I have another free dress pattern for you this month. I managed to pick up a couple of nice ponte knits in my local fabric store – shock – and wanted to use them right away so I drafted this simple fit and flare dress pattern.
It’s got a scooped neck, short sleeves and design lines front and back for a negative ease fitting in the bust, close fit in the body and then softly flared out skirt from the hips down. Those design lines front and back can really help you to get a nice fit.
My first was in this plain blue ponte and you can see the design lines much better in this one. For the second I used the tribal/striped print. Although it has the same seams, they really disappear in the print and for once my pattern matching was pretty darned good! Interesting though how different knits can alter the feel of the fit. I cut and sewed both patterns exactly the same, but the blue one appears to fit closer to the body.
I love an easy pull-on-and-go knit dress and I have a feeling I’ll have more of these in my wardrobe by the end of the year. There’s a free pattern for you too. Enjoy!
- Designed for a heavier weight knit such as a ponte, double knit or thicker jersey
- Design lines front and back for a great fit
- Scoop neckline with facings front and back
- Short sleeves
- Video and photo instructions
- Available in sizes 31-48 inch bust
- Knit fabric – try JoAnn or Fabric Mart
- Optional – knit stay tape
- Optional – serger / overcasting foot / walking foot
- The pattern download – below
Assuming fabric 54 inches wide, you will need approximately 2.5 yards of fabric. If your fabric is 60 inches wide, smaller sizes A and B can fit onto 1.75 yards.
More may be needed if you have a large scale pattern to match
How to sew the Fit and Flare Dress
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Step by step Fit and Flare Dress Sewing Instructions
Use your pattern pieces to cut out all of your fabric. Remember to cut mirror images for the side panels, so you will need two facing one way and 2 facing the other, not 4 all the same.
Starting with the back, match and pin the two side panels to the center back panel RST (right sides together). Sew the two long seams to join the pieces – tip, start at the top and sew to the bottom for both seams. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout unless mentioned otherwise.
Trim and neaten your seams with an overcasting stitch, if you aren’t using a serger. Press your seams towards the center.
Repeat for the front of the dress. Match and pin the two side panels to the center front panel RST (right sides together). Sew the two long seams to join the pieces. Trim and neaten your seams and press towards the center.
Optional – fuse a knit stay tape around both the front and back neckline to prevent stretching when you sew the facing and during wear. Read more about the magic of knit stay tape here.
Join the dress at the shoulders RST and stitch at 1/2 inch. Press seams towards the back.
Optional – you may add a line of the knit stay tape to the bottom of the sleeve edge too. This prevents too much stretching and gives a really nice crisp hemline later on. Do this now before sewing in the sleeves.
Pin the sleeve to the arm scye. Match the center top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam and ease the sleeve to fit as needed. Pin RST and stitch.
Repeat to add the other sleeve and then press seams towards the sleeve.
Join the front and back neckline facings together at the shoulder RST and stitch with the same seam you used for the shoulders of the dress, to make sure it matches perfectly. You may serger or finish around the bottom edge of the facing or leave it raw.
Match the facing to the dress neckline, RST, matching shoulder seams. Pin well in place and then stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Optional – you may choose to understitch the neckline facing to the seam allowance to prevent the facing popping up, or you may also decide to sew the facing down from the outside edge of the neckline too. I’ve understitched the facing to the seam allowances here. Understitching can’t be seen from the outside of the dress.
Give the neckline a nice press and that part of our dress is now finished.
Pin or baste your side seams and try on your dress. Make any fitting adjustments you need. Sew down the side seams of the dress, from the bottom of the sleeve to the bottom of the skirt.
Try on your dress once again and mark or pin your hemline. Trim the fabric if necessary and turn up a hem and stitch. You can also use the knit stay tape to stop wavy hems too. Press the hemline.
Turn up 1/2 inch seam on the bottom of the sleeves and stitch. Give these a good press too.
That’s it, your Fit and Flare Dress is finished. I hope you like yours as much as I do. Come and share what you’ve sewn, this dress, any dress, or any sewing project in our sewing chat group.