popover sundress tutorial

I love sewing the Popover Sundress. It’s my favorite Oliver + S pattern to sew. In the past few years I’ve sewn over seventy! If you haven’t sewn a dress before, this is the perfect project to start with. And you do know this is a free downloadable pattern, don’t you? Follow the link above to get your copy.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

Today we are going to be sewing it according to the step-by-step instructions with lots of photographs for those of you who like to work visually.

Let’s get started.

NOTE: These instructions refer to the girl’s dress with 1/2″ seam allowances. The construction of the doll dress is the same, but seam allowances are 1/4″ instead.

Attach the Yoke and Construct the Dress

1) Align and pin one yoke to the top of one dress panel, with the right side of the yoke facing the wrong side of the dress panel. (You’ll notice that the top of the dress panel is curved, which will help the dress, when worn, flare at the front and back instead of just the sides.) Stitch the yoke to the dress panel with a 1/2” seam.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

2) Press the seam flat to set the stitches; then press the seam allowances toward the yoke.

3) Fold and press the opposite edge of the yoke 1/2” to the wrong side.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

4) Fold the yoke over the seam allowances to the right side of the dress panel, and pin the yoke’s folded edge so it covers the stitching from Step 1. Press the yoke flat. Working from the right side of the dress panel, edge stitch the yoke to the dress panel.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

HINT: Slip a little rickrack or lace underneath the yoke edge before pinning and stitching. It’s a great opportunity to add a little detail to the dress.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

5) Follow steps 1 to 4 above to stitch the second yoke to the second dress panel.

6) With right sides together and the edges aligned, pin the two dress panels together at the side seams, and join each side with a 1/2” seam. Press the seam allowances open, and finish them as desired.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

HINT: The side seams would also work well as French seams, if you prefer.

Prepare and Attach the Sundress Straps

1) Fold one strap in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together; and gently press the fold to create a center crease, being careful not to stretch the bias-cut straps as you press it.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

2) Open the folded strap and lay it flat, wrong side up. Fold one of the strap’s long raw edges in toward the center fold, and press a crease into this folded edge.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

3) Turn the dress wrong side out. Find the center of the strap by folding it in half, matching the short ends. Then pin the strap to the dress’s armhole, positioning the strap’s center point at the side seam and working toward the yoke, pinning the raw unfolded edge of the strap to the raw edge of the armhole. The right side of the strap will face the wrong side of the dress. Join the strap and armhole with a 1/2” seam. Take your time on the curve, taking care not to stretch the armhole as you stitch.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

4) Press the strap toward the seam allowances of the armhole. Where the strap’s length extends beyond the yoke of the dress, press the strap’s unfolded edge toward the strap’s center fold, as you did with the folded edge of the strap in Step 2.

5) Fold and press the short ends of the straps toward the wrong side by approximately 1/2”; then re-fold the strap in half and pin it so that the raw edges are sandwiched in the center fold.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

6) Re-fold the bias strip at the armhole so that it wraps over the seam allowances to the dress’s right side, and pin the strap’s folded edge from the right side so that it covers the seam line you sewed in Step 3.

7) Working from the dress’s right side, edgestitch the strap starting at one end, sewing down the strap, around the armhole, and up the other end of the strap, rotating at the ends to stitch across and give them a clean finish.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

Hem the Dress

1) Sew a line of basting stitches 5/8” from the dress’s raw bottom edge. This will become the fold line for the hem.

2) Fold and press the fabric’s raw edge to the wrong side along the basting line.

3) Tuck the fabric’s raw edge inside the fold to meet the line of basting stitches and create a narrow hem. Press, then edgestitch this fold to finish the hem.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

4) Remove the basting stitches from the fold line.

Oliver + S Popover Sundress

We hope you will share your fantastic Popover Sundress to our linky party.


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1 Comment

  1. Ellen

    Thank you! I can’t wait to make many versions of this dress!

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