This swing dress has all of the details!!
I pictured this in my mind a couple of months ago and went on the search for the perfect fabric. You'll never guess where I ended up with this beautiful olive green suede! WAL-MART! Right? I've purchased fabric from there before for small projects but never for a complete garment, yet there it was staring me straight in the face one day so I brought 2 yds of it home and showed it some love.
I love all of these great details, like the detached choker,
the split Bishop sleeve, with cuff,
and a nice wide v-neck.
Did I mention how comfortable this is?
Are you ready for the tutorial?
Gather your fabric, pattern, and make sure you have a ballpoint or stretch needle if you are using a knit for this dress.
Cut out your pieces
-Front and Back- Cut out your dress front and dress back pieces to the length you desire for your dress.
-Sleeves- To achieve a Bishop sleeve cut your sleeve pattern piece straight down from the under arm points on both sides of the sleeve, rather than the tapered line that is usually found on a sleeve.
-Cuff- The length of the cuff is found by measuring around your wrist then adding a little bit extra to that measurement for some wiggle room. You want it to be comfortable around your wrist and you should be able to fit your fisted hand through the opening. The width of the cuff will be the measurement of how deep you want your cuff x2. Also double the seam allowance. I wanted my cuff about 2 inches deep so I made my cuff length about 5 inches so when I folded it in half I would have a 2 inch cuff plus 1/2 seam allowance.
-Choker- Measure how snug you want the choker to fit around your neck and add about 1.5 inches for the length. For the width of the neck band, decide how tall you want it to stand on your neck, double that, and add 1/2 inch. This is very similar to the cuff on the sleeve. Both of these pieces should look rectangular. There is no exact math to this, it's just what you're comfortable with.
With the right sides together, sew the front and back pieces together at the shoulder seams and side seams. I finished the neck edge next by turning the edge over twice and stitching it in place using a stretch stitch.
Bear with me now as I try to explain how I did the sleeves. I didn't take pictures as I went so you're going to need to use your imagination here.
-The first thing I did was cut the entire sleeve in half down the length of the sleeve.
-I then stitched the top 3 inches of the two sleeve pieces back together using a regular 5/8 seam allowance making sure to back stitch really well at the end going into the sleeve.
-Next, I rolled each side of the center of the sleeve toward the wrong side and stitched it down.
I did this on both sleeves then I finished the under arm seam of the sleeve like one would normally do for a sleeve.
-Insert the sleeve into the arm hole of the dress, right sides together. Pin and stitch in place.
Cuffs- Sew the 2 short sides of the cuff , right sides together. This will give you a tube about 4.5 inches long that will fit around your wrist. Fold this in half with the wrong sides together and you'll have your cuff.
Gather the end of your sleeve with a basting stitch, then add your cuff to the end of the sleeves with the right sides together. The cuff is inside of the sleeve in this picture.
Stitch in place and trim your seams. This picture shows the cuff pulled back out. The dress is inside out here.
Turn the dress right side out and see that you have just made a fairly beautiful dress. To really dress it up and give it the wow factor, you need to make the detached choker.
Fold the choker piece in half lengthwise, with right sides together and stitch 1/4 inch on one short side and the long side. You've got a long skinny tube now with one end open. Turn this right side out and tuck the ends of the open in toward the inside and top stitch it closed.
Attach some fasteners on each end of the choker to close it after you put it on. I used a couple of hook and eye closures. You could try Velcro or snaps as well.
You're finished!! It's actually a lot easier than it may seem at first. This fabric is so great for travelling also because it doesn't wrinkle and it takes up little space. Wal-Mart fabric for the win on this one!!!