How to Sew a Simple Dress ~ Step 1 [A Series]

Hey, you!

Warning! Warning! This is a 5-part MEGA series on the process of how to sew a simple, sleeveless, flirty dress from start to flaunt!

My goal in this series of articles is to give you everything that I know currently about sewing a dress so that you can get from dreaming of sewing to flaunting sooner rather than later!

While I’ll keep it as simple as possible as I stated previously: This is a MEGA series!

So if you are truly serious about unleashing your dressmaking superpowers, then this is the series of articles you’ve long-waited for.

This article is Step 1 ~ Why Vogue Very Easy 9237 & Getting Started!

And here’s what you can expect over the coming weeks…

NOTE: If you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies, please click HERE!

Series Contents

  • Step 1 ~ Why Vogue Very Easy 9237 & Getting Started
  • Step 2 ~ Fitting Our Sewing Pattern
  • Step 3 ~ Over at the Cutting Table for Real
  • Step 4 ~ Let’s Sew Our Dress
  • Step 5~ Assess the Dress: Vogue 9237

Why Vogue Very Easy 9237

For the FIRST dress project on this site, we’ll be sewing and assessing Vogue 9237 ~ View A.

I think this is a great beginner pattern for these reasons:

  • It is a loose-fitting silhouette with no waist seam and straight side seams, so any fitting should be minimal!
  • It is a pullover style. No zips to stress us out!
  • No darts. But…
  • There are gathers — but have no fear, gathering is super easy! (And yes, you can!)
  • We’ll be making the sleeveless version. But it does include a short sleeve version, as well as inseam pockets when we’re ready to grow our skillset!
  • It calls for the application of bias facing to finish the neck and armhole edges! No beastly separate shaped facings!

Yep! I’m feeling pretty good about Vogue 9237!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to choose your first sewing pattern!

Step 1: Getting Started

Step 1a: Required skills…

Before we dive in, I want to make sure that there no surprises and that you know exactly what we need to know before we begin.

Commercial sewing patterns usually have a Sewing Information section on the guide sheet that shares what skills and terms you need to know to sew that pattern.

Glossary of Sewing Terms - Stitching in Colour

We’ll be making a few deviations from the pattern instructions. But…

I am going to assume that you know how to sew a straight stitch, backstitch, sew curves, and sew a plain seam. These are the most basic sewing skills you should have already practiced and mastered.

And in addition to these most basic skills, you will also need to know how to…

If you need to brush up on any of the above, you’re just one click away from an article that makes it super easy to master that specific skill.

There is one additional skill we need, how to sew on a hook & eye, a type of closure. A button would be a cute detail, but who the heck does thread loops!

RELATED: In under four minutes and without any headache-inducing music overlay, you can learn how to apply a hook & eye in this YouTube video.

Sew easy tip #1: Unless it is a learn to sew pattern, most sewing patterns assume you have basic sewing skills. This is why the instructions are often so skimpy!

Sew easy tip #2: A sewing pattern may not provide the “best” way to accomplish a sewing skill. In fact, there is often a more efficient and easier method than the one illustrated in the pattern’s instructions.

Okay, let us…

Step 1b: Gather our sewing tools.

Besides our sewing machine, a heavy iron, and ironing board, we’ll also need the following:

And for this project, we will also need these notions:

Alright. It’s time to get busy and…

Step 1c: Choose our starting pattern size.

Click HERE to learn how to take your body measurements (BMs) and HERE to learn how to choose your starting pattern size!

For example, because I am a C cup, I used my high bust measurement to choose my starting pattern size of size 10.

Body Measurements on Flap of Pattern Envelope - Stitching in Colour

This means when buying patterns, I need to make sure that the size range includes size 10.

In the image below, this pattern envelope includes sizes Xsm-Sml-Med. Size 10 falls in the small (Sml) range.

Vogue 9237 Closeup of Included Sizes - Stitching in Colour

Alright. Let’s…

Step 1d: Choose the right fabric.

Choosing the wrong fabric is probably THE #1 cause of project failure!


Don’t be afraid.

In the beginning, I recommend you choose a fabric from the list of SUGGESTED FABRICS on the back of the pattern envelope.

For example, Vogue 9237 suggests soft, lightweight woven fabrics, such as linen blends, crepe, or seersucker.

Vogue 9237 - Back of Pattern Envelope - Stitching in Colour

So for my dress, I’ve chosen this seriously fresh, cool blue and white seersucker:

Seersucker - Stitching in Colour


Now that we’ve chosen our fabric, we need to buy the right amount of yardage for our first project.

For example, View A~ Size Sml calls for 2¾ yards of fabric if your fabric width is 45 inches and 1¾ yards of fabric if the fabric width is 60 inches.

Vogue 9237 - Back of Pattern Envelope - Stitching in Colour

Since this is our first project, it may not be a bad idea to buy and extra ½ yard of fabric to play around with.

RELATED: Click HERE to learn more about buying the right fabric for your project!

Step 1e: Prep our fabric.

Hang in there…

This is the last item we’ll be covering today!

Now that we’ve bought our fabric and brought it home, it’s time to prep it. Generally, I like to do this immediately after arriving home so that my fabric is ready whenever I get the whim to sew!

Purex Laundry Detergent - Stitching in Colour

And here’s what I do:

  1. Pre-wash the fabric, in the same manner, I’ll launder the finished garment.
  2. Next, remove fabric from the washer and trim any gnarly threads from the cut ends if necessary.
  3. Dry the fabric in the appropriate manner.
  4. Once the fabric is dry, iron the entire length of fabric. Click HERE to learn how to press like a pro!
  5. Now that the fabric is ironed, it is time to make it square!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn everything you need to know about prepping your fabric!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to make your fabric square!


I know.

We’re only at Step 1, and I bet you’re saying this is a lot!

But sewing is an involved skill set– but a worthy one! A woman who sews beautifully is a craftswoman.

Rome wasn’t built in a day — and this dress (or any other dress) doesn’t have to be sewn in one day either.

Just patiently take it one step at a time! Break up the process in whatever way makes sense to you!

Blue Jar of Patience

And I promise you this:

If you never give up, before you know it, you will be proudly wearing and flaunting a dress you made with your own two hands! Imagine how accomplished and amazing you will feel!

Next up: Step 2 ~ Fitting Our Sewing Pattern… (Coming Soon)

Until then, remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn about the most lovely dress silhouettes and keep up with all the dress projects on this site!

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