The Dahlia pattern sewn up in a sheer fabric makes a super elegant dress. Originally, the Dahlia dress is meant to be used with opaque fabric since we want the seam allowances to be invisible from the outside, but with some minor changes, you can modify the pattern to work with sheer fabrics as well. Today I’ll show you how to sew the top of the dress with 3/4 sleeves in a sheer fabric.
Before you start:
Additionally to the pattern pieces listed in the instructions you need to cut out the all-in-one neckline and armhole facing piece out of your lining fabric – I made a bonus pattern piece for you, ready to print out, get it here in my free resource library.
Furthermore, you need to cut the Skirt Front and Back pieces in your lining fabric as well.
1) First, mount the Front and Back Bodice pieces of the outer fabric onto the corresponding lining pieces, either with pins or baste them together around the edges inside the seam allowances. Using pins is, of course, the faster method, but you have to make extra sure they don’t get caught in the delicate outer fabric and rip it!
2) Next, sew the release darts in the front pieces.
3) Now close the darts in the back piece.
4) Press the front darts towards the neckline opening and the back darts towards the centre back.
5) Then sew the shoulder seams with French seams: Sew the front pieces to the back piece wrong sides facing with a 6 mm / 1/4″ seam allowance.
6) Trim the seam allowance.
7) Fold the pieces over so that now the right sides are facing. Sew them together with a 9 mm / 3/8″ seam allowance, enclosing the raw edges.
8) Press the seam allowance towards the back.
9) Next, join the two facing pieces and finish the bottom edges of the facing.
10) Place the facing on top of the outer fabric, right sides facing. Pin the two layers together around the neck opening.
11.a) For the sleeveless version: Pin the two layers together around the armholes as well.
11.b) For the version with cap sleeves: Pin the sleeve pieces onto the outer bodice, right sides facing: The notches in the armhole openings indicate, where the bottom of the cap sleeve meets the bodice. The double notches in the sleeves are supposed to point to the back of the garment. Adjust the gathering if needed until the top of the sleeve eases well into the armhole. Then add the lining on top of the sleeve, the right side of the lining facing the right side of the outer fabric (the sleeve is now sandwiched between the outer bodice and lining fabric).
11.c) For the version with 3/4 sleeves: Pin the sleeves onto the outer bodice, right sides facing: The notches in the armhole openings help you to align the pieces. The double notches in the sleeves are supposed to point to the back of the garment. Adjust the gathering if needed until the top of the sleeve eases well into the armhole. Then add the lining on top of the sleeve, the right side of the lining facing the right side of the outer fabric (the sleeve piece is now sandwiched between the outer bodice and lining fabric).
12) For all versions: Sew all the pinned seams (around the neckline and the two armholes).
13) Trim the seam allowances and clip them where the seams are curved.
14) Turn the bodice inside out through the shoulders.
15) Press all the seams to make sure they are lying flat.
If your facing is not laying flat, you can understitch it where necessary.
16) Now you are going to close the side seams, again we are using French seams. So align the side front and back pieces along the side seams, wrong sides facing. Sew them together with a 6 mm / 1/4″ seam allowance.
17) Trim the seam allowance.
18) Fold the pieces over so that now the right sides are facing. Sew them together with a 9 mm / 3/8″ seam allowance, enclosing the raw edges.
That’s it, we’re done with the top!
I don’t have pictures to show you how to sew the skirt of the dress with a lining, but it’s simple. Just sew up a separate skirt out of the additional lining pieces, following the pattern instructions. When you get to the point where you add the waistband to the skirt, just insert the skirt lining as well, with its wrong side facing the wrong side of the sheer outer fabric. It’s as simple as that! Enjoy your Dahlia dress or blouse!
Don’t want to forget this tutorial? Pin this image to your pinterest sewing board!