significantly less fabric, because you won’t be needing the sleeve pieces so you can go ahead and deduct about 2/3 yard from the amount needed. And I’ll go ahead and tell you that on this maxi dress above, I had limited fabric, so I used the width of fabric and cut the maxi length, and then cut that piece in half for my two skirt pieces. It’s not QUITE as wide as the pattern calls for, but it definitely worked! So for this maxi dress, I only used 2 yards of fabric!
Since this pattern is a super loosely fitting dress (a lot of people have said that the sizes run big) I would suggest going down one size in the bodice if you want to make this dress sleeveless. If you are an XSmall, I would just cut about a 1/2″ off from each of the sides (of the bodice) before starting.
Next, you’ll want to download and print THIS pattern piece. You’ll print at 100%, or “no page scaling”.
You will sew your dress, but stop at STEP SIX (since we aren’t putting in any sleeves!) and go ahead and sew up the side seams with out the sleeves. Make sure the seams align where the bodice and skirt match.
Next, skip down to STEP TEN where you sew on the neck band.
Then, you’ll follow the steps pictured below (text instructions underneath that) to complete your dress.
B. Cut off 1″-1 1/2″ of the arm hole. When we put the arm bands on, it will stick out about 1/2″ so if you that is the look you’re going for, you can leave them as is, but I prefer to have sleeveless tops hit a little further in on my shoulders.
C. Take one of your arm band strips and fold it in half so that the short sides are matching and the right side of the fabric is facing. Sew along the short side. Flip this piece so that the two raw edges are matching. Set this piece aside. I have found it easier to work with a small strip of knit fabric if it is sprayed with starch and pressed.
D. Find the “four corners” of your arm hole and arm band. Match the raw edges of these two pieces together.
E. Sew (note: I use my serger on this portion of the dress- totally optional!!) at 3/8″-1/2″.
F. Press the sewn or serged edges towards the inside of your garment and press. Then topstitch around the edge with a longer straight stitch about 1/8″ from the seam.
Repeat this for the other arm hole and your’e good to go! I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous dresses you make for Summer!