Itch to Stitch Tustin Dress - Easy to Sew Side Tie Knit Dress

I didn't know I needed a side tie knit dress until I sewed this one!   

This is the Itch to Stitch Tustin Dress (aff link) that was released April 1, 2023.  I tested the pattern, but in all honesty, I was hesitant to do so. I really did not think this was going to look on me. I was sure this style would not work on my large bust, short-waist, and almost non-existent waist. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I like the dress.

The easy-to-sew knit dress has options for regular and full bust, options for short or long sleeves, a wide neckline finished with a neckband, a waist tie that with one tie coming from the center front and the other wrapping behind at the waistline.  It's designed for medium-weight knit fabric. 

I choose to use a double brushed polyester knit for my dress. The fabric was a precut Walmart bundle, three yards for $6 if I remember correctly.  

I'm not really a fan of DBP knits, and had picked this up to sew my daughter some pajama bottoms. Well, the print was a bit "too much" for her - she likes subdued prints and colors - so I had it tucked into the donation bin.  

Apparently I'm a big fan of rayon knits, as I have quite a few of them on hand. Medium-weight knits? Not so much.  So when I was searching for a knit to use to test this pattern, I remembered this one.  I'm glad I kept it as I think it looks cute in this dress.

The dress front is one pattern piece so it does take some space to cut it out.  Because my fabric is striped, you can see the grain line of the pattern piece.  I think the diagonal on the bias is flattering on my bust line. 

The size I sewed is a 10 with the full bust option, tapering out to a 12 at the waist, back to a 10 at the hip.  I did a small sway back adjustment, as well as a small forward shoulder adjustment. Other than that, no other alterations. That's one reason I'm a fan of Itch to Stitch patterns. The block she uses to draft her patterns fits me well.  I'm 5' 5-1/2" for reference.  

Here's the back. Looks like I was adjusting the tie, but you get idea. I like that you can wear it as tight or loose as you wish.  My waist isn't as small as it used to be, and this gives me the illusion of a waist. 

I sewed everything on my new backup machine, a BERNINA 535.  My BERNINA loaner machine, the 770QE PLUS, is at the dealer's for an annual spa treatment.  I had visited the machine dealer I work with as an ambassador, and explained to Katie (the owner) what I wanted in a backup machine. She gave me a few options to consider and I went back a few weeks later and purchased the B535.  I'm happy with my decision.

I used a narrow zig-zag stitch to sew the seams, and finished seams with a three-thread stitch on my BabyLock serger.  

The dress was much quicker to sew than I anticipated! I was able to sew this in just a few hours, including tracing the pattern.  I had taped the PDF pattern together the night before.   

My plan was to wear this for Easter service, but wouldn't you know it, the weather turned cold. That's okay, I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities to wear my new dress. 

 I think this would be a great little black dress and am now on the lookout for a fabulous black knit. 

I hope you have a blessed day and Happy Sewing!


  1. My Goodness Sharon IT fits you to a" T!" Both the style and that Fabric are lovely on you!

  2. Great style on you & the fabric choice has inspired me to dig in my stash! You look lovely!


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