This project is dedicated to all those starting to venture into the world of sewing. In my experience, and from what I’ve seen from many other beginners, is that starting with the right type of project is essential for kicking off your sewing journey. Everyone does best starting strong with a simple project that teaches you the fundamentals, yet also gives you an enjoyable product to share with your friends and family.
In this beginner's project, you will make an easy and attractive scoop neck dress. By making this you’ll learn how to create: a bra strap to easily adjust depending on your required measurements, make a ruffle and gather fabric properly, and make and alter a scoop neck.
make a ruffle and gather fabric properly,
Make and alter a scoop neck.
- 3 3/4 to 4 yards of 60″ wide soft drape cotton, rayon, silk or linen
- Thread to match
- 3 yards of 3/8″ Bias tape if you are not making your own
- Sewing Needle size 70
- Two 3/8″ clear plastic strap slider adjusters and ring
Skill Level: Beginner
Here are the must-reads before you start sewing this dress. There are tips and tricks to help you learn these skills perfectly.
Fabric Suggestions from Amazon
How To Download Your Easy Scoop Neck Dress Pattern
Please use the latest version of Adobe Reader, which is entirely free—print on Actual Size and Landscape Mode.
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Step One: Gathering The Front neckline
Gather slightly, 4 inches reduce (gather) to 2″ in the middle of the scooped neck.
The gathers at the scooped neckline allow you to fit the dress to your requirements. If you have a large chest but narrow shoulders, you will find that you will have to gather the front more than most women.
Step Two: Sewing The Bias Tape To The Front
You will need enough bias tape to finish the seams around the neckline and make the bra straps.
Attach a strip of bias tape to the neckline in the front and at the back.
Step Three: Sew The Sides
I suggest using the French Seam for expensive fabrics such as silk and linen. This is the perfect project to learn and practice the French Seam.
But, if you already know it, use a serge, overlocker or a medium zigzag to finish the seam.
Join the front and back print or right sides together and sew the sides.
Iron the seams towards the back of the dress.
Step Four: Attaching The Bra Straps
In this step, we will attach the bra strap, the ring and the slider at the same time.
We will need to measure the armhole back and front.
The armhole measurement (will depend on size) plus one inch for the ring and at least 18 inches for the strap will give you the length of the bias step we will need for this step. I am making size S and will use 28″ of bias tape.
Leave one each at the back, and pin the bias tape on the inside of the dress. Sew at the first fold of the bias tape.
Turn the bias tape to the outside or right side of the dress and stitch from one to the next; this will make the loop of the ring and the bra strap.
Slide the plastic slider for the bra strap and then the ring.
Loop and sew under the slider. If you need more clarification on this step please read this article for a step by step instructions on how to make a bra strap.
Loop the ring with the inch of bias tape you left at the back. Sew.
Step Five: Making The Ruffle
Cut the ruffle according to your size; in my case, I am cutting a rectangle that is 52″ in length and 10.5 wide. Sew and serge the sides to match the stitching lines in the dress and the ruffle.
Gather the ruffle and sew it to the dress. Make a 1/2″ hem.
I hope that you can agree this is a very easy-to-make dress for beginners; learning and practising to attach bias tape to curves, making a bra strap, gathering ruffles, and perhaps going as far as dying the dress at the end will make a fun and easy project to keep you cool in the coming heat summer.
Join me next week when I share a pattern for a pair of anti-staffing shorts to wear under a dress or a skirt or perhaps a patchwork jeans straight skirt using old jeans. I haven't decided yet, so perhaps you can leave your preference as a comment below.
Until next time! Let's keep the world together one stitch at a time!
Hi I would like to know how much fabric you would purchase if you wanted to make a shorter version and if the fabric was 44″ wide. Thanking you in advance.
The best thing to do is to print the size you need and shorten the pattern to your taste, then work out how much fabric you need.
If using 44″ fabric, buy TWO times the length you want. Ex: if you are 5ft 3″ tall and want it 18″ from the ground (63″ -18″ = 45″ x2=90″ /36 which is 1 yd) that means buy 2-1/2 yards minimum. 3 yrds would be better.
I am pretty short, could this be made without the ruffle?
Yes, of course! You can shorted it and still sew the ruffle.
A shelf bra would be the perfect addition to this wonderful dress!
Such a cute dress! Do you think one could add a shelf bra it fairly easily?
Yes, I think you can. The precess is a bit long to explain. I would have to make a post if you do not know how to do it.