You might have noticed that I lost some weight this year. 35lbs ! Yay. Gradually it had crept on over the last 3 years and now it's gone again. So to celebrate, I wanted to make something figure-hugging, a new dress I knew my husband would love. Something for work and formal occasions, but which could also be a date-night dress too.
The Perfect for Work Dress fits the bill perfectly and yes, hubby loves it! When I modeled it the first time, he suggested we go out to dinner tonight and show it off – he's a good guy! It's the sort of smart dress I used to wear when I had an office job – oh a gazillion years ago now.
It's easy to sew, comfy to wear. You don't have to make yours as figure-hugging as mine. Just go up a size or cut between sizes for a little bit more ease if you prefer a loose fit. My fabric is also a fairly firm ponte knit. If you made this in a softer fabric with more stretch, like an ITY knit, you'd also get a looser fit from the same size.
- Quick and easy to sew
- Figure skimming fit
- Longer length – pick your own skirt length
- Center back seam to help get a nice fit
- Short sleeves
- Layered pattern for easy printing – just print your size
- Sizes 29- 41 bust, 33-45 inch hips
- For knit fabrics only – I used a Ponte Knit (Read more about different types of knit fabrics here.)
How to sew your Perfect for Work Dress Pattern
Download and assemble your pattern. If you need more help in printing the layered pattern in just your size, you can see full step by step photo instructions in this earlier article – How to Print a Layered PDF File.
Cut out your fabric pieces. Make in two colors, three or even 4 – whatever takes your fancy. Take care to cut your fabric for the front pieces with all the of the pattern pieces face up and placed on the right side of your fabric.
All seam allowances and hems are 1/2 inch unless otherwise stated. Pin, sew and then press the center back seam.
Assemble the front of the dress starting with the largest pieces, piece 3 and 4. Match them right sides together and sew with a half inch seam allowance. You may need to refer to this previous tutorial on how to sew slanted seams – remember to match up the stitching lines not the points of the fabric or you'll get jagged edges at the joins. Press.
Join piece 2 to piece 3, pin, stitch and press.
Join the small piece 1 to piece 2. Press.
If you don't quite line up exactly and get little jagged pieces at the overlaps, just trim the seam smooth with your scissors. It will all still work out just fine.
Join the front of the dress to the back at the shoulders, right sides together. Use a half inch seam allowance, BUT start stitching 3/8th of an inch from the neckline edge and leave that part unsewn. Stitch all the way to the outer edge of the shoulder seam, where the sleeve will join. Press the shoulder seam open.
Leaving this 3/8th of an inch unsewn will give us just a little bit of ease in the neckline later on and make it easier to get a smooth finish when we turn and stitch.
Find the center of your sleeve and match this to the shoulder seam. Pin your sleeve in place right sides together. Stitch and press seam towards the sleeve. Repeat for the other sleeve.
With right sides together, stitch the side seams of the dress, and the under part of the sleeve, and press seams towards the back.
Turn the neckline edge 1/2 inch to the inside and pin well. The shoulder seam should be neatly turned under the neckline edge and allowed to open if necessary to make those curved turns lie nice and flat. Stitch in place and press.
Turn up 1/2 inch to the inside of the sleeves edges and stitch. Press.
Mark the hem length for your dress and trim if necessary. Turn up your hemline and finish with your favourite finish for knit fabrics. Using a twin needle is optional.
Now wear and enjoy your Perfect for Work Dress and don't be surprised when your colleagues want to know where you bought it from 🙂
How about making another – mixing a solid with a bright print!