Hi Sewlover,

Welcome to today’s free tutorial as requested by Betty Beam.

I am so sorry I am bringing this tutorial late ma’am. As already mentioned here, we are currently working on our website. So all hands are on deck including mine.

Remember you can skip this redtapism by simply joining our Sew Community on Whatsapp. The group opens from 8 am to 10pm everyday local time, except Sunday. So you can always get help from its members anytime you need.

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  • Fill our request form here.
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Now before we begin, I’ll quickly like to say that this tutorial is for Advanced sewists. Thus, if you wish to attempt to make this dress, you must have already obtained some beginner and intermediate sewing knowledge and experience.

Don’t have any of that? Then enroll for our Beginner and Intermediate classes today. Visit here to enroll now.

Don’t dig online classes? then get a physical tutor today(For Abuja Residents only)!

Now, as you all know, before I embark on drafting a pattern for any outfit, I dissect the outfit first in my mind. This way, I’ll be able to figure out how to piece it back together.

Dissecting the outfit

  • This outfit was made from a sturdy, sheer, lace and net fabric
  • This outfit is a bell dress. For those that do not know, a bell dress is a dress that has a peplum or circular flare attached to the bottom of its straight upper skirt part.
  • This outfit is breast-padded. And the breast-padded method used is what is known as the shoulder princess seam.(To learn more about the various methods of breast-padding, please click here)
  • The outfit is hip padded(To learn how to pad the hips of any outfit, please join TheQEffectz Sew community and then visit the media section of the group page.
  • This outfit has a cape. (To learn more about capes, please click here)
  • This outfit is embellished.

So with all that out of the way, we can now confidently create a pattern for it using the features we have listed out about the outfit.


To create a pattern for this outfit, you will need the following

  1. Pattern papers
  2. Basic bodice block(Don’t know how to draft a basic bodice block? Please click here)
  3. Straight skirt block( Don’t know how to draft a straight skirt block? Please click here)
  4. Pen/Pencil/Marker
  5. Body measurements
  • Bust circumference. Using me as an example, my bust circumference is 38 inches
  • Thigh measurement: Using me an example, my thigh measurement is 40 inches

6. Straight & French curve rulers

7. Hip curve ruler

8. Scissors

9. Paper/Masking tape


Because this outfit consists consists majorly of a bodice, skirt and peplum, drafting a pattern for it will include: (a) Adjusting the bodice block (b)Adjusting the straight skirt (c) Inserting peplum (d)Drafting sleeves (e)Drafting cape

(a) Adjusting the Bodice:

To adjust the basic bodice block, please follow the steps below

Step 1: Begin by marking out all the various body levels on the bodice block. eg. Bust, under bust, Waist

Step 2: From the Center-front line at the bust level, measure 1/8 of your bust measurement and mark

Using me as an example, my bust measurement is 38 inches.

38inches / 8 = 4.75inches

Step 3: Then from the base of the shoulder, measure 2.5 inches towards the tip of the shoulder and mark

Step 4: Then connect the points to the bottom of the bodice.

Step 5: At the Under Bust level, measure 1 inch at both sides of the princess seam and mark as shown below.

Step 6: Then at the shoulder, measure 1 inch as well at both sides of the princess seam and mark

Connect the lines to the bust

To learn more on how to draft a shoulder princess seam to create a breast padded bodice, please click here

Step 7: Repeat the process for the back piece as shown below

Step 8: Since one side of the back piece has a slash on one shoulder, slash the shoulder to the bust level.


Step 9: As we have often said during our tutorials, whatever is slashed should be added back. Since we will be slashing off 0.5-2 inches from both the front and back pieces, add these inches back to the pieces respectively

Step 10: When do, your front pieces will look like these

And your back pieces, should look like these

(b) Adjusting the Skirt block

To adjust the skirt block, please follow the steps below

Step 1: Mark out the relevant skirt levels on the skirt block

Step 2: Measure 1/4 of your thigh measurement at the thigh level and mark

Using me as an example(see requirement), my thigh measurement is 40 inches.

40inches/ 4  = 10 inches.

Step 3: Reconnect the hip line to the thigh measurement and then to the bottom of the skirt

Step 4: Cut out what you have drafted. When done your skirt front and back pieces will look like these:

(c) Drafting the Peplum

Peplum as already known are circular flares made from square blocks.

Want to know the difference between peplum and flounce/frill and when to apply them, click here.

Step 1: Get a new pattern paper. Fold twice.

Step 2: At the point of intersection, measure the circumference of the bottom of the skirt

Extend the original skirt length to about 5 inches.

Step 3: Cut out what you have traced.

When you open up your peplum, it will look like this

You will notice that one side of the peplum looks higher than the side directly opposite it.

Make the shorter part your front piece and the longer part, your back piece



(d) Drafting the sleeves

To learn how to draft sleeves, please click here. Also see here to learn how to make the various types of sleeves.

When done your sleeves should look like this

(e) Drafting the cape.

From the cover photo, you can see the outfit consists of a big and smaller cape. There, we will need to duplicate our basic bodice.

Then to draft the cape, kindly follow the steps below

Step 1: Get a new pattern paper

Step 2: Attach the shoulder of the centre front and centre back pieces together using a masking or paper tape and place them on the new pattern paper

Draft the cape like so

Step 3: Cut out what you have traced and your bigger cape will look like this

Step 4: Repeat step 1 to 2 above

Step 5: Then draft the smaller cape like so

Then repeat step 3 above.

And you are done

So you can see how easy you can manipulate basic blocks to achieve almost anything. To learn more on how to do this, you can either enroll for our Advanced online classes or request for a physical tutor.

So that’s it sew lover.

I want to thank you so much for hanging with me. Feel free to drop any questions you have on the comment box below.

Don’t forget that we are currently still super busy trying to upgrade our site. So please bear with us if we are not so quick to respond to your mails, requests or questions. We can however assure that we will respond to them as soon as we can.

So till next time for more free tutorials….kisses!

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”- 1 John 1:2

Currently available  for download:

  1. How to make an Ankara Blazer jacket with flap welt pockets
  2. How to keep records as Fashion Designer/ Tailor/ Sewist
  3. Cutting breast padded bodice using the various methods of princess seam
  4. All sleeves tutorial and how to cut the perfect armhole
  5. How to make a wrap blouse with wide sleeves
  6. How to make a Breast padded six pieces blouse
  7. How to make a Male trousers pattern
  8. How to make a shawl collar peplum jacket pattern
  9. How to make a mini six pieces dress
  10. How to make a female pencil trousers/pants
  11. How to make a lace embroidered blouse(with side peplum)
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