These two dresses are among the simplest and most stunning projects I've undertaken. I refer to them as Street Scene and Sunrise. They are fabulous because they take full advantage of the beautiful fabric, require minimal time and fuss, and are straightforward to sew.
The fabrics really make the dress. They both are French digitally printed viscose jersey from Elliott Berman Textiles. The colors are clear and the prints are beautifully defined. They were easy to sew and unlike many lightweight knits, did not curl at the cut edge.
I used Kwik Sew 3561 which is essentially 2 pieces – the front, back and the sleeves. Any simple dress pattern for knits would work.
The pattern I used suited my purposes because it was very easy to vary. I have varied it several times.
And this is my how-to-do instructions:
1. I made solid sleeves, picking up one of the colors in the print. I found this showcases the print.
2. Instead of turning the edge of the neckline under, I added a neckband. For Sunrise I used the printed fabric. For Street Scene I used the sleeve fabric.
As to make the neckline as flawless as possible on this type of dress is quite critical, this is how I managed it:
I cut a strip of fabric 4 cm wide and 5/6 of the circumference of the neckline. The neckline took as long as the rest of the garment and it was worth the extra care. I carefully marked out on the band where the center back, center front and the shoulder seams are. I placed the band seam center back, folded the band in half lengthwise and stretched it as I sewed. For the Street Scene I only sewed one edge of the band to the neckline and hand-stitched the other on the wrong side.
3. The Sunrise dress has a 2-layer strip of a soft black net-like knit attached all the way around. I did this because I did not want to have the dress to finish with the lightest color at the hem.
Take a great print and make something easy and effective!