Tutorial: Rainbow Eden Dress
Blogger: Annie Lomeli
Rainbow Eden Dress
Eden is such a stunning pattern! Every time I see a pattern with scallops, I am immediately reminded of clouds, and what goes better with white clouds than a rainbow?
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make your own version of this rainbow Eden dress with a strip skirt and woven straps.
Cutting the Pattern
Cut everything per the pattern pieces and cut chart except the straps and skirt pieces. In addition, cut two small rectangles 2.5” by 3”. These will be used to make button plackets for the ends of each set of woven ties.
Cutting the 5 piece Strip Skirt
To calculate the height of each strip, you will first need to figure out the finished measurement of the skirt. For the Eden pattern, the hem is made by folding up the bottom raw edge a ½” and then another ½” for a total of 1”. The top portion of the skirt is sewn to the bodice with a ½” seam allowance so we will need to take that into account as well. To figure out the finished measurement, refer to the cut chart for the height you are making and subtract the 1” hem allowance and the ½” top seam allowance. This will give you the intended finished length of the skirt.
I am making my dress with a size 2 width and size 4 length. I have referred to the cutting chart in the pattern and it says that I need to cut my skirt at 29.25” wide for a size 2 and 14.5” long for a size 4. The width will stay the same but I will need to subtract 1.5” from the length.
14.5” - 1.5” = 13” finished skirt length
Next, take that measurement, divide by 5, and add 1” to account for seam allowance on the top and bottom of the strip. **NOTE: this method will work with any amount of strips you want to use, simply divide by the desired number of strips** With some lengths, you will end up with measurements which are not ideal for cutting purposes. In this case, I recommend rounding up to the nearest ⅛”.
13” ÷ 5 + 1” = 3.6”
Because my length ends up 3.6”, I will round up to 3.625” which is equivalent to 3 ⅝”, to make cutting a bit easier. Now that I have the length, I can cut my strips. I will need 2 strips for each layer, one for the front and one for the back of the skirt. NOTE: I am changing the length of my hem to a ¼” roll instead of a ½” roll like the original skirt so the measurements are as simple as possible. If you would like to keep the half inch hem, be sure to add an additional ½” to the bottom strip only.
Cutting and Constructing the Straps
First figure out how wide your shoulder is on the top of the bodice pattern piece. Do this by drawing a straight line ½” below the top of the shoulder and measuring the line. My bodice is a size 2 width at the shoulder and it measures approximately 2 ⅛” or 2.125.
Next, figure out how wide your finished straps need to be. To do this, subtract the 1” seam allowance (½” on each side) and then divide by 3. **NOTE: this method will work for any amount of straps you want to use, simply divide by the desired amount. If you want to keep the dainty look of the thin woven straps on the larger sizes, I recommend doing 4 straps rather than 3.**
2.125” - 1” ÷ 3 = .375”
Now, to get the cut width for each strap, that measurement will need to be multiplied by 4. Again, some measurements won’t be ideal for cutting so I recommend rounding down to the nearest ⅛” for the straps.
.375” x 4 = 1.5”
Keep in mind that the straps will be constructed like double fold bias tape so subtract anywhere from ⅛” to ¼” to allow for the thickness of the fabric when ironing as you won’t be able to fold and press it exactly the size you need. This way the straps won’t end up too wide for the shoulder. You could always test out your measurement before you cut all of the straps to be sure you are on the right track.
Now that the width is determined, we need to figure out the length. Take the original strap pattern piece, measure the long side and subtract a ½”. Because the end of the straps are constructed differently, remove ½” from the original length. Using the strap measurements, cut 6 straps.
Press each strap in half wrong sides together to create a memory crease. Since we are working with several thin strips of fabric, Doing each step in batches to allow time for the fabric to cool in between. Next, fold the edges to the center lining them up on the memory crease you made. Then, fold in half again and the raw edges will be enclosed. Edgestitch.
Constructing the Bodice
Follow the steps in the tutorial through the end of page 18. Skip page 19, and start on the second step on page 20. Repeat the steps on page 20 for the lining pieces as well.
Place the lining on top of the main, right sides together, making sure to line up the shoulders and neckline. Pin to hold in place if desired. Sew the neckline with a ½” seam allowance. Trim the excess seam allowance and understitch. Be sure to start and stop a ½” from the beginning and end of the neckline.
Next, baste the straps together with a ¼” seam allowance to make it easier to hold in place while adding them to the bodice.
Separate the lining and main, and line up one set of straps with the top of the bodice on the left shoulder. Butt them up as close to the neckline seam as possible, and baste in place with a ½” seam allowance. Repeat for the other shoulder.
Fold the lining back over the main, lining up all of the edges. Pin to hold in place if desired. Start sewing with a ½” seam allowance at the shoulder. Pivot at the end of the 3rd strap and continue sewing a ½” seam allowance through the armsyce and back piece. Trim the seam allowance, turn and press.
Lay the straps out flat, ensuring none are twisted. Begin by taking the inside left strap over the right inside strap, then under the middle strap and over the outside strap. Then, the left side middle left strap will go under the right side inside strap, over the middle strap and under the outside strap. For the left side outside strap, go over the right side inside strap, under the center strap and over the outside strap. Did you get that? If not, refer to the pictures below. Next, arrange the straps and pin them so they don’t move during the next few steps.
Make sure you don’t have any twisted straps and then baste each set together using a ¼” seam allowance to hold them in place. Take the two button plackets and press each long raw edge a ½” wrong sides together. Press in half.
Open up the placket and lay it flat. Place one set of straps right sides together, centered on the placket. Sew a scant ½” seam allowance. Fold the crease and seam allowance down. Then, fold the other creased edge right sides together and pin. Sew along the edge of the outside straps on both sides and trim the excess fabric away. Repeat for the other strap.
Turn the placket out and edgestitch, ensuring you catch the underside.
Continue with the tutorial on page 24 through page 29 stopping at the instructions for the button placement. Lay your straps right side up and place a mark a ¼” down from the top of the placket where the straps are attached. This is where the holes/center of your button will be placed. If you are using snaps, the snap prong will puncture the fabric through your mark. Sew on buttons or add snaps. If you are adding pockets, continue with the tutorial until the end of page 33.
Constructing the Skirt
I like to construct the front and back skirt separately. Starting with the front pieces, lay the bottom strip down with the right side facing up, place the next strip on top, right sides together and sew with a ½” seam allowance. Open it up and add the next strip and sew with a ½” seam allowance. Repeat for the remaining strips. Next, repeat for the back pieces. Finish all of the raw edges with your preferred method - serge, zig zag, or pinking shears.
Press the seam allowance up on the front skirt piece and down on the back skirt piece. This way, when the side seams are sewn, they will nest together perfectly and your strips will be lined up and appear seamless while worn. If adding pockets, continue with the tutorial on page 34 and come back here after attaching the pockets.
Lay one skirt piece down and place the other on top, right sides together. Line up your strips and pin at each seam. Sew with a half inch seam allowance and finish the raw edges with your desired method.
Press the seam allowance towards the back of the skirt.
Hem the bottom raw edge by pressing up, wrong sides together a ¼” and then another ¼”. Edgestitch. Continue with the tutorial on page 37 to finish the dress.
Now, pat yourself on the back because you are done!