Meet the Hermione Hi-Lo Hem Dress Pattern and tutorial! Hannah loves her easy on knit dresses, no need to muck around with buttons, ties or zips. Since I have been wanting to make a Hi-Lo hem pattern for a wee while now, why not combine the two! This gorgeous fabric came from Hannah’s Great Grandma, she had kept it for years wanting to make a nighty out of it ♥
This is a simple single layered knit dress. I have used the same fabric to bind the neckline and armholes using a double needle. Don’t panic if you don’t have a double any stretch stitch will work (including zigzag) it just won’t have the same coverstitch style look to it.
I have made a PDF pattern to share…yes it’s FREE! It is in a size 8/9, I love this dress so much that I am looking at making a full size range for you. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!
What you will need
- Knit (Stretch Fabric) 1m is enough (a little over a yard), in this tutorial I am upcycling a T-Shirt Dress I bought purely for the fabric!
- Overlocker – Is handy but not essential. You can zigzag the seams if you don’t have an overlocker. I like to use a narrow zigzag.
- Thread, Scissors, Pins etc
- Double needle for finishing (optional)
- And of course you will need the Pattern Hermione Hi-Lo Hem Dress PDF Pattern
NOTE: All seem allowances are 1cm (3/8”) unless otherwise stated
Step 1 – Print/assemble pattern & cut fabric
I have made this pattern fit on only 4 pages! Who doesn’t like to save on paper and ink! It can be printed on either A4 or Letter size paper, just make sure you select ‘actual size’ not ‘shrink to fit’. Check the test square as shown above!
Cut the top strip off on pages 2, 3 and 4. Then you can overlap them in place and tape together.
As you can see the bottom doesn’t quite fit on the page that is why there are two smaller separate pieces next to the main pattern.
Cut the two smaller pieces out and match up the letters.
Trim off the edges and tape in place!
And do the same for the Back Hemline.
Now you are ready to cut your pattern out. Cut around the entire pattern, do not cut the front hemline line or the front neckline line just yet.
You can now use it to cut your back piece. Line up on the fold making sure the stretch is going across the fabric (same direction as the stripes).
Note: If you are using a pattern or stripes, line up the front hemline with a stripe or pattern piece so that you can do the same when cutting the front piece. That way they should match up.
Now to adjust it to a front pattern piece. Cut the front hemline from the outside edge, leaving the last centimetre or so still attached. I like to place a piece of tape over the attached piece to prevent it from tearing.
Now you can fold the excess over and out of the way…and it saved you printing an extra 4 pages of pdf pattern! If you wish you can just print the pattern twice and cut out two separate pieces.
Use the same method for your front neckline.
Now you can cut the front piece just the same as the back. Remember to line up with your stripe (or pattern) on the hemline at the fold.
Step 2 – Sew side seams
Pin the two side seams together with the right sides of the fabric facing each other. Note: Line up those stripes! If your pieces don’t quite line up at either end don’t panic we can trim them up at the end. It is more important to match up your pattern/stripes.
Sew using your overlocker or regular machine. Since the stretch goes across the fabric it doesn’t even need to be stretch stitch.
While the dress is still inside out pin the two shoulder straps together and overlock or sew together.
Step 3 – Bind the Neckline and Armholes
First of all your will need to cut your binding strips (or use bought ones!). I made mine 4cm (1 5/8”) wide, by 52cm (20.5”) for the neckline and 38cm (15”) for the armholes (x2). You are better off cutting them a little long as the amount of stretch and thickness of your fabric will make a difference to how much you use.
If you are using stripes make sure to cut each strip with the same pattern placement, that way your edges will all have a stripe in the same place.
Start by turning your dress the right way around, and pin your binding 1cm (3/8”) overlapping the underarm seam. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other.
Then gently stretch the binding as you pin the whole way around, lining up the raw edge.
Match up the two ends of the bias so that the line up with the underarm seam and mark with a pin.
Sew with a straight stitch.
And then trim the excess down to about a quarter inch.
Sew using a narrow zigzag stitch and a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
You will need to pull gently as you sew to keep the underneath layer flat. Sew right the way around back to the start. Don’t forget to lockstitch or reverse over a few stitches at the beginning and end.
Repeat this step for the other arm and neckline too. For the neckline I like to start at one of the shoulder seams, I think the join is less visible there than in the back of the neck.
And now you should have something that looks like this! Time to change to that double needle!
Fold the binding over the raw edge and pin in place.
I like to do one at a time, pin and sew then move onto the next one, it saves pins moving and getting in the way on the narrow shoulder pieces.
Sew on the right side with your double needle. Line up your needles so that you are near the edge of the bias closest to the main body of the dress (as in photo above!).
Trim the excess fabric from the inside (carefully!), I find small scissors easier and less likely to cut the wrong layer.
Now repeat for the the remaining arm hole.
The neckline is sewn in the same way but don’t forget to pin in a tag if you want!
Woo hoo!!! That’s all the binding finished!
Step 4 – Hem
All that is left to do is hem! You can overlock the edge first but I don’t like the bulky look it gives and it distorts the stretch fabric a little too. I just fold over the raw edge by a little over 1cm (3/8”) and pin in place. It pays to be fairly accurate as you will be sewing it from the right side so will have to rely on your machine guides to keep you on track. Sorry for the photo quality here! I didn’t notice the hazy area till after I had already sewn it!
Sew the hem using your double needle on the right side of the fabric. Check as you go to make sure you are catching the raw edge. You can leave your raw edge a little longer and trim as you did with the binding.
I like to live on the edge and didn’t trim this one…only just caught it all!
And there you have a gorgeous and very easy to wear Hermione Hi-Lo Hem Dress! Hannah loves hers and I’m sure she’ll like this stripy one too ♥