Sleeveless top version. Fabric by Slubbedprints.co.uk For a tutorial about how to adjust the armhole for a sleeveless version scroll to the bottom of the page
There are two neckline fastenings to choose from…..
Loop and button (Top) Ties (Dress)
Frida dress named after the one and only Frida Khalo of course. A woman known for her fashion style as well as her work as a remarkable artist.
Frida can be made into a top, dress or maxi dress as shown in the pictures above. It has one (top version) or two frill tiers (dress version), with a keyhole neckline with either ties or a loop and button fastening at the neckline. There are two side pockets and sleeves which are three quarter length elasticated for the dress or short fold back cuffs for the top. Please see the chart below for the finished garment measurements.
This is an easy pattern for beginners with some previous sewing experience. Techniques involved are gathering up the frills, inserting ties, a facing, I think theres nothing too difficult involved – its a really fun project to sew. If you feel a bit daunted by the tie/loop insertion, take a peek at the video tutorial that I have linked to this blogpost.
Fabrics suitable for making Frida are cotton (African fabrics are great), denim chambray, ramie, viscose and lightweight linen. Please see the chart below for fabric requirements.
Please note that you will also need 30cm of med fusible interfacing, 50cm of elastic (10mm wide) and for the top one button (10-20mm).
This is a calf length dress however you can make a shorter dress by using two (A) tiers which will make it on the knee length (shown on a 5ft 7″ height person).
The pattern instruction booklet will show you the pieces to cut out according to your fabric width, using the layplans as a guide.
SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 1cm
Here are some of the stages of making up Frida to show you how its done.
HOW TO MAKE FRIDA
FIRST PREPARE THE TIES OR LOOP
Fold the tie piece in half lengthways and stitch down the long side. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm. Use a loop turner to turn the tie or loop through. Press. Place to one side.
MAKING THE DARTS
On the pattern you can see lots of lines for each Dart size. Each size has two lines: one (outer line) is the ‘cutting’ line and one (inner line) which is the ‘stitch’ line. See the diagram below, Ive marked size 8 Dart lines in yellow (cutting line) and pink (stitch line), to show you more clearly. Its a good idea to mark the required two lines as I have done on your pattern to make them easier to see.
The dart has a cut out triangle at each side edge of the Front Bodice piece. Use a ruler to mark the stitch line which is 1cm away from the cut line. Sew along the marked line. Leave a long thread end. Tie the ends together. Press the darts downwards. Dart (front view) Both darts done and dusted!
Join the back pieces together. Finish the raw edges, press to one side. Easy peasy!
JOINING THE FRONT TO BACK
Join the Front to Back at the shoulder edges. Finish the raw edges, press towards the back, Topstitch.
Join the Facing Front and Back at the shoulder edges. Press. Finish the outer edge all around. Mark the front opening cut and stitch lines.
Pin the Facing piece to the Neck edge. Hand tack. Sew around the front opening. Nick the seam allowance all around.
INSERTING THE TIES OR LOOP
Cut down the centre ‘Cutting’ line. Nick a hole on each side (ties) or just the left side (loop). Insert the two loop raw ends through the hole. Or insert one raw end each side for the ties. Restitch up the opening. Turn the facing to the wrong side. Press.
Pin the sleeve long edges with the right sides together. Sew Make a hem at the cuff edge. (Dress) Sew all around, leave enough room for the elastic. Insert the elastic into the channel. Sew the elastic together. Sew up the opening. With the RST, pin the sleeve to the armhole, matching the sleeve head ‘back’ section to to back. Sew. Finish the seam allowance. Press. Repeat for the other sleeve. Top: Short turned back cuff. Press a deeper cuff hem. Sew. Fold back over to the right side. Press. A few hand stitches at the seam helps secure in place.
DRESS VERSION: Pin the pocket piece at each side edge of both Top Frills (4b or 4c). Press the pocket outwards and topstitch. Place the two top frills one on top of the other. Pin all around the side edges and pockets. Sew. Evenly gather stitch the top edge of the frill all around. Pin to the lower edge of the bodice with the right sides facing together, match up notches and side seams. Hand tack (optional!) Sew all around. It should look like this. Press. Careful not to squash the lovely gathers Ta dah! Repeat in the same way with the second frill. Finally hem the lower edge.
Top (Sleeveless Version A) Leave the sleeves off and edge with bias binding. Fabric by Slubbed Prints
HOW TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE ARMHOLE FOR A SLEEVELESS VERSION
To reduce the armhole, making it less gapey, I recommend pinning in approx 1cm at each side seam, from the top of the armhole to the dart. Also make a small dart at the back section of the armhole about a third of the way up. I made mine approx 1cm (ie 2cm when folded) but you may need more or less.
Try the top on and see how it looks and feels, remember theres going to be a further 1cm taken off by the seam allowance of the binding. If you are happy with the fit, sew the dart and side seam adjustment. Press.
Now make your bias binding. Cut two strips of fabric approx 5cm wide and length to accommodate each armhole.
Fold each strip in half so that the raw edges are matching and the wrong sides facing together. Press.
Starting from the underarm side seam, aligning the raw edges of the binding and armhole, stitch the binding to the armhole, overlapping a little where they meet. I find you don’t need to pin it first, but you do need to ease or stretch it slightly as you sew.
Press the binding away from the armhole with the seam allowance pressed towards the top.
Fold the binding to the reverse side. Press. Pin then hand tack all around. This makes it so much easier when sewing on the machine.
Stitch all around on the machine, then remove all tacking stitches. Press.
There you have it!
Dress (Version B)
Maxi Dress (Version C)
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