The blackstar tutorial

A big thank you to everyone who downloaded the free star dress pattern! And for all of you who can’t wait to make a TRUE star dress, here’s the tutorial!

It turned out to be pretty tricky to write this, so this is filled with tons of photos instead, hope you have the patience to look through them all 😉

A bit of patience is needed in the making too, lots of tiny triangles to fiddle with!

My advice: Do it all in one go, and care and patience in the first seams will make it come together like a breeze in the end!

The ( 2 papers ) pattern you need can be downloaded from here!

So let’s start with printing the two papers! The first one we need is marked no 1.

Second step: You need to begin with copying/bringing out all the pattern pieces meeting in the star, (that will be all except the two backsides) from the original star dress pattern.

It’s easiest if this is done in a transparent material, like swedish tracing paper, or clear plastic.

The important part here is that you remove the seam allowances of all pieces, in the star area!!!  (No need to do it all over the dress )

Cut off the 1,5 cm or 5/8″ that is added to the pattern.

Now tape the star together, all 8 pattern pieces! Place the printed paper called no 1 under it, so you see it through the pattern.

The POINTS of the star should lie directly under a seam, if possible.

Put the neck opening in it’s marked place, and adjust the paper until as many points as possible align with a seam. Never mind if the neck opening is moved a little.

See below, the  “hits” are marked in green. Two seams out of five is close enough! This may vary depending on your size, the grading has made the position of the seams a bit different.

Try to make the seam going under the arm hit a point, it’s best to avoid changing that one!

So, keep the greens unchanged. The reds need to have the seam moved, to go through the red point.

The easy ones: tape the pattern together properly, and just redraw the line. Taper the line to gradually meet the original one. Later cut apart along the new line.

The ones more apart may need a very long distance to form a new, smoothly shaped seam line. This just takes a bit of patience and some extra tape.

The most difficult one go through the bust point in my example.

The new line is marked with a dashed line here, in brown. Make sure it has a smooth curve towards the original one.

Cut from where they meet, up to the bust point, and move the strip of paper over to the other side.

See under my finger, I have just pushed it to the other side.

Right at the bust point there is  now a bubble in the paper. Turn this into a small fold and tape it flat.

You have now made new seam line, make sure it’s rounded and not pointy over the bust.

By this you have moved the bust point. As this is a small bust pleat and made in jersey it’s probably not a big deal. (When sewing, you can baste it first, to be able to adjust it a little)

Later cut the pattern pieces apart along the new, dashed line you see here.

Over to the final step. The star is inserted as a pentagon (5-corner shape) so you need to connect the 5 points with lines.

Cut the pattern pieces apart along the NEW lines. Remember, there are 2 sides (not corners) of the pentagon that meet with TWO pattern pieces. As the pentagon has 5 sides, but the dress has 7 seams. Confusing? This will be more clear later!

After cutting all the pieces apart, you can throw away the pentagon shape.

Now the remaining 8 pieces need to have the seam allowance ADDED BACK again! Bring out the tape!

And finally, cut out all the pieces of the dress from the fabric and put aside for now. Follow the diagrams and original instructions included in the pattern.

Now we will use the second paper you printed. From this you cut out the 4 pattern pieces, and cut 5 of each from your fabric. The bigger ones will form the actual star,   ( black, in my example) the smaller will be the edges ( my edges are beige)

All the center pieces need to have the center point marked!

Please note! Don’t print this one, download the correct size from here!

Time for some experiments with dye!

Here I have taken all the pieces that meet the pentagon sides, aligned all the edges and tied them together.

I dipped them in a small amount of black fabric dye, let them dry and ironed to fix the color.

All the pieces on the floor. I made a short sleeve sweatshirt instead of a dress, so my pieces are pretty small. You see the pentagon shaped hole clearly, right?

Now bring out the star pieces. You need to sew one big to one small, in total this will be 10 pieces. Half for the left side, half for the right side of the star.

Sew all the way to the edges, on both sides. Press apart.

Here they are, seams properly pressed apart!

Time to join the left to the right, of each “leg” of the star. Here you must make sure the seams meet in just the right spot.

Pin together when the seams line up perfectly.

My seam allowances turned out a bit wonky, so I had to double check with the pattern.

Mark a seam line along the middle of the “leg” of the star.

Pin and double check so you get the the correct sides together, see below.

Here, to the left, you see the two halves of one “leg” of the star.

We are now joining it along the middle, from top to bottom. To not mix things up, double check first and sew later.

When you feel sure, mark the sewing line. Use a ruler.

IMPORTANT: At the center of the star, sew only to the center point and stop and backstitch. Leave the tip open.

Stop here!

Off to meet the sewing machine!

5 legs  ( arrows?) done, and pressed properly. Ooops, one here is not perfect.

Unpick and redo, please!

If your seam allowance is all over the place, like mine, trim and clear now!

I taped the pattern pieces together to get a template.

After trimming. Hey, it’s actually a star!

So, back to the pentagon hole!

First, there are 2 seams you need to start with, to get FIVE fabric-pieces here.

When you lay it out, this will be obvious!

It’s the two halves of the left sleeve that need to be sewn together, and secondly the right sleeve ( with the neck opening) + the right front piece of the dress. As I say, it will be obvious!

Sew and press as ordinary seams.

When done, you will have 5 fabric pieces to sew to the 5 “arrows” of the star.

So pin and sew these five seams right away! You will end up with 5 pointy things, see below!

(In my example I also added the extra fun of making these sides GATHERED. Not a good idea, so we leave that out of this tutorial )

From here on you can follow the instructions included in the original pattern, as you now will finish the star seams and the dress in the exact same way.

A few more images are added here, but no more text! You just need to be careful to make all seams meet in the right place, and your star will look sharp and even!

Good luck, star maker!

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