Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Nordstrom Knit Dress

I like this dress that appeared in a recent Nordstrom catalog.  It is a simple princess line knit dress with added fullness in the lower side front and side back panels.
While the dress is not expensive for Nordstrom standards, I would prefer to sew the dress rather than purchase it because I want custom fit, a longer length, and a different color and fabric.  Other than that the above dress is fine!  I'll show you the pattern work so you can recreate the look also.

Step 1.  Start with any princess seam dress pattern.   Below you see the Side Front panel recreated on tracing paper.  By the way, I purchase canary yellow rolls, 24" x 25' or 50', from Dick Blick online. Be sure to trace the grain line.
Side Front panel
Step 2.  Raise the hem 12".
Step 3.  Raise the hem 12" on the traced Side Back panel.
Side Back panel
Step 4.  Lay the Side Front and Side Back panels, aligning the side seams.
Side Back and Side Front panels
Step 5. Transparent tape the side seams together below the new 12" mark.
Step 6.  Add fullness to the lower sides.  You are not adding fullness above the 12" mark.
Step 7.  Separate the 12" deep flounce pattern you just created.  Add seam allowances where needed.
Modified Side Front and Side Back
The Side Front panel is now 12" shorter than on the original pattern.  I added a 1/2" seam allowance along the bottom.  Same for the Side Back panel.  There are no other changes to these panels.

Step 8.  Add a seam allowance to the top of the flounce pattern; I added 1/2" at the top/narrow edge.  
The grain can be along the old side seams which is the center of the flounce.  I have also drawn a bias grain line for a slightly different drape.  I plan to cut my flounce along the bias grain.  
Fabric color is accurate in this photo
 I chose a textured cotton/lycra knit from Vogue Fabrics, on sale last fall for $5 per yard. 
photo highlights fabric texture
 The flounces add movement to the dress design. 


  1. I have this same fabric in black and was hoping to see it made up in something to see the drape. This is very pretty! Thanks for the step by step instructions. I notice you don't seem to have to do any bust alterations to the pattern, is that correct?

  2. Great fabric choice. Sadly I missed that sale!!

  3. You did a great job. Your dress is beautiful!

  4. I like yours better, the textured fabric really makes it interesting. The belt is a nice touch.
    Great dress!