Depending on the choice of fabric, you can wear the Lena dress as an everyday dress or on special occasions. The front pleats on the neckline run the entire length and give the dress its airy width. The cut is still slightly tailored at the back and therefore appears very feminine.
Length at center back = 98 – 103 cm
In these instructions, Lena was sewn from Tencel.
We recommend viscose , thin wool or Tencel ; the fabric should be opaque as the dress is unlined.
Cut the pattern pieces from your outer fabric and interlining. Lay the fabric right side up. Lay the selvedges parallel to the middle so that you can place the front and facing front in the fold. The pattern pieces should all lie face up. Always align the thread arrow in the same direction on all pieces and parallel to the selvedge of the fabric. Transfer all the clips from the pattern through a 3mm long incision with scissors or chalk and mark the ends of the darts. Clip the seam allowance in the fabric fold because this is always a center. Markings define positions of dart ends, pocket positions, and much more. Transfer these either with chalk or pins. It is best to roughly cut all outer fabric parts that will be completely covered with inserts first. After you have fixed the insert, cut it out exactly. There is also a video about gluing and fixing cut parts here.
What you need from fabric:
- 1x front part in the break
- 2x back pieces opposite
- 2x sleeves in opposite directions
- 1x eyelet
also with insert:
- 2x front panel in the break
- 4x rear panel, 2 x each in opposite directions
To sew this dress you will need a sewing machine and an overlock sewing machine, or alternatively the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to neaten the raw edges. If you are using a seam zipper, you will also need the appropriate sewing foot for your sewing machine. In addition to the description, the colorful lines in the pictures show you where a seam needs to be sewn or something needs to be glued.
When sewing, pay attention to the seam allowance included in the pattern. Seam allowances that are not specifically marked are 1cm wide!
Have fun sewing!
If you are working with fabrics where the ironed material is pushed through and is then visible on the right side, use a tool and slide it under the contents of the dart. We use a fleece-like rectangle (see photo).
The slit in the back is prepared by double ironing. Pay attention to the markings on the cut.
Finish the shoulder seams, side seams and the hem of the front and two back pieces all around. The hems of the front and both back pieces are then ironed and thus prepared.
Sew the center back closed up to the beginning of the slit. The seam allowances are ironed apart.
Now you can topstitch the ironed slit and secure it.
Now let's focus on the folds in the front. Lay these as described in the pattern and secure them with an auxiliary seam.
Here you can see a detailed photo in which direction the folds are placed.
The front and back pieces are closed, right sides together, by the shoulder seam. Iron the seam allowances apart.
Now you can put your prepared sewing material aside and concentrate on the sleeves. Here too, the cut edges marked in yellow are neatened all around and the hems are ironed.
The upper arm ball from the front to the first back clip is gathered. With a large stitch you can create the gathering folds on the sleeve and bring them to a length of 12cm. Pay attention to the information in the average.
Here you can see a detailed photo with the gathering folds within the arm ball.
Now you can sew the sleeve together, right sides together, and iron the seam allowances apart. Pay attention to the specified seam allowances in the pattern.
To work on the hem on the sleeve, it is folded over and stitched all around. Make sure to leave a small hole for the safety pin and elastic.
Cut the elastic to the right length and insert a safety pin through it. Both are then pulled through the tunnel through the hole left open.
Finally, the elastic is sewn together and the width is evenly distributed in the sleeve. Don't forget to close your hole for the rubber.
The eyelet in the middle back is used to close the slit. Sew these together, right sides together. There is also a video here for a better understanding.
The eyelet is pulled through with a needle and a thick thread, twisted and cut.
The seam allowance then fills the contents of the tube. Your eyelet is ready.
Now take on the panel parts. The shoulder seams of the front and back panels are sewn together, right sides together. Then iron the seam allowances apart.
Your prepared eyelet is sewn to the panel on the left side of your body at 0.5cm.
Here you can see a detailed photo of how we sewed on the eyelet.
The inner panel is additionally provided with a shaping band. Iron this on after editing the panel. Info: We cover the inner panel because with our fabric there is a risk that the forming band would push through here and it would be visible on the outer panel.
Iron the cut edge of the inner panel 1cm all the way around. You can also clean up the lower cut edge of the inner panel, which is easier for later processing. The inner panel is then placed, right to right, on the outer panel and folded all around (see yellow lines). The seam allowances are clipped in so that the curve lies smoothly later.
Here you can see a detailed photo of the flat-stitched seam allowance.
You can now sew the outer panel to your neck hole on the front and back pieces. Pay attention to the snaps in the cut and meeting shoulder seams. In the middle at the back, 1cm of the panel will protrude; you will need this centimeter to cover the short sections.
The open ends of the panel in the center back are placed, right sides together, and twisted. The ironed centimeter remains turned up. Then very carefully iron the seam allowances of the panel and the neck hole upwards into the panel.
Here you can see a detailed photo with the half-sewn panel in the neck hole.
Now all you have to do is sew the panel in place. We recommend pinning it with needles and then stitching it through in the shadow of the seam. The 1cm ironed cut edge of the inner panel is sewn into place close to the edge.
The Lena dress has a hidden zipper on the left side of the body. To ensure that it doesn't tear out on softer fabrics, we have provided the corresponding zipper length with shaping tape on both sides.
The left side seam is first only partially closed, right sides together (bottom seam is approx. 3cm long), so that the dress remains as open as possible and makes it easier to work on the tear. Pay attention to the clips in the cut. Here we will show you which feet are suitable for seam zippers.
Sew the seam ripper into the side seam on the front and back pieces.
Here you can see a detailed photo of the sewn-in seam ripper.
You can then close the remaining part of the left side seam. The seam allowances are ironed apart.
The side seam on the right side of the body can now also be placed, right sides together, and sewn together. The seam allowances are ironed apart.
The finished sleeve is pinned into the armhole and sewn together, right sides together. Pay attention to the clips in the cut. Here you can adjust the gathering folds again and get them on the right track. The seam allowances are neatened together.
Let's now come to the penultimate step of your new dress: the ironed hem is stitched through.
Lastly, sew your button to the placket on the right side of your body.
Your LENA is ready !
If you don't know what to do next or if you have any questions, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond to you as quickly as possible. Have a lot of fun with your new designer piece!
Warmest regards, Dagmar and Ellen.