Here’s how I modified the Folkwear Turkish Dancer Dress #108 pattern into a sleeveless summer dress.
The fabric is 100% linen and fully interlined with a 100% cotton voile from Distinctive Sewing Supplies in Oakville, Ontario. I really like the modest “V” neck and the slightly extended shoulders:
Let me start by saying that I always trace my working pattern onto medical paper; I NEVER cut out a “master pattern”. Anymore. The last time I cut out a master pattern I cut a size too small.
To add for a larger front overlap:
My first modification was to create a larger front overlap for a button placket, using the following steps:
- I drew a line 1″ from the edge of the paper, parallel with the straight edge and the same length as the front pattern piece.
- Next, I lined up the original center front on the new line before beginning to trace the front. This added an additional 1″ at the center front for a more modest overlap. You can see the original pattern easily through the tracing paper:
- I used a dressmaker curve to “true” the lower neck curve with my just-added extension, ignoring the pointy self-facing. You can see the original pattern through the paper:
- I shortened the dress length by 12″, which still gave me a 1″ hem allowance. To mark an even hem line, I measured up from the bottom and marked the pattern at even intervals, then I just joined the marks.
- After cutting out the dress in both the linen and voile, I underlined each piece (2 fronts and a back) with the voile and serged around the outer edge to treat each lined piece as one.
- To stabilize the front opening, I cut strips of 1″ wide medium weight interfacing and fused them to the inside (on the voile) edges of the center fronts.
- The rest of the sewing was quick and easy. I marked the darts and sewed them from the middle out to the points through both the linen and voile layers.
- I joined the shoulder seams.
- I finished the neckline, armholes and the fronts with self-made bias binding:
- I had enough voile left from the original cut of 1.5 meters to make enough 2 inch wide bias for everything.
- I pressed the long 2″ wide bias strip in half length-ways with wrong sides together, then sewed the raw edges around the neckline first, using a 3/8″ seam allowance, and leaving about 1 1/2″ extra at each end.
- Fold the binding and the seam allowance to the inside and stitch close to the fold of the binding. Don’t trim off the extra ends yet.
- Finish the armholes the same way, BEFORE sewing the side seams.
- I also finished the edges of the fronts with the first step of the binding, then trimmed off the extra neck binding, leaving a bit of extra binding at the top and bottom.
- Press the folded edge out over the seam allowance, it should just extend over the edge of the fabric a tiny bit.
- Sew the side seams, matching the bias binding at the armhole, and then press up the hem by 1″.
- To finish the fronts, I folded in 1″, tucked under the tail of bias, and pressed (the edge of the fusible interfacing is the fold line). To hold the front facings in, I stitched where the black line is in the photo below, then followed the folded edge of the binding all the way to the hem, and back stitched. I did the same for the other side of the front, then I stitched up the hem.
- Buttonholes were next, and buttons, and it was ready to wear!
I love my dress!
Both the linen print and the cotton voile lining were given to me by Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for making the dress and documenting my pattern changes.