Going back to my first pattern for this tutorial is really fun for me. When I designed Ravenna I was just starting my pattern design journey. I have learned so much about design and drafting in these last 18 months, but I have to say I still love the lines of this pattern and how much it still embodies my style and design aesthetic.
I seem to really be on a dress and skirt roll right now so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see how Ravenna would look as a knit dress. And the fact that I was giving this great fabric to work with I knew it couldn’t go wrong.
What I love most about this version of the Ravenna is that you can really wear it for any occasion. I paired the dress with some bright heels and simple gold jewelry, which is great for a date night or girls night out.
But if date nights are few and far between like for me, I need to have a dress that actually can be worn in my day to day life chasing after kids. I achieved a dressed up mom look by changing out the heels for some converse and now I have the perfect running around town look.
The simple shape with a fun detail at the back makes this pattern really flattering on all body types.
It is a loose fit while not being so oversized you lose your shape. Perfect combination in my book.
Lets get started on your new Ravenna knit dress.
Trace your pattern pieces for the Front, Back and Sleeve. You won’t need the ruffles, interfacing, bias or sleeve bands for this version.
You will be starting with your back pattern piece. In the original pattern it calls for 2 mirrored pieces, but for this version we are going to just cut it on the fold.
Before cutting the piece out your need to decide how much length you need to add to the pattern pieces to be a dress for your body. You can easily do this by measuring from your shoulder down to the point on your legs you would like the dress to hit and then compare that to the finished garment measurements in the pattern. Make sure to add 1” for the bottom hem.
When lengthening a pattern out to a dress I don’t usually use the Lengthen/Shorten lines on a pattern I prefer to just lengthen the bottom of the pattern. This ensures that there is still enough room in the pattern for my hips. Use whichever method you prefer to lengthen the pattern to your desired dress length.
Cut out your back pattern piece.
The pattern was originally drafted for woven, so there is a bust dart in the front pattern piece. This dart is not needed in a knit pattern so I am going to show you a tricky way to maintain the shoulder, armscye and neckline while removing the dart from the piece. I will admit this isn’t the most technical way to do this, but it has worked really well for me.
Lay out your front pattern piece on the fold of the fabric.
Now take your back piece that you cut in the previous steps and lay it on top of the front pattern piece. Make sure to line up the underarm seams, this will ensure that the side seams are the correct length.
Fold down the top of the back piece so you can see the front pattern piece behind. You will be cutting around the pattern piece for the front neckline, shoulder seam and armscye until you reach the underarm seam. From there you will just cut using the back piece as your pattern for the side seam and bottom hem.
The next few steps you will be using the instructions provided with the pattern. Follow the steps for sewing the front and back pieces together along the shoulder seams. Then sew in your sleeves and sew the two pattern pieces together along the side seams.
Believe it or not you are not almost done!
To hem the dress I started by finishing the edge of my bottom hem with my serger, while this isn’t totally necessary because the fabric won’t fray I do find that it gives you a more polished finish. Then simple fold the fabric to the wrong side by 1” and press.
For the sleeves and neckline I opted to also just do a simple fold under and sew like I did for the bottom hem.
After you have pressed you bottom hem, sleeves and neckline you can sew them with either a zig zag stitch, double needle or even a coverstitch machine.
Tada! You now have a super comfy knit dress that can be personalized through accessories and shoes and made in so many different knits.