Out to Sea Dress Tutorial for Sarah Jane Studios


Sarah Jane's new Out To Sea fabric is finally in stores!  I love it.  Not only is the fabric awesome, but Sarah has put together an Out To Sea Blog Tour with DIY's from all the things you saw in her Quilt Market booth.  Yup, awesome.
{Sarah's photos, above}

Sarah sent me a sketch of a dress idea she had in her head and asked if I could make it.  So I channeled Little Engine and said "I think I can."  I got to work with some practice patterns and after a healthy amount of therapeutic seam ripping and half a bag of Nestle Toll House (semisweet, it helps me concentrate) I got it.

I love the dress,  and I love the fabric, and I love that she's sharing all of it with you!  Here it is:

Notes before you begin:
  • This tutorial is not for beginner sewers.  I don't go into detail on basic sewing techniques.
  • I always buy more fabric than what the pattern suggests, especially when it's totally cute and I know I can use it later for other projects.  This way I'm not stressed out if I make the wrong cut or rip the fabric with my seam ripper, etc.  More is better.
  • Read the tutorial all the way through to make sure you understand all the steps and have a good visual idea of what you need.  If something is unclear, email me and I am happy to help.
  • Always read a couple steps ahead before you sew something together or make a cut, there may be a note you don't want to miss.  
  • This is a tutorial, not a pattern.  I explain the steps for you to make your own template/pattern, but it helps if you are able to take measurements and try the dress on who you're making it for.
  • Your seam ripper is your best friend.  Don't stress out if you need to use it, often.  Making mistakes makes us better.

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 yard Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, Pirate Stripe {Raspberry}
  • 1 1/2 yards Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, My Favorite Ship {Breeze}
  • White and Navy Blue All Purpose Thread
  • 1 7-9" White Invisible Zipper
  • 1/2 yard muslin or scrap fabric (for your practice pattern)
  • Piece of Pellon Thick Stabilizer, or craft paper, wrapping paper, posterboard (something to use as your pattern)
  • Scissors, Straight Pins, Pencil, Black and Red pens, Measuring Tape, Iron

For the Pattern:
  • By "scoop" I mean not a tee shirt with a high neck.  It doesn't need to be a huge scoop.
  • Choose a tee shirt that fits snug, not really loose.
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For the Top:
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For the Armhole Binding:
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  • Give the top a nice tug under that binding to make sure it's caught good and tight.  I had to redo my binding twice because I didn't get it tucked in enough.
For the Neckline:


  • In hindsight, I would turn your dress inside out and make this mark on the WRONG side of your fabric.  Pencil washes out, no big deal, but marking on the wrong side is always better.

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  • If you made that mark on the WRONG side of you fabric first, you don't need to mark it again on the square.  Just pin your square on and follow the pencil line on the other side when you sew it.

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  • Emphasis on PRESS WELL.  This part may be tricky and the best advice I can give is to keep tugging and pressing.


  • Yeah, don't worry about the pencil.  But it still bugs me.
  • The reason we do this with the V is because there needs to be space for the knot of your cute bow or else the dress just looks all wonky.  We don't like wonky.


For the Collar:

  • neck measurement" x  2 + 15" = collar piece
  • The width of your collar pieces should always be 2".

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  • Just press over ONE end.  Not both.

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For the skirt:
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  • We do this so there isn't a wonky seam right down the middle of the dress.  This way the seams line up nicely with the side seams on the top.

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For the Zipper:
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  • Use a LOW setting on your iron so you don't melt your zipper!
  • There's a great video tutorial here on using invisible zippers HERE.  I don't have an invisible zipper foot.  They're nice, but you don't HAVE to have one.

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Finishing the Dress:

  • No need to trim the the zipper.   And I don't finish this seam because it's tricky when you're serger gets close to the the zipper.   (yes, i'm making fun of my typo)

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  • Before doing your hem, try the dress on your little girl to make sure you get the right length you want here.  Sarah Jane wanted her dress to be right above the knee, which is best.  If you want it longer, or shorter, just trim the bottom of your dress until it's 2 1/2" LONGER than where you want the bottom of the hem to be.

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Make sure you take pictures of your dress and add them to Sarah's Out to Sea Flickr Page!

You can buy her fabric from these guys.


corrie said...

That dress is SO cute! I love love love it. You rock sister!

Unknown said...

Cally....SO FREAKIN CUTE!!! I would never try to sew it myself, but am impressed with all the time you took to photography for this tutorial. I am sure a lot of other craftier more ambitious women are gonna make use of this. I hope we will see a bunch of little sailor girls walking around at church soon. I'll let you know when the trend hits Utah. My guess is next week.

ShEiLa said...

Beautifully done Miss Cally!


tjtaylor said...

I loved this dress when I first saw it on Sara Jane's blog. I love it even more on Kacie. You are one talented momma!

Kimberly F said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Such an adorable dress.

Secret Admirer said...

Thank you, thank you. Love this dress just waiting for my Sarah Jane fabric to arrive in the post!

Daniela said...

OMG, I so need to make that dress!
Thank you sooo much for an awesome tutorial!

Gina said...

Thank you so much for a great tute!! I can't wait to make one myself!

Lori said...

You know you're a genius right? Perfection!

Estela said...

I love it, thanks for the tutorial!!

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

This is absolutely stunning. I am in love with that fabric line, and your dress absolutely does it justice! I am hoping you will consider uploading a photo of this into SewSet.

SewSet is a new on-line sewing pattern & tutorial search engine where users can see, search, save & sew what they find. Everything links directly back to your page for more info.

I would love for others to be able to find this in the directory when looking!

Thank you so much for sharing!

- Jessica

kristin said...

cally! this is amazing!!! thanks so much for the fantastic tutorial. must make.

elspeth said...

Lovely job. And, you presented it so beautifully, too.

Amanda said...

Can I keep you? You, my dear, are brilliant!

nita.armstrong@gmail.com said...

I can't wait to make this! got to see your dress in person at market, and I'm sooo happy you took the time to do this pattern - thank you!

Katie said...

This is an incredible tutorial! I got nervous when you said it wasn't for beginner sewers because I'd consider myself a beginner, but I understood everything you were talking about! I'd like to say that speaks to my improving skill level, but I'm certain it says more for your clear, easy to follow instructions and pictures! Can't wait to make this dress!

Anonymous said...

You said that this wasn't for "beginners"- I consider myself a beginner because reading sewing tutorials is like learning a foreign language to me! However, your tutorial and photos makes this VERY easy- even the zipper! Maybe it was the cookie we stopped to eat? Who knows... awesome instruction, beautiful dress. Thank you.

شركة نور الدمام said...

شركة الكمال يسعدها ان تقدم لك كافة خدمات كشف تسربات المياه ومعالجتها بدون تكسير نحن من أفضل المؤسسات التى يسعدها ان تساهم فى حل مشاكل التسربات
؛ متبعين أرقى وأفضل الأجهزة.من اهم المشاكل التى يعانى منها البعض هى مشكلة تسرب المياه . والتى تنتج عن وجود بعض الاجزاء التالفه فى انابيب المياة داخل الجدران,
ومع استمرار تسريب المياة فانها تشكل عبئا على العميل نظرا لارتفاع قيمة الفاتورة التى تستنزفك ماديا كل شهر
وهذا ما يجب ان ينتبه اليه البعض من ضرورة سرعه معالجة هذة التسربات فى البداية وقبل تفاقم المشكله .
وشركة الكمال لكشف تسربات المياة تقدم لك الحل لكى تقول وداعا لارتفاع فواتير المياة فى منزلك
فنحن نقدم لك الحل الامثل عن طريق خدمة الكشف عن تسربات المياة الكترونيا باحدث الاجهزة والتقنيات وعلى ايدى كوادر فنية ماهرة يقوموا بالكشف عن اماكن الخلل الكترونيا
بدون تكسير او اتلاف ديكورات المنزل مع اعطاءك الضمان على وجود الخلل والضمان على الاصلاح فى حال رغبت ان يقوم طاقم الاصلاحات باصلاح الخلل سواء
( حمامــات – مــطابــــخ – شبكـــــات مياه
بعض العلامات الد اله على وجود تسربات مياة
1-وجود ارتفاع ملحوظ فى فاتورة المياة
2-وجود اثار رطوبه فى الجدران او الاسقف
3-وجود اثار ارتفاع فى بلاط الاحواش او بلاط الاسطح
4-سماع صوت خرير ماء فى داخل الجدران
فى وجود هذه الحالات وجب عليك ضرورة الاتصال ب شركة كشف تسربات المياه تفاديا لحصول مشاكل اكبر
اتصل بنا الان ويصلك الفنى فى الحال
شركة الكمال خبراء تسليك المجاري بالشرق الاوسط و وبجميع انحاءالمملكة العربية السعودية نحن هل تبحثون عن أفضل شركات تسليك المجارى
؛هل تريد ون التخلص من كافه المشكلات المتعلقه بالصحية ومشكلات التنظيف التى تسببها المجارى من روائح وقازورات ؛
هل ليس لديك الوقت الكافى للبحث كثيرا عن شركات تسليك المجارى وتحاول الوصول الى حلول من شركات متميزة وذات كفاءة عاليه وخبرة محترفه ؛
نحن الشركة المتميزه التى تساعدك على ذلك ؛
فنحن نعتمد على أفضل حلول التنظيف وتسليك المجارى العالمية اعتمادا على أفضل التقنيات والعاملين المهرة
الذين يستطيعوا أن يثبتوا كفاءتهم وخبراتهم من خلال القيام بأعمال تنظيف رائعه ومتميزه سواء داخل الشقق أو الفلل أو المنازل.
مشكلات المجارى فى كل مكان وانسدادات أمام المنازل ؛ وهذه المشكلات نتجت عن عدم الاستخدام السليم من المواطنين ؛
فهم يقومون بالقاء المواد التى تحتوى على مواد الزيوت أو المواد الدهنية داخل اماكن الصرف الصحى والتى تتسبب فى انتشار انسدادات المجارى فى كل مكان وخروجها على شكل مياه صلبه ؛
بالاضافه الى ذلك فالمواطنين لا يأخذون فى اعتبارهم أن القاء مثل هذه الموادالصلبه والسائله قد يتسبب فى العديد والعديد من المشكلات الخطيرة .
شركة الكمال يمكنهاالحديث عن النتائج السلبيه والموثره تاثيرا كبيرا لانتشار المجارى فى الشوارع:
-والمتسببه فى تدمير المنازل اذا وجدت أن مياه المجارى تنتشر وتتسرب حول حوائط المنزل الخاص بك ؛
فلابد أن تعلم أنك فى مشكله كبيرة وخطيره ولابد من مواجهتها فماعليك سوى الاتصال بنا لنصلك اينما كنت

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Good idea to create the best made children clothes, or we can gift to our personal friends

suuzi said...

its really so impressive and informative tutorial....thanks for it. Its really so cute and loving.

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