Last week I shared a couple pictures of my beautiful sister modeling our Market Day Tunic which I lengthened into a dress and sewed up in a cozy double-knit for winter. I promised I would be back with the tutorial this week, and it may have taken me ALL week, but here it is!
The best thing about this tutorial is that there is practically nothing to it. Start with the Market Day Tunic pattern, of course. You will want about 3 1/2 yards of fabric to make the dress length (a little less if you are using 60″ wide fabric, but not much – I think I used about 3 yards of 60″ knit to make this size small. I would recommend erring on the side of more fabric rather than less, especially if you are making a large or extra large). Also note that you should drop down one size from what you would normally wear if you are using a knit. I wear a medium Market Day in a woven and small in knit.
If you are using a knit you will not need to add the invisible zipper to the side seam. There is enough ease in the pattern to do without it even with a relatively unstretchy knit like the one I used, so just sew the left side seam shut like you do the right side seam. If you are using a woven fabric plan to install the zipper as instructed. Aside from using a ball point needle and a very, very slight zig zag stitch to allow my fabric to stretch a bit I did not do anything differently for this dress than I do for woven Market Day Tunics.
Trace out your size on Swedish tracing paper, adding 10-12″ (depending on the length you want) to the bottom of the tunic front and tunic back, following the original curve of the bodice hem.
Transfer the markings to your fabric as instructed. The back darts will not be affected by the change in length, but the long center front darts can either be lengthened to the new hem length by following the line of the original darts all the way to the bottom of the garment, taking a tiny seam allowance and tapering to nothing at the hem, or tapering to nothing a little below the original hem length as I did in the tunic pictured above.
Finish the rest of the dress according to the tunic instructions. For this dress I flipped the double knit to show the wrong side on the interior neck facing and the sleeves, which I rolled for a fun little contrast, but you could do a contrasting neckline facing or lace appliqued facing like our original samples, too.
Since I used a knit with a hidden neck facing I didn’t finish the outside edges of the facing so as not to add bulk and just tacked the facing to the shoulder seam allowance to keep it tucked in. If you use a woven, finish the neckline as instructed.
My only complaint with this dress (and it’s the same complaint I have with ALL dresses and tunics in the winter) is that it rides up over leggings or tights when I walk. I’m thinking that stitching a wide ribbon around the inside hem would add a little weight and slipperiness and might prevent the cling. Has anybody tried that? Did it work?
What are you sewing up this winter? If you make one of our patterns and would like to share, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see what you create!