Creative articles about sewing

Time to shine! Make your pattern for a boho dress

Make your own pattern for a boho dress

In my previous blog I’ve shown a recap of Time to shine! capsule wardrobe and now it’s time to fill the ‘gaps’. In a capsule wardrobe you plan which items of clothing need to be in it and within which colour palette. Now that the largest part of the wardrobe has been sewn, I notice that there isn’t a summer dress in it that’s also suitable to wear to work. A nice flowy summer yet decent dress, if you know what I mean. That’s why the theme of this blog: Make your own pattern for a boho dress!

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Time for a plan. The plan is executed with the BERNINA 590 Crystal Edition.

Image of BERNINA 590 Crystal Edition.

BERNINA 590 Crystal Edition

It’s your time to shine! Experience the beauty of the B 590 Crystal Edition. With an incredible inspiration kit including dazzling Swarovski® crystals, extra feet and exclusive embroidery designs, this limited edition will let your artistic side shine. The handy trolley set and embroidery module make this Crystal Edition complete!

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The fabric

With this new plan for the summer dress, I naturally want to stay within the predefined colour palette. I came across this beautiful lurex viscose from Verhees Textiles. So cute with those little flowers and extra shine because of the golden ‘spots’.

Floral with golde spots

Colour palette

Create the pattern

You can easily make the pattern for this summer dress yourself. Use a basic pattern for the bodice with sleeves of choice. Choose a pattern that you already have and that fits you well. It can be a dress, top or blouse. I chose a pattern with which I have already created a number of dresses, a nice basis.

Blouse 23, Knipmode January2012

Start by cutting the bodice pattern pieces. Cut front and back at (or slightly above) waist height. Cut the sleeve pattern at (or slightly above) elbow height.

The basis

Gathered strips are sewn to the bodice. You calculate the length of the strips yourself. The number of strips and/or the width of the strips depends on how long you want the summer dress to be.

For the skirt part of my summer dress I cut three strips that are each 1.5 times the length of the pattern piece it is sewn to. The width of the strips increases slightly. There is also a straight gathered strip on the sleeve.

The numbered strips are (excluding 1 cm seam value):

  1. 1.5 times the length of the circumference of the bodice and 15 cm wide
  2. 1.5 times the length of strip 1 and 18 cm wide
  3. 1.5 times the length of strip 2 and 20 cm wide
  4. 1.5 times the length of the circumference of the sleeve and 15 cm wide.

When you cut the strips, it is useful to label them immediately. Label which strip it is, but also what the top of the strip is.

Labelled strip


The bodice

The bodice I chose for this summer dress has a front button closure with 6 buttons. The many beautiful colours in the fabric make it difficult to choose a button. To stay on the Time to shine! theme (and because they’ll match beautifully with my cool sandals) I opt for the green buttons with gold details that I found on one of my thrift trips.


Green and gold

Even before I started making the buttons and buttonholes, I tried on the body first. The fit was good, but I decided that I still needed a collar. I cut a stand-up collar from another blouse and with this the bodice was complete.

It needs a collar

After the buttonholes with Buttonhole foot with slide #3A, sewing on the buttons was an easy job with the help of Button-sew-on foot # 18.

Image of Button Sew-On Foot #18.

Button Sew-On Foot #18

For sewing on buttons and hooks ✓  The rubberized sole holds the button firmly in place ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Image of Buttonhole Foot with Slide #3A.

Buttonhole Foot with Slide #3A

Sewing any number of buttonholes of exactly the same length ✓  Flexible choice of buttonhole length up to 30 mm ✓  With or without cording ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Buttonhole foot

Buttons attached with the sewing machine

Buttons and collar

The strips

After that it’s straight forward task. With right sides together you sew each strip together on the short side. Then you sew two gathering threads (stitch length 6) at the top of all strips. I mark the centre front and centre back of the bodice and the strips and also one side seam of the strip (the other side seam is where the short sides are stitched. Let the marks match and sew the first gathered strip to the bodice, the next on the first strip, etc. You repeat the same for the sleeves. Finish your seams neatly with an over locker. I’ve used my bernette 64 AIRLOCK . The bottom strip and the sleeve strips you finished with a rolled hem.

Image of bernette 64 AIRLOCK.

bernette 64 AIRLOCK

The overlocker with an air threader to automatically thread the loopers. It‘s never been so easy to get started. The b64 AIRLOCK has even more to offer: the freearm makes it easy to sew sleeves and cuffs.

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Bodice and first strip

Sew over gathered strip with perpendicular pins

Rolled hem

This quickly sewn summer dress is a nice addition to the Time to shine! capsule wardrobe. There is only one problem….which shoes do I wear ;-)?

Casual, festival or breezy

Tap to watch a video recap.




Free sewing pattern & instructions: Boho dress

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