Wednesday, November 6, 2013

tutorial - drafting the caroline pattern

Now that you have the basic aline pattern (if you don't, you can get it here - remember to download and open the pattern in Adobe Acrobat before printing) and you know how to add facings, it's time to customize the pattern.  The Caroline Dress is the first variation I am sharing with hopefully many more to come :)

The Caroline Dress is a high yoke aline dress with an inverted box pleat and two cute faux buttoning patch pockets on the front.  You can use any pocket pattern you already own or you can get my version for free here (once again - make sure to download and open in Adobe Acrobat before printing).

Drafting the Pattern:

1. Print the Basic Aline Pattern and assemble - there are directions on how to assemble the pattern here if you need them.

2.  The back piece will be used as is, but the front piece requires a couple of simple modifications. First, draw a line across the pattern perpendicular to the center line about 2" below the neckline to create separate yoke and skirt pieces - shown in red on the picture below

3.  Cut on the line drawn in step 2 and make notes on the pattern to add 3/8" to both the bottom of the yoke and top of the skirt for seam allowances.

4. Next, make one more note along the center fold of the skirt piece to add 3" to the pattern for the inverted box pleat.  If you are not comfortable cutting the fabric based solely on notes on the pattern, then redraw the pattern pieces with the changes.  I know I have left off seam allowances in the past, so I tend to redraw my patterns if I plan to use them more than once :)

5. If you have not made pattern pieces for the facings, then follow the directions found here.

6.  The final pattern piece you need is the pocket.

Cutting your fabric:

7. Cut the back piece as directed on the pattern.

8. Cut the front skirt piece with the top seam allowance and 3" addition along the center of the pattern.  I traced the pattern flat in the picture below to show exactly how to cut the front piece, but you can cut it on the fold.

9. Cut the yoke piece - don't forget to add the seam allowance along the bottom.

10.  Cut 2 pockets along the top line in the pattern out of the main fabric and cut 2 along the lower line for the lining.  These can be cut from the same fabric as the lining will not show. The picture below shows all the pattern pieces except the facings.

11.  Cut the facings for the dress.  If you use the original pattern pieces to make your facings, be sure to add 3" to the front facing piece on the fold so it matches your modified skirt piece.

That's it for pattern preparation!  I will be back tomorrow with directions on how to sew the Caroline Dress :)  Until then, here's a closer look:


  1. Replies
    1. Are there directions for assembling this?

    2. Sewing tutorial here:

  2. I can do this too!. Thank you so much. New follower Bloglovin, Facebook and Craftsy. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  3. It's June 2017 and this just made my day. Thank you for this tutorial. God bless you