Welcome to our Make by TFS Teddy Dress pattern sew along! In this post, we go through pre-pressing steps, sewing the shoulders and neckbands, the skirt, attaching the sleeves, and assembling the dress!
Check out the Teddy Dress pattern in our Online Store here. Don't forget you can always email us via email@example.com if you need advice!
Before you start sewing your Teddy Dress we have a few tips to help when sewing with knit fabrics!
— Use a ball point needle in your machine to avoid skipped stitches.
— Try not to stretch your fabric when sewing to avoid rippling. You may want to loosen your machine’s pressure foot tension if this happening.
— For maximum longevity, we highly recommend sewing your Teddy Dress using an overlocker or serger. It can also be completed with a regular domestic sewing machine with zigzag stitch capability and a twin needle setting.
— If you are using a standard sewing machine, use a stretch stitch or narrow zigzag when sewing the seams. You can neaten your seams with a regular zigzag if you don’t have an overlocker/serger.
— Finishing at the body and sleeve hems, and at the neckline can be done with a coverstitch machine. Alternatively you can neaten the raw edge with your overlocker/serger or zigzag stitch and top stitch using a twin needle, two parallel lines of stretch stitch, or a zigzag stitch.
We strongly recommend that you use an iron to press some areas. This will help to ensure accuracy as you sew, as well as to aid in giving your Teddy Dress a neat and tidy finish.
Step 1 — Pre-Pressing
Start by folding your neckband in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together and press.
If you are sewing the long sleeved option, take your sleeves and and press the 2cm hem to the wrong side.
Take your skirt centre front, skirt centre back, and skirt side panel pieces. Fold back and press the 2cm hem on each piece to the wrong side.
We recommend using a fusible interfacing strip on your Teddy Dress pocket openings to add some structure and stability to your pocket. The fusible piece is 22.5cm x 2cm and you need to cut four of these. Iron the fusible interfacing strips to the pocket opening on the skirt side panels. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. The interfacing pieces will extend 3cm on either side of the pocket opening notch points.
Now that you have finished your pressing and interfacing steps, you can move on to sewing the shoulders and neckband!
Step 2 — Shoulders and Neckband
Pin the shoulder seams with right sides together. If you choose to use mobilon elastic, cut a piece that is 2-3cm longer than the length of the shoulder. cut one piee for each shoulder.
Now we will overlock the shoulder seam. Start by catching the mobilon elastic excess with your overlocker first, then place the fabric underneath the mobilon.
Continue sewing the shoulder, catching the elastic with your needles as you sew, then run your stitching off the other side. Be careful not to stretch the elastic as you sew.
Trim the excess mobilon elastic and press the seam towards the back. Repeat for the other shoulder.
Next, take your neckband piece and with the right sides together sew the short ends to make a circle.
Now fold the neckband in half length ways with the wrong sides together. Pin your neckband to the right side of the body of the garment, matching the neckband seam to left shoulder seam and the notch on the neckband to the right shoulder seam.
Now we will baste your neckband to the bodice using a long stitch on your sewing machine. This will help with getting the neckband distributed evenly around the neck. You will need to stretch the neckband as you sew to ensure it fits the neck opening on the bodice.
Once the neckband has been basted in place, overlock the seam and then press it towards the body. Remove any visible basting stitches now, before finishing your neckband.
Now, top stitch the seam allowance to the body using a twin needle, cover seam, or your preferred finishing stitch. Start and finish at the left shoulder as worn.
Next, we will complete the bodice by attaching the sleeves, or armhole facings, depending on the option you are sewing.
Step 3 — Sleeves
With the right sides together, pin the sleeve head to the bodice, matching the notches. Overlock the seam and press it towards the body. Repeat for the other sleeve.
Now, pin the side seams with the right sides together. It can help to start by matching the underarm seams, then work towards the body hem and sleeve hem. Using your overlocker, sew the entire sleeve and side seam. Repeat for the other side and press the seams towards the back.
To sew the sleeveles option, pin the bodice together at the side seams with the right sides together. Overlock the seams and press them towards the back.
With the right sides together, overlock the armhole facings together at the shoulder and underarm. Press the seams towards the front (the facing piece with the single notch).
Neaten the outer, unnotched edge of the facing with your overlocker. Now, pin the armhole facing to the armhole opening on the bodice, right sides together and overlock them together. Under stitch the armhole facing with your sewing machine.
Next, press the facing to the wrong side of the bodice and pin it in place. Using a twin needle or your preferred finishing stitch, sew the facing to the bodice at 2cm. Repeat for the other side.
Next, we will sew the skirt, including the pockets.
Step 4 — Sewing the Skirt
Next we will construct the skirt back. With right sides together pin one skirt side piece to the back centre skirt piece, matching the notches. Overlock
together then repeat for the other side. Press the seams towards the sides.
On your sewing machine and using the longest stitch your sewing machine has, run two parallel lines of basting stitches 6mm apart at the waist edge. Start and finish 1cm in from the side seams to allow for the seam allowance. Next, pull the bobbin threads to gather the skirt.
Gather your skirt until it is the same width as the waist edge of the bodice back.
Now we will sew the skirt front, beginning with the side seam pockets.
Place one pocket bag onto the front with the right sides together and pin together at notches marked ‘pocket opening’. Stitch a box with your sewing machine using a straight or stretch stitch (if your machine has the capability), from notch to notch, from the outside edge in towards the pocket bag 1cm.
With needle down, turn 90 degrees and continue stitching at 1cm, parallel to the edge. Stitch down to line up with the lower notch, turn back towards outside and stitch towards the edge. You will have created a stitched box along the pocket opening.
Next, you need to mitre into the upper and lower corners of the box. Do this by snipping into each corner at a 45-degree angle, using very sharp scissors and taking care not to cut into your stitch line.
Press the seam along the pocket opening and then understitch on the pocket from corner to corner.
Fold the entire pocket bag over towards the wrong side of the fabric and press again. Place the second pocket bag on top, right sides together. Pin it in place matching the notches.
With the right sides together, pin one front side panel to the front centre panel, matching the notches. Overlock them together and then repeat for the other front side panel. Press the seams towards the sides.
As you did with the back, run two parallel lines of basting stitches, 6mm apart at the waist edge of the skirt front. Start and finish 1cm before the side seam to allow for the seam allowances. Next, pull the bobbin threads to gather the skirt until it is the same width as the waist edge on the front bodice.
Now we will attach the skirt front to the skirt back.
With the right sides together, pin the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams. With your sewing machine, sew your front to the back along the pocket edge only with a 1 cm seam. Use a straight stitch, or a stretch stitch if your machine has the capability. This helps to give a nice finish at the pocket where it can be a bit tricky to get your overlocker in close.
Now overlock the side seam. Keep your gathering threads free from the seam in case you need to adjust things a bit later on. Repeat for the other side seam and press the seams towards the back.
You are now ready to assemble your dress!
Step 5 — Assemble the Dress
Start by pinning the skirt to the bodice at the waist seam with the right sides together, sitting the skirt inside the bodice. Match the notches and side seams, and adjust the gathers so they are evenly spread around the skirt as you go.
Once it is sitting well, baste the layers together using a long stitch on your sewing machine.
Now we will overlock the skirt to the bodice, starting at one of the side seams. Place your fabric under the presser foot. If you are using mobilon elastic, lay the mobilon on top of the gathers at the seam line. Overlock the skirt, bodice and mobilon elastic together. Take care not to stretch the mobilon elastic or to catch any extra layers as you are overclocking!
Overlap the mobilon elastic about 1cm when you get to the end of the seam.
Remove any visible gathering stitches and press the waist seam towards the bodice.
Neaten the raw edge of the sleeve hem and then fold back the hem 2cm, wrong sides together. The pre-sewing pressing steps you made will help with this. Pin in place with the pins on the right side. Using a twin needle or your preferred finishing stitch, sew the sleeve hem at 2cm. Sew on the right side of the fabric, starting and finishing at the sleeve seam. Press your hem and repeat for the other sleeve.
Next, we will finish the skirt hem. Neaten the raw edge of the skirt hem and then fold back the hem 2cm, wrong sides together. The pre-sewing pressing steps you made will help with this. Pin in place with the pins on the right side and then using a twin needle or your preferred finishing stitch, sew the body hem with a 2cm seam. Sew on the right side of the fabric, starting and finishing at one of the side seams. Give your hem a press, you're nearly finished!
To keep your seam allowances in place, back tack in the ditch 2-3 stitches in the shoulder seam, at the sleeve head and secure the side seam by back tacking in the ditch 2-3 stitches in the sleeve seam at the underarm.
Clip any loose threads and give your dress a final press. All complete!