Shabby Apple Knock-off Tutorial

*This tutorial provided by Kate @ See Kate Sew for her win during the Knock-off challenge*

Preface: I love shabby apple dresses, so I feel a little bad telling you how to knock one off. I have a collection of them in my closet, probably more than I should have.  I recommend them to everyone looking for a cute dress to wear anywhere. As a seamstress, I love buying good quality and well designed dresses. So, as a disclaimer, I LOVE them and think they should be supported. So go buy one!

Instead of giving you the full tutorial, I’ll show you how to make the magnolia applique and walk you through the patternwork. I didn’t take pictures as I went, because I didn’t even plan on using this dress in the competition, it was just a gift for my friend. But I loved how it turned out, so I used it.

The basics are:

flower applique
Cut out a bunch of circles, about 3″ in diameter.

Then stack about 3 on top of each other and fold them in half.

Pin them on to your finished dress. (This, obviously is not a finished dress)

Make some more, folding either in half or in fourths.

From the side, it will start to look like this:

From the top:

Once you have enough to make a full flower, sew an X in the middle:

Take out the pins and fluff it up:

You’ll need three of these total, staggering in placement to put on the dress.

elbow length sleeves
To lengthen a sleeve, start with a basic sloper.

Continue the current seam lines down. You’ll want to measure your model to know how far to go.

Then draw a line to connect them. This line must be parallel to the current sleeve hemline.
That’s it! Make sure you add enough to hem the sleeve.

faux wrap V neck bodice
to make your bodice, you can start with a basic bodice sloper, or find an empire waisted pattern to use. From your current neckline, just draw a line down, creating the depth of V that you want. Then, close up the bottom with a straight line. This part will attach to the bodice and one side will overlap the other. My dress only has one dart, so I closed up the side sloper dart and made the front dart bigger.

This is a photo of how you’d do this. This is a mini sample drawing, not the one I used and is not empire waisted. To make it empire waisted, just shorten the bodice about 3-4 inches.

Gathered skirt
The skirt of this dress is just a rectangle. Measure along your bodice bottom and decide how gathered you want your skirt to be. Then measure to the knee, or however long you want it to be, from the empire waistline. You need about 1 1/2 times the width of the bodice to get the right amount of gather. Sew your skirt pieces together and hem the bottom, then gather the top and sew it onto the bodice.

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  1. K. H. says

    I was really excited to get a full tutorial on this dress- which is why I think we all voted for it. This tutorial is difficult to follow for novice sewists like myself because isn’t cohesive or visual. Bummer.