Maker Guide: Tessuti Rae Linen Dress

The Rae dress is a such a fun make, with all of its topstitching and subtle details.  And the result is so satisfying!  Its gentle shaping is flattering, and its “extra” seaming details also provide opportunity for fit adjustments if desired.  This is a great one to make multiple times, with its sleeveless and sleeved option and those great opportunities to continue to refine the fit!

Here are some tips and tricks for the Rae:


  • Always prep your linen for cutting properly.  It’s totally worth your time as it creates a much better result and it’s easier to sew! Here’s a video to help you prepare your linen to cut it on-grainPart 1 and Part 2.  Think too about whether you want to wash and dry your fabric before cutting, and prep appropriately - I have tips in my Caring for Linen video.
  • Because you’ll be doing a lot of single-layer staystitching, edgestitching, and other detail work, it’s especially important to make sure the thread tension is balanced on your sewing machine, and that you’re using the best feet and footplates you have for sewing linen!  So check out those videos for sure! For most sewing machines it will also be important to start your stitching lines a little away from the edge of your fabric, so your linen doesn’t get tangled in your footplate.  These quick checks and knowledge will make this a very fun sew.
  • When you cut your pattern, you can ignore the “Vilene Shield” pattern pieces as you’ll be using a special stay tape instead of Vilene ShieldSee the video here for additional info, including how to use your stay tape!  (Note: the stay tape is not necessary for the Sleeved version)
  • Don’t forget to mark and sew the dart at the bottom edge of the Back piece!  I did a quick video of this here if sewing a dart is new to you or you’d like some reassurance! 
  • Carefully watch the seam allowance lengths advised in the instructions - while Tessuti generally uses a ½ inch seam allowance, they use a variety of allowances in this pattern.  
  • When the instructions ask you to overlock, if you don’t have a serger or an overlock capability on your sewing machine, you can use a zig zag stitch.  I like to use a stitch length of 2 and a stitch width of 2.
  • When you get to the pockets, if you’re nervous about sewing a visible stitch line you can watch my video for a similar pocket installation on our Tamiko pants here.


  • You’ll lay the “sleeved” front top and back top pattern pieces over the sleeveless pattern pieces for the front and back (see reference picture in the pattern instructions).  You’re doing this because the shape of the armscye (or the opening where your arm goes) is shaped a little differently for the sleeved and non-sleeved versions.
  • There’s a step to do a slight gather of the sleeve hem using the sewing machine, called "crimping" - if you’re unfamiliar with this technique I did a quick video here.

Hope you have a wonderful time making your Rae dress!   Keep in mind that we sell Refill Kits of our boxes (no pattern but all the other goodies) if you want to make more than one!  Also please share your experience with us - we are a new business and all feedback is a gift!  Last but not least, share your make on Instagram by tagging #waxwingsewingkit and #tessutipatterns!