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  • Writer's pictureSew Retro

The Peggy Summer Dress

The Peggy Summer Dress, is a relaxed fit with a seventies vibe, dress it up for a date night or keep it casual. The Peggy is a fabulous dress for lazy days in the park, and will effortless take you from day to evening.

The Peggy has adjustable straps for a great fit and the waist is made to your measurements.

The gathered frill on the skirt, brings it bang on trend. The optional belt clinches in the waist.

The Peggy Summer Dress is a free pattern and tutorial for your own use at home and not to be reproduced commercially. The super simple Peggy Summer Dress is stunning beginners project.

Experienced sewers will enjoy making this super simple dress.

Materials and Equipment

210cm of fabric I got mine from here

2.50 meters of elastic 1.5cm wide I got mine from here

Matching thread, pins, tape measure, chalk , knitting needle or a blunt pencil and scissors.

Suitable Fabric.

It is important that you choose the correct fabric for The Peggy Summer Dress.

Your Fabric choice needs to be very light weight and fluid, to achieve the look in the image.

Heavy or stiff fabric would result in a different look to the images shown.

The Peggy Dress would be very suitable for lightweight fabric such as, lightweight cotton, ,light weight linen, viscose, polyester or a poly mix. For a more formal or evening look, crepe would work well.

Sewing Tips

Seam allowance 1 cm, this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide

RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.

Press = Iron the section you had just sewn, seam should be ironed open.

Notch = a small snip to the fabric less than 1cm ideally 0.5cm


Small Fits up to size 12 - the elastic is adjusted to your size for the perfect fit

Medium Fits size 12 to 14 - the elastic is adjusted to your size for the perfect fit

Large Fits size 16 to 18 -the elastic is adjusted to your size for the perfect fit.

Your fabric is on the fold the belt and the frill need to be cut on the fold the back and front, are two separate pieces of fabric

Copy the pattern onto some spot and cross pattern cutting paper or tracing paper.

Fold the selvedge edges together and place the pattern on the fabric or chalk the measurements directly on to the fabric.

Following the diagram above, mark and cut the additional cutting to shape the top of the dress, on the back and front.

1. Mark notches on the dress, from the top of the dress mark a small notch or chalk line at the bottom of the 4cm shaping, on all 4 seams. From the top of the dress mark a notch 30cm down from the top on all 4 sides.

2.Gather the frill, Using the largest stitch on your sewing machine, and with the foot to the edge of the fabric stitch from one long edge to the end, DO NOT secure the stitching at the beginning and end and leave a long thread, repeat stitching a second line of stitching 1cm from the first, repeat on the remaining frill.

3.Pull the bottom 2 threads together until you have gathered the frill to match the hem on the dress exactly.

4 and 5. Pin the gathered frill to the dress, change the sewing machine back to your normal stitch size, stitch the frill to the dress,stitch in the middle of the two lines of gathering stitch. Repeat on the remain side.

6. If your fabric is very slippy or you need to leave the gathers, and return to your sewing at a later time, secure the gathering thread by wrapping the tread around a pin, this will keep the gather secure until you can return to stitch the frill to the dress

Remove the gathering stitches. Using a zig zag stitch or an over locker, neaten the seams you have just sewn. Neaten the remaining raw edges on the back and front of the Peggy Dress.

7.Turn the top of the dress down for 2cm as shown. Press. Repeat on the remaining side.

8.Lay the front of the dress on a flat surface WS facing, chalk a line from the second notch (30 cm down from the top raw edge) left to right. ( one side seam to the other on the WS).

Fold the dress on the chalk line and press.

9.Pin a line 2cm down from the edge you have just pressed ( this will form the elastic casing) .

Repaet on the remaining side.

10. Lay the front and back of the dress with the RS facing together, and pin one side seam, you will need to remove a few of the pins (as shown ) allowing you to sew a flat seam. Using a 1cm SA stitch from the top to the end matching the seam made for the gathers.

N.B.DO NOT remove the remaining pins that mark the fold line at the top and at the waist.

11. Press the seam you have just sewn open.

12. Re insert the pins that you had to remove to sew the side seam.

13.Using a 2cm seam allowance stitch the waist seam from one side to the other.

Making the casing for the elastic.

14. Press the seam you have just sewn flat and facing down to the hem.

15. Pin along the pressed seam, and stitch along that line, this will create the casing for the elastic.

Make the casing for the top of the Peggy dress.

Machine stitch close to the neatened folded top edge of the Peggy dress, creating a casting for the elastic at the top of the Peggy dress.

16. Using your elastic measure one length, above your bust and under your arms,it needs to fit comfortably but not be loose, cut.

17. Using the remaining elastic, measure a length around your waist again it need to fit comfortably but not be loose. Cut.

18. Attach the cut elastic for the waist on to the end of a safety pin, and insert the elastic into the waist seam/casing.

19.Secure the elastic both ends with a small line of machine stitching on the edge ,of the side seam with the foot to the edge of the fabric, when you join the side seam, this should not be visible.

20. Insert the elastic you cut for the top of the Peggy dress into the casing made earlier at the top of the dress. Secure both ends with a line of stitching on the edge of the side seam.

21. With RS together carefully pin the side seam, matching the gathered sections. Using a 1 cm SA machine stitch from the top to the hem. Press the seam flat.

22. On the RS of the dress machine a few stitches over the seam, you have just pressed flat at the top. This will be more comfortable when you wear the Peggy dress.

23.Make the straps.

With RS together fold the straps in half length ways and cut on the fold line, repeat on the remaining straps. You should have 4 straps.

Fold each strap in half and press.

25. With the foot to the edge of the fabric, and stitch across one short seam and one long seam, on the raw edges.

Turn the straps inside out as show in the video.

26. The Belt.

Place the RS together and pin one of the two short seams together, stitch into place. Making one very long piece of fabric. Press the seam flat. With Rs together press the belt in half. Pin the two short seams together, then pin along the long seam leaving a gap to turn the belt inside out. Stitch the short seam , continue to the long seam leaving a gap, continue sewing until you reach the remaining short seam stitch the short seam. Turn the belt inside out. Press. Slip stitch the gap.

27 Zig zag or over lock the raw end of the straps

28.Position the straps, turn the Peggy dress inside out and lay on a flat surface, measure 10cm in from the side seam at the top and pin the straps,onto the front top band. The neatened edge of the strap is lined up to the neaten edge of the dress. Repeat on the remaining straps

29. Machine stitch the strap onto the dress along the stitch line you have already sewn for the elastic casting. Make an additional small neat row of stitching on the top of the elastic casing sewing the strap for a few stitches to the edge of the top of the dress, if possible try not to catch the elastic. This will give a neat finish and help the straps lie flat. The straps will now be stitched to the dress in two places. Repeat on the remaining 3 straps.

30.Turn up and pin the hem for 1cm. Machine stitch into place.

HOORAY and CONGRATULATIONS you have successfully made the Peggy Dress, please share your finished images on my Facebook account. Thank you :-)

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