Cynthia Rowley Knit Dress : Steps 1 - 4

OK time to get started on this dress. I must say I can already tell this is going to be a challenge. Luckily I keep getting comments from those who have already made this pattern so hopefully we can dodge some bullets.

1 - Staystitch - Staystitching is permanent stitching that helps to stabilize curved edges.

Staystitch the front and back pieces 1/4" in from the seamline (or keep the edge along your presserfoot). Start in the middle of each piece and then stitch to the outside edges. I used a regular straight stitch for this (not a stretch stitch). Backstitch at both ends.

2 - Cut 2 pieces of lightweight interfacing that are 3/4" wide and about 7 inches long. Apply to the wrong side of your fabric on the seam allowance of the left side of your front and back pieces. (where the zipper will go)

3 - Pin front and back sections together at right side seam and stitch with a 5/8" seam allowance using a stretch stitch.

Stretch Stitch - my machine has a stitch that is a slight zigzag that allows the seam to stretch slightly after stitching. Number 9 on my machine. Check your manual to see if you have one. If not, a very wide (almost straight) zigzag will give a similar effect. (test on scraps first)

4 - Apply fusible interfacing to 1- front midriff and 1- back midriff. Put right sides together and stitch the front and back midriff on the right side seam with a stretch stitch.


  1. Your dress is going to be very cute with the stripes. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  2. When you say front and back peices, we're only talking about the bodice at this point, right? Not the skirt panels?

    Thank you!

  3. sarah - yes, thanks for clarifying. just the bodice pieces for now.

  4. i envy your fabric...can't find anything that cute!

  5. Anonymous26.7.10

    question: so on the bodice front pattern piece it says along the top that there's a 3/8" seam allowance. is that only on that one side? are the sides/bottom still 5/8"?

  6. woowhokids - yes, that is only on the top. the rest is 5/8". the reason for the 3/8" is because it is such a tight curve around the neckline.
    that being said, i kinda wish that i had done a smaller seam allowance on the waistband now as well, because i think the waistband is a bit too skinny. i would have liked it to be a bit wider.