8 Petals Summer Dress

This dress got its name as it takes eight skirt pieces to form a full skirt – the girls will not stop whirling with this beautiful summer dress on!

It comes in two size groups for young and older girls with 5 sizes in each group: 2-6Y and 6-10Y. You can find the pattern in our Esty shop.

Here are some more pictures to give you more inspirations on the fabric and colour combinations!

The dress features invisible zip on the back and is lined for bodice.

Sewing Tutorial:

All seam allowances are 1cm (⅜”) unless otherwise stated.

Please follow the Cutting Instructions in the pattern to cut the fabric pieces according to your choices.

1. Create bodice

a. Mark the corners of the sewing line on both side of the bodice piece (A,B,C,D), as indicated in the photo. The sewing lines are 1cm from the raw edges (i.e. the solid line on the pattern). Do this for all the bodice pieces.

b. Place the upper front bodice (A) on top of the lower front bodice (B) with the right sides touching and the marked corner points overlapping. Also align the centre of both pieces. Pin to secure. Sew slowly from one corner point to the other along the curve, adjusting the fabric to make sure the raw edges are aligned and there is no crease on both layers.

c. Sew the upper back bodice (C) with lower back bodice (D) together for both sides in the same way. (Do the same for bodice lining if you have chosen to use two fabrics for lining.)

d. Place the bodice front main and bodice back main together with the right sides touching and shoulders lining up, sew along the shoulders on both sides. Iron the seams open. Repeat with the bodice lining.

e. Place the bodice lining on top of the bodice main with the right sides touching and raw edges lining up. Sew along the neck line and both the arm hole curves. Trim the seam allowance using pinking shears (or trim off half of the seam allowance using normal scissors and cut notches along the curves).

f. Turn the bodice to the right side by pulling the back bodice through the shoulders. Iron the neckline and armscye.

g. Separate the lining and the main of the bodice on one side, so that the lining of the front bodice can be placed together with the lining of the back bodice with the right sides touching. Make sure the seams on the front and back bodice are aligned, and sew along the side seams of the main and lining in one go. Repeat with the other side.

h. Iron open the seams. I also trimmed off half of the seam allowance where the main and lining meet to reduce the bulk.

2. Create skirt
a. Baste along the waist curves with 0.5cm seam allowance, so that the lining and main stay together. This will make it easier when attaching the petals later.

Mark the centre point and two corners of the curve on the petal piece (E) and the curve on the bodice. All these points locate on the sewing line. You can poke holes on these points on the paper pattern, lay it on the fabric and mark them on the fabric through the holes. Do this for all the petal pieces and curves on the bodice.

b. With the right sides touching, pin the three points of a petal piece to those of a curve on the bodice. Although the curve of the petal looks much longer, the sewing line is actually the same length as that of the bodice curve. Start from one corner point, sew slowly along the curve and stop right at the other corner point. Make sure there is no crease on both layers of fabric while sewing. Check the result – unpick the problematic area and redo it if necessary. Start from a petal on the back. You will get more comfortable after one or two petals. Repeat to attach all the petals.

c. With the right sides touching and the raw edges lining up, sew the side seams of two adjacent petal pieces. The sewing line should be connected to the previous curved sewing line at the corner point. Repeat to connect all the petals into one skirt piece. Leave the half petals at the centre back open.

d. Finish the waist curved seams with an overlocker. Go slowly and adjust the fabric while overlocking so that you don’t cut the dress by mistake! Finish all the side seams of the petals with an overlocker. Thread the ends into the nearby seams with a large needle.

3. Finish the dress

a. Finish the centre back seams on both sides with overlocker. With a heat erasable pen, draw the sewing lines on both sides (i.e. 1cm from the back centre raw edges) if the tape of the zip is not 1cm wide, and mark the stop point. Take the invisible/conceal zip and iron open the teeth.

b. Fold back the top of the zip tape toward the wrong side and align the folded top with the top of the back seam. With the right side facing down, place the left side of the zip (i.e. the right side when the zip is faccing down) to the right side of the left back bodice (see photo). Open the zip and line up the teeth with the sewing line you drew. Change to invisible zipper foot and sew as close to the teeth as possible along the zip until the stop mark.

c. Close the zip and mark the points of the seams on the other zip tape on the right side first and transfer them to the wrong side. Open and flip the zip to the wrong side up and pin it to the other back bodice with the marks lining up with the seams. Sew along until the stop mark with invisible zipper foot.

d. Zip up and check the results, making sure the seams are aligned. Turn the dress to the wrong side and line up the raw edges of the remaining skirt pieces below the zip. Pull the zip aside and start sewing as close to the sewing line as possible from 1cm above the stop mark (You might need to change to a suitable foot or the position of the needle so that you can sew close to the edge. I changed to a zipper foot on my industrial sewing machine). After sewing the first 1cm, you should be able to gradually sew along the sewing line (which is 1cm from the raw edge) .

e. Check the results on the right side. If all good, trim off the excessive length from the zip, leaving 4~5cm beyond the stop mark. Turn the dress to the wrong side and sew one side of the zip tape to the seam allowance under it (do not sew on the bodice). Do this on the other side.

f. Fold the top of the zip tape to cover the seam allowance, sew a few stitches by hand or sewing machine to secure it.

g. Hem the skirt by folding the raw edge towards the wrong side by 1cm and iron. Fold in the raw edge by 0.5cm so that the raw edge is lining up with the fold and sew along. (For beginners, fold in 0.5cm twice and iron before sewing might be easier.)

h. Create a zip lining (optional): If you want to add some lining to cover the zip inside the dress so that it doesn’t touch the skin directly, you could cut a rectangle of the lining fabric (preferably in the same/ similar colour to the main) that is 7cm in width and 3cm longer than the length of the zip. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise with the right sides touching, and sew with 0.5cm seam allowance along the raw edges, leaving 4~5cm gap for turning. Turn to the right side and iron. The lining should be able to cover the entire zip. Align the long side with the opening with one side of the zip and sew along. Sew the other side from the bottom to where the zip ends.

Congratulations! You have now created the 8 Petals Dress!

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