In the instruction videos for the BERNINA L 890, a blue dress can often be seen. It is a “Princess Line” dress. This is a dress that is cut in long pieces, without horizontal seams or separation at the waistline. The dress is not shaped with darts. Instead, the figure-hugging shape is achieved by long seams (“princess seams”) and shaped cut parts. Did you notice the dress in the videos and would you like to sew such a “Princess Line” dress yourself? Then you don’t have to wait any longer, because in this post I provide you with free patterns and instructions for the dress. This makes a good figure in size 36 to 46. But see for yourself!
“Princess Line” Dress sewing Instructions Part 1
In this first of two blog posts, you’ll learn what materials you need, how to cut and sew the decorative stitches, with tips on stitching with decorative threads in the chain looper.
The second part will be about sewing the dress, trying it on and finishing it. Part 2 will be released in five days, next Tuesday.
- 3.00 – 3.30 m knit, two-way stable stretch fabric, 140 cm wide
Alternative: stretch fabrics only, e.g. with elastane component and with approx. ca. 20% stretchability. The fabric should not be too fine so that the decorative seams can be sewn nicely.
- Universal overlock thread, for example Mettler Seracor
- Sewing thread, for example Mettler Seralon
- Decorative threads in three or four colors, for examples Madeira Glamour 8, Glamour 12, Metallic 12 or Metallic 40
- BERNINA L 890 Overlock-/Coverstich-Combo machine
- Optional: Clear overlock/Combostitch Foot #C27
- Optional: Decorative threads Guide #L25, depending on the decorative threads for the chain looper
- BERNINA sewing machine
- Rotary Cutter, ruler and large cutting mat
- Cutting Weights
- Colored tracing paper and marking wheel
Pleae note that the seam allowances are not included on these pattern pieces. See below for the recommended allowances.
2 x back part middle 1
2 x back part 2
2 x back part 3
2 x Back part 4
2 x Front part 5
2 x Front part 6
2 x Front part 7
2 x Front part middle 8
2 x Armhole cuff 9
1 x Collar 10
Download the dress pattern for free
The pattern sizes A4 and US-Letter you can print this out on your regular printer at home and stick the sheets together. Make sure your print the pattern unsing the “original size” setting. Check the test square on page 20 (A4) or page 6 (US-Letter) to make sure, the pattern will be printed in the correct size.
The pattern A0 can be used for copy-shop printing so you can save time in sticking the smaller paper sheets to a large format pattern.
Decorative Design Preparation
Plan the decorative stitching, for example on each of the pieces 1 to 8 three or four lines in different length, beginning below the waist to the hem line.
Tip: drawing from waistline towards the hemline eases the design process.
Plan the decorative stitching on the collar, four to six lines on part 10.
Number the decorative threads and assign them to stitches: chainstitch no. 16 and narrow coverstitch no. 23. Assign the numbers to the lines on the pattern.
Tip: I have made the longest line in the darkest color and the shortest in light blue, so that the dress shines lighter towards the hem.
Tip: when using a ruler and cutter together with weights, the pattern and fabrics remain together better,giving more precision to the cutting.
Place the pattern pieces 1 to 8 along the grain on a double layer, right side inside. Allow for a seam allowance of 1.5 cm (1/2″) and a hem allowance of 3 cm (1 1/4″) Fix the pieces with the weights and cut them out.
Place the pattern piece 9 on the fold, right side inside. Cut it with a seam allowance of 1 cm (3/8″).
Place the pattern piece 10 on a double folded double layer of fabric, notice the two folds, right side inside and cut it with a seam allowance of 1 cm (3/8″).
Transfer all markings with the tracing paper and wheel. Also transfer the lines for the decorative seams onto the wrong side of the fabric, allowing the looper thread to show on the right side of the fabric.
Tip: already pin or clip the front parts 8 and back parts 1 in the middle together in the upper area where no decorative stitching is marked.
Numbering the fabric pieces before removing the paper pattern makes it easier to verify the parts for later assembly.
I recommend sewing the decorative seams from the hem line towards the waist. At the start of the seam, use a fabric remnant for the stitches at the edge. The clear presser foot #C27 allows a better view onto the markings.
Working from the wrong side, sew the decorative stitches along the markings, so that the decorative chain looper thread will show on the right side of the fabric.
Tip: in my example I first stitched “seam 1” on the collar and on all parts 1 to 8, stitch 23, then changed the chain looper thread and stitched “seam 3”. Then I selected stitch 16, threaded the chain looper for “seam 2”, then changed the chain looper thread for “seam 4”.
While sewing, guide the fabric gently and stretch if needed or set differential feed to 0.9, so thatthe decorative seams are not puckering.
At seam end, secure the stitches, for example using the CS Lock Tool. Then pull all threads to the wrong side of the fabric and if needed, secure them with a knot before cutting back to approx. 2 cm (3/4″).
More on how to secure cover and chainstitch with the CS lock tool is shown in Video: L 890 Coverstitch Sewing, Sewing in a Circle.
Iron the decorative seams.
Tip: more about sewing with the Clear Overlock-Combostitch foot #C27 is shown in video: Clear overlock feet L27/C27.
More about optimizing cover stitches with decorative threads is shown in the following video: L 890 optimizing stitches.
In case, thick decorative threads and yarn is used, refer to the following video for more information: L 850 Looper thread Change and Alternative Threading Methods.
The use of the Decorative Thread Guide #L25 is shown in Video: Decorative Threads Guide L25.
So far so good. As mentioned, it continues in five days. Then we will finish the “Princess Line” Dress.
But for now, I wish you fun and good success in decorating and sewing with different yarns and stitches.