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In this post you’ll find instructions to cut your fabric to sew the Ruby Dress.
The Ruby Dress has 8 pages and only 3 pattern pieces: Bodice Front, Bodice Back, and a Circle Skirt Template.
MHS Free Ruby Dress pattern is available in sizes 6-12, but you can easily grade it up or down if you have to.
Preparing the Pattern:
You’ll receive your FREE Ruby Dress Pattern through email.
5/8″ (0.6 cm) seam allowances are included in the pattern
- Set your printer preference to print full size and use standard printer paper (11 x 81/2″). Print the first page only and measure the 2″ x 2″ test square to verify the print accuracy.
- If the printer settings are accurate, print all pages. The pattern has 5 pages (including the Test Square).
- Cut the pages on the red line, align the registration marks until they form a whole pattern and tape the pages together. The picture below shows the pattern layout.
- Select your pattern size based on your largest measurement from the table below:
|Waist||26 ½||27 ½||28 ½||29 ½|
- Cut out your pattern pieces. Once you have aligned the pages together, ignore the registration marks and cut right through as necessary. If your size is different you can blend your bust, waist, and hip measurements using a curve ruler.
The most important part of this project is to fit the bodice of your dress. The pattern is good starting point, but every body is unique and you’ll have to adjust it to your figure.
If you have a bodice sloper (a bodice made for your body), you can use it to adjust your pattern. It takes some time but it is worth the effort – you can use your bodice sloper to have a perfect fit in any pattern.
Another option is to sew the bodice of your Ruby Dress in muslin (or another inexpensive woven fabric) and make any adjustments if needed. Once you have a good fit, transfer the adjustments to your pattern.
It is easier to fit if you install a zipper temporarily. You can use the same zipper you are going to use for your dress using large stitches.
Things to consider when fitting your bodice:
- Shoulder seam sits on your shoulder – you can adjust back or front only if needed
- Side seams are straight – you may need to adjust your bust (for a full bust adjustment try adding a 1-2″strip above the bust-line).
- Length on back and front are appropriate (wrap an elastic around your waist and adjust if needed) –
- Include 5/8″ for seam allowances
Test your fabric
Depending on the fabric you chose, you might need to preshrink your fabric. If you are unsure if your fabric needs to be pre-shrieked, press a square of your fabric and if it shrinks, press it with steam before cutting it.
Cutting the Bodice
The bodice only has two pattern pieces.
- Place the fabric on a large table and make sure that the fabric fold is on the grain line. The salvage edges should be aligned.
- Place your pattern pieces over your fabric.
- Use the fold of your fabric to align the Bodice Front Piece.
- Align the grain lines of the bodice back piece. (you can use a ruler and measure from the salvage end or fold to the grainline marks on the pattern)
- Cut 1 bodice front on the fold, and 2 bodice back.
- Make a small cut on your fabric to mark the notches.
- Awl punch your fabric on the dart mark (1/2″ below the vanishing point ). You can also use tailor’s tacks.
- Repeat for the lining. Some Lining fabrics are slippery and they are easier to cut if you place them over tissue paper.
You can pin your pattern pieces and cut with scissors or you can use weights and cut with a rotary cutter
Cutting the Circle Skirt:
- Fold your fabric in four (it should have four layers)
- Select your size and place the template provided with the pattern on the folded corner. If you adjusted the waist on the bodice, adjust your skirt waist to match the bodice.
3. Draw the Hemline. From the waist line, use your measuring tape and mark your desired skirt length (plus 1 5/8″). (1″ for the hem and 5/8″ for the waist seam allowance). In my example, for a 20″ skirt, I marked my hem to 21 5/8″
4. Cut on the waist and hem lines. Your circle skirt will look like a doughnut.
5. Make an opening for the back seam and zipper. (use the fabric fold as your guideline)
Now, take a picture and share with us on our MHS Sewing Facebook Group! I’ll love to see your progress.
Next, we start the bodice construction.
If you’re sharing your pictures on Twitter or Instagram, please use hashtag #mhsrubydress. If you are not on either of those, you could always email pics to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.