Thursday, January 3, 2013

Homemade easy fancy dress

When my aunt told me the only thing my goddaughter wanted for Christmas this year was dress up clothes, I knew I had to make her some homemade dresses. Unfortunately, I don't have much experience sewing, espeically not sewing without a pattern. After searching the internet a bit, I found a few different ideas, and just hoped they would work. For this dress, I found this video, which had a basic tutorial, and used that to make something I thought would be quick, easy, and cute. I was happy with the end product, and it only took about 30 minutes total.

The amount of each fabric you need will depend on the size you need to make. Since I was making a dress for a 3 year old, I didn't need much fabric at all. In fact, I used an old jersey knit shirt as the base fabric. You also need a piece of tulle, and a piece of lace.

To start off, you need to cut a bodice piece from your knit fabric. The piece will be a rectangle, with the long side being your approximate waist measurement(this may need to be increased slightly if your waist is much smaller than your bust), and the short side being the length you want the bodice(my piece was 20" by 11"). You also need to cut a skirt piece from your knit fabric. This piece will be a trapezoid shape, with the top length being the same as your long length of the bodice piece. The bottom of your trapezoid should be a few inches longer(4-6", depending on stretch of fabric). The easiest way to do this is to fold your fabric in half, and measure from the center. This way, both angular sides of your trapezoid should turn out the same. The height of your trapezoid should be about how long you want your dress to be.

Next, cut your piece of tulle. The tulle should be about twice the length of your waist measurement(but the same height as your trapezoid piece). Pleat and pin the tulle onto the waist-length side of the trapezoid piece, pinning the tulle onto the right side of the fabric. Sew a quick baste stitch to keep the pieces together.

Cut a piece of lace the same size as your tulle. Again, pleat and pin onto the trapezoid piece, on top of the tulle(your fabric should be in this order:lace, then tulle, then knit). place your bodice piece on top, with the right side of the fabric facing the lace. pin, and sew along the waist line.

You should now have one piece thats all attached. Simply pin and sew the back seam and voila! Since I didn't know my cousin's exact size, I added two tie straps to the top, but they are not necessary. In the below diagram, you can see the sizes of each fabric piece I cut.

If these directions aren't completely clear, feel free to ask for clarification. I've never written sewing instructions before.

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