Today I’ll show you how to sew a dress as we go over the Sicily Dress Pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. I’ll be sewing a version with nursing access but you can do yours either way.
Learn How to Sew a Dress with the Sicily Swing Pattern
I love how dresses make me feel, especially ones that look good for my body type. After having a few babies, the way clothes fit me has changed a lot. One great aspect of sewing is that we can custom-make our garments to fit our body types.
Sicily Swing Dress Pattern
The Sicily Swing Dress from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop is one of my favorite dresses to sew up. It offers a variety of different options to choose from. It really is an all-around dress pattern for any time of the year whether you want short, elbow, 3/4 or long sleeves, hood, cowl or neckband, nursing access, or a tunic instead of a dress, this pattern has you covered! It even has optional pockets if you’re into those.
It’s more fitted at the top but then flows out from there which I love for my current postpartum body type so as not to accentuate certain areas. I love the nursing option specifically because it still looks fashionable without looking like it’s a nursing dress. It also offers maximum nursing coverage as well. This dress would look great on anyone and today I will be making my Sicily dress with the nursing option for this post.
Peek-a-Boo also has the matching Sophie Swing Dress and Tunic for girls so make sure to take a look at it too.
Supplies to Make the Dress:
- Peek-A-Boo’s Sicily Swing Dress Pattern.
- I chose a rib fabric for the body and a 2×1 rib for the neckband. Light-medium weight knits with 40% stretch and drape will work.
- Fold over 3/8 or 5/8 elastic for the nursing option.
- Cording for optional hood/cowl drawstring.
- Sewing machine, thread, Iron, shears, clips or pins, tape measure, and ruler for hemming.
I will be using the neckband and the nursing option during this article. Follow along for the normal construction of this dress as well. Skip ahead to step 4 of this post if not including the nursing overlay.
Side note: I typically add length to my dresses as a personal preference. The pattern chart gives finished measurements if this is something you need to know to make adjustments. I added about 3 extra inches to mine as I prefer them to cover my knees.
Ok! I’ve got all my pattern pieces cut out and ready for sewing. Once you have yours, we can go ahead and get started!
Dress Step 1: Nursing option
Skip to step 4 in this article for normal dress assembly 🙂
You’ll need to cut your FOE piece to the size suggested on the pattern chart for your size. Once that is done, we will sew the right sides of the short ends together to form a loop.
Turn the loop right side out and we will fold our loop of elastic over onto the dress and clip or pin into place, so the raw edges are encased in a complete circle.
Sew around along the edges using a zig-zag stitch, gently stretching the elastic as you sew, being careful to catch the elastic and the fabric as you go so there are no gaps after. Sewing slowly is good verses having to unpick it after and redo it again!
Dress Step 2: Nursing Band
Grab the nursing band piece and press flat with the wrong sides together. We will attach this to the nursing overlay in the next step.
Grab the nursing overlay and pin/clip the pressed band piece to the front of the overlay with right sides & raw edges together.
Sew the band to the overlay piece using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Edges are sewn together. (Underside shown here)
Next, we will flip our band piece down and press flat for topstitching.
Topstitch the seam allowance to the front of the bodice.
Topstitching is complete!
Dress Step 3: Attaching the overlay
Lay the nursing panel on top of the front dress piece where the nursing access opening is.
Clip/pin the pieces together around the sides, shoulders and neckline.
Baste both pieces together along the edges that you clipped/pinned together.
Basting is complete!
Dress Step 4: Sewing the shoulders together
Grab your front and back dress pieces. Clip/pin the shoulders together with the front and back dress pieces right sides together. Sew the shoulders using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Dress Step 5: Sleeves
Take your sleeves and place them right sides together along the shoulder seams. Gently stretch the sleeve to fit and clip/pin it together. Do this for both sleeve pieces.
Sew the sleeves to the dress using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Dress Step 6: Body assembly
With the right sides together, pin/clip the dress together from the end of the sleeves down to the bottom of the dress.
I chose a 3/4″ sleeve length for mine.
Sew the dress together in one continuous seam for both sides of the dress.
Dress Step 7: Hemming
Fold the bottom of the sleeves up towards the wrong side 3/4″. Press and clip/pin in place.
Do the same for the bottom edge of the dress. Fold up 3/4″, press and clip/pin into place. If you’d like to try it on first to see where you want the hemline to fall, now would be a good time to do so.
After you’ve decided on your hemline length, go ahead and hem the sleeves and the bottom of your dress.
Human flaw tip/admission: (Please ignore the fact that I have 2 needles and only one thread…. sometimes you just have to go with it after you’ve begun)!
Dress Step 8: Neckband
Sew the short ends of the neckband piece with right sides together.
Fold the neckband piece in half with wrong sides together.
With right sides together, clip/pin the neckband to the dress, lining up the raw edges.
Sew the neckband on using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Flip the neckband up and press the neckband flat.
Topstitch the neckband seam allowance to the dress.
We’re finished! Try it on and you’re ready to wear your new, sewn by you dress!
This was such a beautiful fall morning to wear my dress for the first time! I love how it drapes and flows. I have the cowl neck version on my sewing table in a cotton lycra waiting for me to sew it up.
I hope you love your new dress and decide to try out the other options this pattern has to offer! Thank you for following along with this how-to sew-a-dress tutorial and until next time, hopefully, we’ll sew together again soon!
Other Sew-Along Style Blog Posts
Thank you Elisha for that excellent article on how to sew a dress using the Sicily Swing Dress Sewing Pattern. This pattern has so many options to make a perfect dress for any season. If you enjoyed Elisha’s article you might enjoy some of our other sew-along style blog posts: