Knockoff Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial
I finished my Knock off Anthropologie Somerset dress! I'm really excited that I was able to pull this one off. Today I'm sharing which patterns I loosely used, the fabric I chose, and things I learned making it. Keep reading for all the details and an explanation of my steps so you can make one too. 
This post includes some affiliate links
Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial



I have been seeing the Somerset dress pop up all over the Instagram accounts I follow and I fell in love with it. However, the price tag and the distance I'd have to drive to try one on was a turn off. So on my birthday I decided to get some fabric and dive into trying to make one myself. If you checkout my Instagram account you can find a highlight bubble where I talk about it.

Had to add an extra panel to the back bodice - Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

I picked up the fabric from my local Joann. It is 100% cotton Shirting. It is a little bit of a tighter weave than quilting cotton. I bought 5 yards and used every bit of it.  It rustled a bit loudly as I pulled the fabric from the dryer after prewashing it so I was nervous. But I love how it turned out! And it's not too loud at all when wearing. 
Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial



On the Anthropologie website this comes in so many solid and printed fabric options which is so nice because you can get an idea what the fabric you choose might look like finished. 

One thing I love about this style of dress is that it is flattering to all kinds of body types. Everyone I've seen this on looks good. 

My favorite details are the gathering at the neckline,
Neck Detail -   Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

The puffed sleeves.
Sleeve Detail -   Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

The gathering at front and back waist, but not on the sides.
Waistband Detail -   Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

The pleats on the 3 tiered skirt.
Skirt Pleats Detail -   Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial
 
I would make the length a little shorter next time and maybe add a little more puff to those sleeves but overall I love how it turned out.


How to Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress

To make a Somerset Dress you'll need a pattern to use for the top and a pattern to use for the tiers at the bottom. I used the Union Street Tee pattern by Hey June and the Boho Maxi Dress pattern by Claudia Almondoz from my sewing book Just For You.

Disclaimers: 

This is not a full tutorial. I'll share how I made my dress today, and give instructions on how you can make one too, but this doesn't have all the detailed photos of my usual tutorials. In the instructions I'm assuming you've sewn a dress before, inserted a sleeve, sewn gathers, etc, so my actual construction instructions will be a little vague. Refer to the original patterns you are using if you need more details on these general steps. 

Mainly I hope to inspire you to be brave enough to try something like this in your own sewing adventures. I'm also recording this so I can make one again. :)

This is not an "Easy" project but its not too complicated. It turned out to be so much easier than the Prom dress I sewed. If you have a little experience sewing dresses you could do this!

Here's What You'll Need

at least 5 yards of fabric -  I used this 100% cotton Shirting from JoannI had just a few strips of fabric leftover.
1/2 to 2 yards of 3/8'' elastic for the waistband
1/4 yard Woven Fusible Interfacing for the waistband, such as Pellon Shape Flex  SF10

Draw the Pattern pieces

1. For the Bodice:

Start by tracing a loose fitting t-shirt pattern or button up shirt pattern to get the shirt front and back. The pattern I used is slightly fitted so sized up and  I really just used the pattern to trace the neck line and armscyes and get the width at the chest. I drew a straight line down from the armpits. I also made the armcyes a couple inches deeper. 

Add 2 1/2 inches to the Shirt Front at the center fold line and cut out two separate pieces instead of cutting it on the fold. 

Cut out the Shirt Back on the fold. I made an error in mine and had to insert a strip of fabric in the back to make it big enough because I ran out of fabric. 

Draw the Bodice Pattern-   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial
This was my pattern after making all the try-on adjustments. The first pattern I drew was longer. 


2. For the Sleeves:

I measured my arm from the shoulder seam to where I wanted to the sleeve to stop to get the length. I added 4 inches for the puff and the hem. I also measured around my arm to estimate size of the sleeve opening to get the width. Then I just free handed the bell curve and crossed my fingers. I did have to make a few different sleeves before I settled on this one.  I think it could still use a little more puff. 

Draw the Sleeve Pattern-   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial
My final sleeve pattern. I sewed the gathering stitches between the 2 pins.


Make a practice bodice with 'junk' fabric

 This is also called a 'muslin'. You won't need to make a practice skirt

Sew a Practice Bodice-   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


1. Sew the Placket

Make the placket in the Shirt Front: Fold the Shirt Front center over about 7/8 inch and press. Fold it over again 1 inch and press. Topstitch along the folded seam. Do this on both Shirt Front pieces. Over lap the plackets and baste them together at the bottom for now. The shirt front and back should be about the same width at the bottom.

Sew the Placket-   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

2. Sew the bodice

I used 1/2 inch seam allowances on all piecesWhen making a practice bodice I usually sew all the pieces together using a basting stitch so that I can easily unpick them to make changes if needed.

Sew the front and back together at the shoulder and side seams. 



3. Add the sleeves

Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the curve of each Sleeve piece at 3/8'' and 5/8'' away from the edge. Sew the side seam of each sleeve. Pin the sleeve to the opening in the bodice matching the side seams. Pull the gathering stitches and spread out the gathers evenly across the top of the sleeve to fit the opening. Continue and sew both sleeves to the bodice. 

4. Gather the neckline

Starting at the placket, sew two rows of gathering stitches along the curve of the neckline at 3/8'' and 5/8''. Gently pull the top threads to gather each side until you get the look you like. you can baste these gathers in place so they don't pull out when you try on your bodice. No need to finish the edge of the neckline here unless you want to practice. 

Gathers at the neckline -   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


5. Try on the Practice Bodice

 It should pull on over your head without undoing the placket. If not, you'll need to cut your Shirt front and back wider.  Check the sleeves to see if they have the right puff.  Do the gathers start too low, is the opening is roomy enough, are the sleeves long enough to hem? Make changes to your pattern and try again until you get the sleeves right. Need more puff? Draw a taller curve. I had added too much puff to the sleeves to I redrew them and tried again.

Check the neckline. The neckline will be finished with binding so it will sit right where the raw edge is. I had to trim mine about a 1/2 inch in the front. 

Make the necessary adjustments to your original pattern and make another practice bodice if you need to. Sometimes I make the changes to the fabric pieces and then just use them as a pattern. 

6. Make the waistband

Once I got the bodice to fit the way I liked it in the shoulders and chest, I decided where to cut it to add the waistband. The middle of the 3 inch waistband should ultimately sit at your natural waistline.  Leave an extra 1/2 inch of length for the seam allowance. I cut my center front at 12 inches. 

Make the waistline -   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


To make the waistband, cut two 4 inch strips of fabric that are the width of the bodice, plus seam allowances. You'll need to interface the waistband if this is your finished dress but not for the practice version. See later instructions for interfacing. 

Sew the two waistband strips together at the short ends.  Match these seams to the side seams of the bodice and sew the waistband to the bodice.

Make the waistline -   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

7. Sew in the Elastic

Cut 2 lengths of 3/8 inch elastic. It may take some trial and error to see what length to cut it. I cut them at 9'' each. You'll eventually need 6 pieces of elastic cut to this length.

Sew the elastic to the center of the waistband seam allowance in the front and back. To do this, mark the seam allowance 3 inches from each side seam. Stitch across the end of the elastic through just the seam allowance at each mark to tack it down. This is a view from the side after I marked and sewed 2 ends in place.

Sew in the elastic - Make the waistline -   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Stretch the front elastic evenly between the sewn ends and sew the elastic to just the seam allowance using a serger. You could use a wide zigzag stitch if you don't have a serger. Repeat for the back of the bodice. Try it on and see if the waistband hugs your waist enough. If not. unpick the elastic and try a shorter piece. 

Sew in the elastic - Make the waistline -   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


Fold the seam allowance toward the waistband and sew the seam allowance to the waistband along the edge raw edge starting at a side seam. Stretch the elastic to lay flat as you sew. Try it on again just to make sure the fit at the waist is still correct. 

Sew in the elastic - Make the waistline -   Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Time to Make the Real Bodice

Now that you have the waistband fit figured out you can cut out the bodice from the real fabric and sew it all again. Finish each of the seams with a serger or zig zag stitch as you sew it together to prevent fraying.

This time when you cut the waistband, you will need to add interfacing to it.

1. Add Interfacing to the Waistband

Cut two 3 inch strips of woven fusible interfacing that are the same width (I used Pellon Shape Flex  SF101). Fuse an interfacing strip to the center of each waistband strip using an iron. Draw 2 lines along the center of interfacing that are about 1/2 inch apart. 

Sew the two waistband strips together at the short ends. Topstitch along each of the drawn lines starting at a side seam. This will be the casing for the center elastic pieces which will be added after the skirt is added.

Continue to construct the bodice as in the previous steps and add the interfaced waistband to the bodice. Add the elastic to the seam allowance as before. 

Waistband Interfacing - Make an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


2. Make the skirt

Refer to the skirt pattern you are using for the cut width and number of panels to cut for each tier.

Top Tier cut length = 14 1/4''  - with 2 pleats - measures 11 1/4'' finished
Middle Tier cut length = 14 1/4" - with 3 pleats - measures 10'' finished
Bottom Tier cut length = 19 3/4" - with 1 pleat + large hem - measures 14'' finished

Total skirt length finished was about 35 1/4''. The skirt ended up to be too long for me. When I make it again I will alter these cuts to make it 2-3 inches shorter overall I think. 

3. Make the Tiers

Sew the tier panels together and finish raw edges of each side seam with a serger or zig zag stitch.

Prepare the Top and Middle Tiers

Working with the Top Tier, fold the bottom edge toward the wrong side of the fabric 1 1/2'' and press the fold all the way around the tier.


How to sew the pleats on an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


Topstitch 1/2'' away from the fold to make the 1st pleat. Press the pleat toward the bottom edge. 

How to sew the pleats on an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Fold the fabric to the wrong side again and press it 1 1/2'' away from the stitch line Sew around the tier 1/2'' away from the fold to make the 2nd pleat. Press the pleat toward the bottom edge. 

Pleat detail - How to sew the pleats on an Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the top edge of the tier at 3/8'' and 5/8'' away from the raw edge. Divide the Tier into quarters and mark them. Set the first Tier aside.

Repeat these steps for the Middle Tier except this time make 3 pleats not just 2. 

4. Sew the Top Tier to the Waistband

Match the side seams, center front, and center back of the waistband to the quarter markings in the top edge of the Top Tier. Make sure the right sides are together. Gently pull the gathering threads in each quarter and spread out the gathers evenly. Sew the Top Tier to the waistband with a 1/2 seam allowance. The seam line should fall right between the two gathering stitch lines. Press the seam allowance toward the waistband and remove the gathering stitch line that is showing.  

Attach another set of 3/8'' elastic to the center of the bottom waistband seam allowance in the same way we sewed it before. Mark - tack - stretch - sew - press - topstitch. 

Insert the 3rd set of elastic to the casing made with the fused interfacing. Mark the center casing 3'' away from the side seam. Gently pull the interfacing away from the fabric. Use an unpicker tool to grab the threads if needed. Make a little cut in the interfacing between the 2 stitch lines. Thread the elastic through with a bodkin or safety pin, separating the interfacing from the waistband as you go. Hand stitch the ends of the elastic to the interfacing opening to secure them in place. 

Center elastic at the waistband - DIY Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

5. Sew the Middle Tier to the Top tier.

Divide the bottom of the Top tier into quarters and match them to the quarter markings in the Middle Tier. Make sure right sides are together and the lowest pleat is folded out of the way so it does not get caught in the seam. Gently pull the gathering threads in each quarter and spread out the gathers evenly. Sew the Middle Tier to the Top Tier with a 1/2 seam allowance. The seam line should fall right between the two gathering stitch lines. Finish the raw edge with a serger. Press the seam allowance toward the Top Tier and remove the gathering stitch line that is showing

6. Hem and Attach the Bottom Tier

Working with the Bottom Tier piece, fold the bottom edge over 1/2 inch with wrong sides together and press. Fold the edge over again at 3 1/2'' and press. Pin in place (slide a ruler under the fabric that you are pinning through so you don't pin the hem to the ironing board).  Topstitch along the first folded edge to hem the skirt.



Large hem at the bottom - DIY Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Fold the hem toward the inside 1 1/2'' way from the hem stitch line. Topstitch 1/2'' away from the fold. and press the pleat toward the hem.

Large hem at the bottom - DIY Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the top edge of the tier at 3/8'' and 5/8'' away from the top edge. 

Divide the bottom of the Middle tier into quarters and match them to the quarter markings in the Bottom Tier. Make sure right sides are together and the lowest pleat is folded out of the way so it does not get caught in the seam. Gently pull the gathering threads in each quarter and spread out the gathers evenly. Sew the Bottom Tier to the Middle Tier with a 1/2'' seam allowance. The seam line should fall right between the two gathering stitch lines. Finish the raw edge with a serger. Press the seam allowance toward the Middle Tier and remove the gathering stitch line that is showing.

7. Hem the Sleeves

Fold the raw edge of the sleeve toward the inside 7/8'' and press. Make a 1 inch fold enclosing the raw edge. Press and pin in place. Stitch a long the first fold line to finish the hem. Repeat for the opposite sleeve.

1 inch sleeve hem - DIY Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial

8. Hem the Neckline

Cut a 2 inch strip of fabric on the bias that is long enough to go around the neckline.  I had to piece mine together and made sure to put the seam in the back of the neck. Fold the raw edges of the strip toward the center and press. Then fold it in half and press to make bias tape. Wrap the binding around the end of one front corner of the neckline and fold it to enclose the raw edge. Pin or use binding clips to hold the binding in place. Stitch the binding in place from the right side of the dress.

Finish the neckline with Bias Tape - DIY Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


9. Hand sew a Hook and Eye to the Placket.

Try the dress on for placement and sew a hook and eye onto the placket about halfway down using a needle and thread. 

Anthro Knockoff Somerset Maxi Dress Tutorial


And that is it! PHEW!  Do you think you could make one of these? If so, I hope this helps you wrap your head around the idea. If you make one I'd love to see it!  Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram if you make one @bluesusanmakes. 

Happy Sewing! 





No comments:

Post a Comment