Odessa Dress Written Directions


  • - Odessa Dress PDF Pattern
  • - 2 yards stretch knit fabric
  • Jersey, modal, tencell, or stretch merino wool are all great options but there are tons of suitable fabrics out there! I encourage you to thrift fabric or find some fabric/clothing you can upcycle!
  • - 1/4" elastic
  • Regular braided elastic is fine, but if you have rubber elastic on hand and don't want to buy something extra then that's fine too
  • - Matching thread
  • A top stitch will be used on this style, so make sure your thread will blend in by matching it to your fabric.
  • - Cutting tool like scissors or rotary cutter
  • - Sewing machine capable of a straight stitch and zig zag stitch
  • - Loop turner or safety pin

Printing & Assembling the Pattern

Before printing, open up the US Letter or A4 version of the pattern to view the initial instruction pages. Note that if you're using A0 you will need to access the US Letter or A4 version to see these pages. Review the information in each section carefully. Then, when you're ready to print you will visit the "How to Print" section. As mentioned, this pattern is layered so that you can select just one size at a time. Please see this article on how to use that function. You are encouraged to use the layering feature to make cutting much easier!

Once you've printed, keep the pages in the order they printed. Visit the "Pattern Assembly" section of the file to view a map of how each page should be laid out. Then, place your pages down in order according to the map. You should start to see the pattern pieces come together. Once you know your pages are laid in the correct order, trim the page borders and begin taping your pages together to form your pattern pieces.

*Note that the Odessa Dress includes pieces that will be cut on the fold. If you prefer to assemble the entire pattern you will need to print an extra copy.

Choose Your Length

On the pattern there is a line you can cut so that your dress is "short" length. Short length will hit above the knee, close to mid thigh. The long length will hit at mid-calf. If you know your body to be short or tall, you may want to customize the length to best suit you.

Since this dress does not stretch vertically, you can measure the length you want and compare it directly with the pattern (minus seam allowances).


Your pattern includes 3 pattern pieces, all of which need to be cut on the fold. To do this, you will fold your fabric over so you're able to cut through 2 layers at once. Line up the straight edge of your pattern piece ("cut on fold" is marked with a dotted line) and cut your pieces.

In Piece 1, the front top, you will cut 2 in your fabric. In Piece 2, the front bottom, and Piece 3, the back, you will cut 1.

Seam allowance is included and the amount of allowance varies in different places. As you follow these instructions we will mention the amount of allowance you need to account for while sewing.

Step 1

First we will start off with our front top pieces. You've cut 2 identical pieces because this top will feature an Edgewater favorite- concealed seams!

Match your front top pieces with right sides together and sew along the neckline, arm holes, and the peek-a-boo line under the bust using an overlock stich or a zig zag stitch. You will also attach your 1/4" elastic to these same seams.

There is 1/4" seam allowance on these seams.

When attaching elastic you will not stretch it, make it equal to the length of the seam. Use an elastic foot if it's available to you!

Step 2

Now get out the back piece. We're going to finish off and attach elastic to the neckline and armholes. Sew and attach elastic to the wrong side of the fabric.

When attaching elastic, you will stretch very slightly- only a bit. You shouldn't really see much scrunching at all. The seam reduction will be about 1%. Use an elastic foot if it's available to you!

Step 3

Take out the front top piece after it has the elastic sewn, we can put our back piece to the side. Then take it fully to the right side through any of the open areas.

Using a basting stitch, sew closed the two shoulder straps and the sides. If available, use an overlock stitch to finish off the raw edges of the tab areas at the bottom where it will be connected to the skirt. If unavailable, you can do a zig zag stitch with matching thread instead.

Finishing off the bottom areas where it connects is just for aesthetic purposes, most knit fabric won't fray. So this part is optional!

Step 4

Twist one side of the top piece until right sides are back to facing up. We aren't sewing this twist down, so make sure to keep it in place for the next few steps!

Another option here is knotting the top, adding a ring, etc... Whatever you'd like!

Step 5

Now get your front bottom piece out, you should just have 1 piece for this. First, finish off the waistband line with an overlock or zig zag stitch. Again, this is just for aesthetic purposes so this is an optional step!

Now get the top front out, and place it down onto your skirt so your right sides are together. Line up the tabs of the top piece on either side of the waist. Then, using a straight stitch, sew down the top piece onto the skirt.

You can sew this at the 1/4" or 1/8" line, staying inside of the overlock stitch you used to finish off the bottom.

After this, your top and bottom front piece will be attached!

Step 6

Now we are going to foldover the waistline of the skirt to create a casing for some elastic to go inside. Flip down the waistline, wrong sides together. The top part will still be facing up, don't flip it down like in the previous step. Make the waistband casing wide enough so that you leave enough room for some elastic to run through.

Using a straight stitch, sew down this channel. There is 5/8" of seam allowance here, but for a discrete seam it is recommended to sew on top of your overlock/zig zag. Just make sure you have enough room to fit your 1/4" elastic.

Once you've sewn the casing, you are ready to insert elastic in the next step!

Step 7

Get out your 1/4" elastic and trim it to the size recommended in the "Elastic" section of the pattern.

If you're using the full format version you will need to open the US Letter or A4 version to access this section.

Then using a loop turner or safety pin, bring the elastic through the channel. Since the elastic is shorter than the channel, you will need to scrunch the fabric so it fits. Sew the elastic down with a straight stitch on either end so it stays in place.

Step 8

Next we will attach the front and back at the shoulder straps. So first, place the front and back right sides together and align them at the shoulder straps. You will immediately notice the back straps are larger than the front. That's ok for now! Later when we flip the elastic it will line up.

Using an overlock stitch or straight stitch, sew the straps together. There is 1/4" seam allowance here. Afterward if you choose to trim off the excess, try to still leave the seam allowance in place. Just trim it so it's even and clean looking.

Step 9

Now we can flip the elasticized seams on the back piece and top stitch them down so they match up with the front.

  • So fold the elastic over on to the wrong side. When you do this, the elastic should now be fully covered and you should see the right side now.

  • Using a zig zag stitch, lightning stitch, coverstitch, twin needle- whatever stretch stitch your machine has, you will top stitch down the shoulder holes and neckline.

  • When you do this you will be tucking down the seam allowance where the shoulders attach, which will secure it into place and out of the way!

Step 10

  • We are almost done, now we’re going to sew the side seams together. Match the dress so that right sides are together and pin all the way down each of the side seams. Using an overlock stitch or a straight stitch, sew down the side seams using ¼” seam allowance.

  • At the bottom of the dress our loose threads will be finished off with the hem, but at the underarm I like to take an extra step to get a nice finish on this seam. Using a straight stitch, you’ll tuck the seam allowance onto the back piece and tack it all down using a straight stitch. Then, trim excess thread. Make sure in the next step when you hem that your side seams lay the same way- onto the back panel.


Step 11

The last step is hemming our dress. Feel free to use whatever hemming method you prefer! There is 5/8" seam allowance here.

One method to hem is first finishing off the raw edges with an overlock or zig zag stitch. Then, fip the raw edge of the bottom of the skirt so wrong sides are together. Top stitch using a zig zag or any stretch stitch.

That completes the Odessa Dress!