I was recently asked to be a speaker at the upcoming blogging/sewing conference called “The Sewing Summit.” My sewing machine has been buzzing! Today I am sharing a tutorial for a dress that I’m planning to wear while I am speaking.
I love a project that seems to evolve as you go. My main goal with this dress was to make it simple, and fast. My goal was to finish it in under two hours- yes, it can be done! You just have to work fast! I love, love the fabric, from the fabulous designer Amy Butler (Lark collection). And I love the diagonal print, so I wanted to let it speak for itself in a simple dress design. You won’t believe how easy this was to make! Do you have 2 yards and 2 hours? Good, let’s get started!
main: 2 yards
accent: 1/2 yard
Two 1.5 inch metal D-rings
Details about my Supplies:
Main fabric: designed by the fabulous Amy Butler, Lark- Jade Heirloom
*all these measurements are based on my body and measurements– I am 5’2″ and about a dress size 3 or 4.
1. Line up main fabric on the selvages. Cut in half on the fold.
2. Determine the top of your dress. Cut off the selvage.
3. Now you are going to BASTE everything just for practice and fit. Baste the top, appx 8 inches from the side on each side (your shoulder to neck). An opening for your head will remain.
4. Then baste down the sides, leaving 8 inches open for each arm hole.
5. Now try it on. It will look like a tent Determine the length you want your dress to be, and where you’ll want to take it in on the sides, and if you want to shorten the sleeves. I eyeballed and estimated all of this, and you will have FUN doing this too!
6. Then I laid it out flat on my floor and… cut it! I erred on the side of caution– you can always cut off more, but it’s hard to put it back. I got LUCKY with my estimation and was right on.
Once I cut the first side, I flipped that piece of fabric over and cut from the other side. I’m going to use that piece to trace onto muslin and save for a pattern, and then I will use the scraps for some fun fabric hair bows and rosettes).
I folded it in half just to ensure that everything matched up perfectly. Trim where needed. Then trim the bottom to your desired length.
7. Then I basted it all together again, wrong sides together. I checked the shape and determined where to alter the collar line and take in the sleeves.
8. The I layed it on the floor and shaped it just a tad bit more (under the arms and the collar).
9. Next I edge finished the sides (you can serge if you have one) and entire top edge. Do not do the sleeve openings, or bottom of dress.
10. Then I stay-stitched the arm pits just a few inches, to help pin the dress right sides together.
10. Then I pinned and sewed the dress right sides together, on the side seams and shoulders (at this point, I have not sewn the sleeve openings, head opening, or bottom edge).
11. Now hem the sleeves. I folded over once, and then again, 1/4 inch, ironed well, and sewed.
12. Then I hemmed the collar and bottom just like I did the sleeves.
This dress would be pretty homely without a fun, contrasting belt to cinch up at the waist. Since this is a very simple dress, the belt gives it the shape it needs!
1. Cut a piece of fabric that is the width of your waist, plus about 10 inches. I just cut the length of the 1/2 yard. I made mine 5 inches wide.
2. Fold in half, right sides together. Press.
3. For fun, I angled one end.
4. Now sew. You don’t need to sew on the fold, but sew the two short ends and the long end, leaving a 4 inch opening somewhere in the middle of the belt.
5. Through the opening, turn the belt right side out. (I used my broom handle to help, then a pen to get the ends pointed out. I broke a lot of rules, but I don’t like to sew by the rules, hehe). Ok, then iron it flat really well. Topstitch all the way around (on all 4 sides). You will sew that opening shut from the top-stitching.
6. Now slip the two D-rings onto the straight end of the belt, and sew.
Yay, done! The best part about this dress is that you don’t have to sew in any sleeves!
If you have a minute, I’d love to have you stop by my blog. There’s lots of fun going on! In addition to sewing projects, I blog about kid activities, cooking, organizing, DIY, and more! Here are some of my favorites: