A crushed velvet dress is all the rage this fall. This style usually means dressing in layers. Stockings, light coats, long vests, short dresses worn as tops –the possibilities are endless. The short dress for autumn is an essential piece of clothing that can take us from morning to night time. It is easy to add to if the temperature drops and easy to wear during the warm hours of the day.
Autumn and spring really are when northern and southern hemispheres actually have similar temperatures, so this design should work for everyone. This particular dress is one of my favorites because of the flexibility that it provides –worn with high boots, stockings, and ankle boots, over skinny jeans, leggings, or just a scarf. It is the perfect piece of clothing for your wardrobe. Layer it any way you want and you'll have a super outfit.
This dress is incredibly easy to make. I hope it will make a great addition to your fall or spring wardrobe.
- Easy to make
- Can be worn as a top or mini dress
- Comfortable yet elegant style
- Stand-up bow collar
- Ideal for women with small shoulders and wide hips
- Crushed Velvet or Panne Velour, 60″ wide, 1-2 yards depending on size
- Soft satin fabric (silk or polyester), 1 yard
- Fusible tricot interfacing
About Crushed Velvet
Crushed velvet or sometimes known as crushed panne velour is one of 16 types of velvet. Normally made out of polyester, it is possible to find velvet made from silk if your budget allows. Velvet is a type of tufted woven fabric with evenly distributed cut threads giving the fabric a dense short pile and a luxurious and distinctive feel. The fabric is actually woven as two layers which are then cut apart thus creating the pile. This is a pretty complex and expensive process, or at least it used to be, so this type of fabric used to be reserved only for royalty. It's only been the invention of polyester and the development of modern manufacturing techniques that this type of fabric is now affordable to almost everyone.
Notoriously difficult to handle, but certainly worth the effort, it is imperative to find the grain of the velvet and cut all pieces strictly on it. Use a ball point needle when sewing. If you do not have a serger, use a small zigzag when hemming if you want to preserve the stretchability of the fabric. However, in this pattern, a plain stitch is also possible.
Finished Garment Sizes
Step One: Cutting the fabric
The fabric must be laid on a flat surface and let it rest overnight. Fold the fabric on the grain line and cut the pieces one at a time. Apply fusible tricot interfacing to the sleeves and hem. Mark the center of the back and the front of the dress. You will need this to make the pleats latter.
Step Two: Sewing the shoulder seams
Wrong sides together, pin the shoulders and sew at 3/8″. Serge or use a zigzag stitch.
Step Three: Sewin the sides
Pin the sides, start to sew from the bottom to the sleeves.
Serge or zigzag the sides.
Step Four: Making the pleats
There are two pleats one in the front and one in the back of the dress. Find the center of the dress and fold to the right 1 1/2″ from the center. Fold another 1 1/2″ to the left and pin in place. Zigzag the edges of the neckline to set the pleats.
Step Five: Making the neckline with a sash
Cut a bias strip 54 to 60″ in length and 3 1/2″ wide. Fold the strip right sides together and sew at 3/8″.
Use a loop turner to turn the sash inside out. Find the middle of the sash and pin it to the middle of back of the dress.
Pin one side from the back to the front, stopping at the center of the front pleat. Then pin the other side from the back to the front stopping at center of the pleat. Sew the sash at 3/8″.
Top stitch the sash so it will look like a stand-up collar.
Step Six: Hemming the crushed velvet dress
Apply fusible tricot interfacing to the hem. Cut a strip of interfacing long enough to go around the hem and 1″ wide. Using an iron on nylon setting to fuse it to the hem. Fold the hem 1/2″.
Stitch using a small zigzag or a straight stitch. Test on a piece of fabric to see what look suits you best.
Dressing up in autumn is always fun. The days are warm and cooler nights mean we can be a little more creative with our clothing by dressing in layers. Be sure to stay tuned for our next style of autumn dresses.