Matilda Dress


Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 15.45.55pattern available to buy from 

Matilda dress is an over the head easy to wear everyday tunic. It has four sections on the front and top stitched along the seams ideal for plain denim fabrics, linen or cotton fabrics with a small all over print (no pattern matching yippee!) Its got two deep pockets (I love a good pocket), length set in sleeves, flattering A-line shape and a back opening with retro rouleau and button detail.

Materials required:

Fabric 150cms wide (with or without nap) you need: 1.70m

Fabric 112cms wide (no nap) you need: 2 m

Fabric at 112cms wide (with nap) you need: 2.6m

Also Light or Med weight fusible Interfacing 25cms, a reel of thread and 1 button.

All seams are 1cm unless otherwise specified. Finish all raw edges with a zig zag or overlocker.

Tips on top stitching: Set the machine needle position to B (ie shifted to one side) and adjust stitch length to 2.4. Line up the seam to the centre of the foot as you sew and your line of topstitching will consistently be 4mm away from the centre seam.

SIZE GUIDE: SMALL = 8-10, MED = 12-14, LARGE = 16-18

Finished garment bust: S= 95.5cm, Med = 104cm, Large = 114cm. Finished length (inc 3cm hem) : S = 90cm, Med= 91.5cm, Large = 116cm

TEMPLATE GUIDE: (1)= Upper Front, (2)= Lower Front, (3) = Upper Back, (4) = Lower back, (5) = Sleeve,(6) = Front facing, (7) = Back facing, (8) = Pocket, (9) = Rouleau.

LAYOUT FABRIC 150cms                             LAYOUT FABRIC 112cms (no nap)3jpg4JPG4a JPG

CUTTING OUT THE PATTERN PIECES Press your fabric and fold in half lengthways so the selvedges are lined up RST. Start by laying out all your pattern pieces using the layout diagram as a guide to positioning your pieces. Pin, cut out pieces as below (NB cut notches away from garment). Mark dart dots, back opening and sleeve head marker dots with tailor tacks.

Templates 1 (Upper Front), 2 (Lower Front), 3 (Upper Back), 5 (Sleeve), 7 (Back Facing): Cut two pieces on folded fabric (line up the pattern on the straight grain of the fabric).

Template 4: (Lower Back) and 6 (front facing) Line up pattern against the fold and cut out 1 piece.

Template 8: (Pocket ): Cut one piece on folded fabric so you have two pieces altogether (call these Pocket A pieces) then trim off shaded area of pattern and cut a further one piece on folded fabric so you have another two pieces (these will be Pocket B pieces).

Template 9 (Rouleau): Lay your pattern on the diagonal grain of the fabric and cut out one piece.

Interfacing: Cut out 1 front facing and 2 back facings in interfacing.



SEW THE DARTS -Stitch your darts at each Upper Front piece. Press dart downwards.



SEWING THE POCKETS-Lay one pocket B piece at each Lower Front side at matching up notches at upper curved edge and with the RST. Stitch a 1cm seam along the curved edge. Nick curves, turn to RS. Press, top stitch along same curved edge on RS.


Pin lower curved edge of Pocket A to Pocket B piece, stitch 1cm around curved edge, finish raw edges. Tack stitch pocket at top and side edges to secure in place to garment. Repeat for other side.



SEWING THE FRONT PIECE -Lay your Lower and Upper Front pieces on a table RST. Matching the raw edges, pin at centre seam and stitch a 1cm seam on each side. Press seam upwards, finish raw edges. Top stitch on RS 4mm approx above the seam. 13 PG


Now lay the left and right front pieces together with RST. Pin at centre seam, stitch together with a 1cm seam. Press seam open, finish raw edges separately so the seam is flat open on the reverse. Sew two lines of top stitching on RS and LS 4mm approx away from centre seam.


SEWING THE BACK PIECE -Pin together the left and right upper back pieces at centre back seam with RST. Stitch up to the marker point where the opening will be. Finish raw edges separately along the complete length of the CB seam and press flat open. Top stitch on RS two lines either side of CB seam. Pin the top raw edge of Lower Back piece to lower edge of Upper back piece with RST. Sew a 1cm seam. Finish raw edges, press seam upwards. Sew a single line of topstitching on RS. With RST join back to front at shoulder seams with a 1cm seam allowance. Finish raw edges. Press seams to back.


SEWING THE SLEEVES-Adjust your stitch length on the machine to the longest length and your tension dial to loosest (usually 9). Stitch a line 1cm in from raw edge between marker dots (as indicated on the template). Readjust your machine settings back to normal. Pull one thread on each side to draw up stitches ‘easing’ in the sleeve head. You don’t want the fabric to gather up too much it just needs enough to ease it into the sleeve head. Pin the sleeve head into the armhole with RST notches to the back. Adjust easing so sleeve fits snuggly. Tack stitch sleeve head. Stitch a 1cm seam around sleeve head. Finish raw edges. Nick any curve seam allowances. Press. Top stitch on RS (optional). 23JPG

Stitch the front and back together at side seams of body and sleeves with RST. Finish raw edges. 26aJPG26bJPG

MAKING THE ROULEAU- Firstly make your rouleau by folding the fabric strip in half lengthways with the RST, pin then stitch along the long side leaving a long end at one side so you have 0.5cm finished width approx. Trim down your seam allowance to 0.5cm. Thread a chunky needle with the end and pull through the little tube and out the other end. Pull the threads and the tube should turn itself inside out. (very satisfying!). Place on one side.24
SEWING THE NECKLINE -Iron on the interfacing to the reverse side of front and back facing pieces. Join the back pieces to the front at the short sides with RST. Press seam flat open. Finish outer curved raw edge.


27JPGPin to neckline all around with RST. Insert your rouleau loop into the CB seam allowance adjust so theres a big enough loop for your button, pin to hold. Tack stitch all around neckline and down each back facing short side at seam allowance. Stitch on machine all around neck edge then remove tacking.28

Finish raw edges, nick curves. Trim across corners (careful not to cut your stitches) and excess rouleau ends. Turn to RS pushing out corners with a poker. Stitch a few hand stitches at the facing side seams to the inside seam allowance to secure in place. 29JPG

Finally sew on a button on opposite side to rouleau.

HEMMING YOUR TUNIC DRESS-Press over hem 1cm on lower edge of dress and sleeve then fold up again to the required length. Press, pin and stitch all around close to the inner fold. NB For the sleeve hem remove the machine front table so you can insert sleeve edge more easily.


There you have one lovely everyday tunic dress.

Copyright Fiona Hesford 2014 All rights reserved