I was looking for an easy sewing pattern of a jersey dress exactly like this one (thanks Eleonora – io_e_carlotta for having suggested this pattern!)
I’d already had the perfect fabric to make it in my stash…this forest green wool jersey, I bought on Supercut.it some times ago.
The Orchid Midi dress by Chalk and Notch is exactly the kind of garment I like. Comfy, thanks to the elastic on the waist, and perfect for my body shape (yes, the V neckline makes me look slimmer and taller).
The pattern is designed for woven fabrics, but I modified it a little bit in order to sew it in jersey.
Here’s what I changed (I chose the size n. 6):
- I cut only one yoke on the fold (pattern piece n. 3), because a yoke facing was not necessary for my sewed-with-serger jersey dress, in my opinion.
- I got rid of the pockets and I merged the front of the skirt (pattern piece n. 5) with the pocket facing (pattern piece n. 9). Then I cut the front slit and I cut the skirt by 30 cm (the midi length doesn’t suit me at all). See the picture below.
- I modified the sleeve, cutting the cap gathering ease and making the sleeve the same length of the armhole (no ease was necessary for my jersey dress in my opinion and it’d have been easier to sew in this way). The sleeve was 6 cm longer than the armhole. I lowered the cap of the sleeve by 2 cm and I cut 1.5 cm on the both sides of the sleeve. See the picture blow.
I used all my three machines to sew this dress… the sewing machine to baste it and to sew the elastic on the waist with a zigzag stitch; I used the serger (2 needle/4 thread) to sew the dress and my coverstitch machine to topstitch the neckline (with a two-thread chainstitch) and to hem the skirt (cover hem stitch);
I applied a knit stay tape on the shoulders and the front and back yoke seams to prevent them from stretching out with wear and washing. I added it on the seams while I was sewing them with the serger. See the pictures below.
I sewed the front yoke to the front bodice, the back yoke to the back bodice and then I sewed the shoulders. Then I cut a neckband, on the elastic side of the jersey fabric, that was about the 80% of the neckline length (my neckline was 115 cm and so I cut a 92 cm strip) and 4 cm wide. I marked the neckline and the neckband, folding both of them in half and then I placed those notches together and found the half way notches between them. In this way I divided the neck opening and the neckband into four equal segments. I pinned the neckband on the neck opening, matching the notches. The neckband was shorter, so I stretched it while I sewed with my serger in order to match up the neckline.
I sewed the knit stay tape on the neckline to prevent it from stretching. I added it while I was sewing with serger (I don’t have a picture of this step, I’m sorry). Then I topstitched using a chain stitch with my coverstitch machine.
I sewed the front bodice to the front skirt and the back bodice to the back skirt (I didn’t sew the dress sides). I cut the elastic in two parts and I sewed it on the front and back waist with a zig zag stitch.
I attached the sleeves to the armholes and the elastic to the sleeves’ hem. I basted the elastic on the wrong side of the sleeve hem and I sewed it with my serger. I folded the hem towards the wrong side (the elastic is hidden in this way) and I topstitched with coverstitch machine using a chain stitch (you can also use a zig zag stitch if you haven’t got a coverstitch machine). See the pictures below.
I sewed the right side, from wrist to hem, and hemmed the dress up with my coverstitch (thread tensions on my machine are still a mystery for me… I couldn’t set them in the right way yet).
In the end I sewed the left side, from wrist to hem, with the serger.
So here it is! I love it and I would have been the perfect Christmas dress, but I’d been sick from Christmas to New Year’s Day and I couldn’t wear it! Too bad!
As I told you, I really love this pattern and I’d like to sew it in the second version with a woven fabric and ruffles sleeves. I wish to do it for spring/summer. Let’s see!