Ok... I am being brave. I am going to attempt my first real tutorial...
Keep in mind that I am still very new to sewing (I just started sewing 2 months ago) so I am still working on sewing in a straight line and am working on getting my techniques down. :)
I have had a few people ask me how I made this dress- so here you go!
I originally got the idea for this dress on the Elle Apparel blog (so awesome- check her tutorials out). She has a tutorial to make a dress very similar to this one and I made it but ended up having to tweak it a little to get the fit right for me. So this is what I came up with.
Here is what you need:
1 yard of fabric
2 inch wide elastic
I started by trying on my t-shirt and figuring out where I wanted to cut it off to add the elastic and skirt. I wanted the waist band a little higher so I cut mine off high to make an empire waistline.
So lay your t-shirt out flat and use a straight edge to cut off at the desired length.
Next cut out your skirt. There really isn't a pattern for this part. It's totally up to how you want your dress to look. I will show some different variations of this at the end of the tutorial, but for now I will just show you what I did for this dress.
So the t-shirt I was using was 15 1/2 inches wide when laid out flat. So I wanted my skirt to be that same width. So I cut the top of the skirt out at 16 1/2 inches wide (allowing for 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side)
Next- I wanted the skirt bigger at the bottom so I used a straight edge and tapered it out so that the bottom of my skirt was 10 inches wider than the top. Again- this can be whatever you want it to be- as full or not full as you want it.
Make sure you have 2 pieces for the bottom of the skirt that are the same exact size.
(when I made my mellow yellow dress I cut the back side of the skirt in the middle of the fabric not really thinking it through and I ended up having to improvise on the front piece of the skirt to make it work)
Next turn the fabric for the skirt so that they right sides of the fabric are facing each other and pin the sides together so you can sew them.
Next it is time for the elastic. My favorite thing right now is to dye my own elastic to match my dress. (Most elastic comes in white of black so it is nice to have a color to match) I used the tutorial on the Made blog (one of my favorites- Dana is pretty much a genius in my eyes!) to dye mine.
Here is my only tip- I have used both the Rit powder dye and the Rit liquid dye and I recommend using the liquid to get a more even dye. The first 3 times I tried the powder and I didn't get it all the way mixed up and ended up getting some dots of unmixed dye on my shirts (kinda looked like ink spots) so it was frustrating... Spend the extra dollar for the pre mixed one! I totally think it is worth it.
So with this project I used 2 scraps of leftover elastic from previous projects to make my waistband so I sewed them together on the sides- but usually I use a fresh piece of elastic so I just have one seam instead of 2.
Measure your waist and add once inch to it and cut the elastic to that measurement (this allows for 1/2 inch seam allowance on each end of the elastic. If you are using 2 pieces of elastic like I did, you will have to allow for seam allowances on each side so cut accordingly.
Next, turn your skirt and sewn elastic waistband right side out and and pin the elastic all the way around the skirt. Line up the seam or seams with seam on the side of the skirt.
After it is all pined, sew the elastic to the skirt. I think it is easiest to sew on when the "right" sides of the of the fabric are facing up (if that makes sense) So that you can eyeball the edge of the elastic as you go to make sure you are sewing in a straight line.
Next do the exact same thing with the t-shirt. Make sure it is facing right side out and pin the elastic onto the top of the shirt. Make sure that you line up any seams in your elastic with the seams in the side of the t-shirt- it looks better and it helps you to make sure you are sewing the skirt on evenly.
Next try on the dress to make sure it fits properly and then measure where you want the hem to be and hem up the skirt.
And you are done!!!
Now you have your own version of my Polka Dot Dress!
Here are some other variations I have done with this dress...
With this dress I used seersucker fabric instead of a knit fabric like the Polka Dot Dress and I wanted the skirt to be fuller so the top of the skirt measured the same as the bottom. Then when I sewed the skirt to the elastic I had to stretch the elastic as I sewed to create the gathered skirt.
This dress has a tiered skirt on it. I made this one by skipping the first step of cutting off the t-shirt... Just leave it long for now.
To make the skirt- I started by sewing the bottom layer of the skirt with a basting stitch at the top of the skirt so that I could pull the threads and create the gather and then pinned it evenly around the shirt and sewed it to the t-shirt. Then I followed the regular steps for the top layer of the skirt and then sewed the elastic onto the shirt just above where the bottom layer of the skirt was sewn on. After both layers of the skirt are sewn to the t-shirt, then you can cut the access of the t-shirt off from underneath the skirts to reduce the bulk. I loved the way this one turned out! The fit was so cute and I loved how puffy the skirt was!
This dress was the same idea but I didn't use a t-shirt. It worked out because you can unbutton the buttons to put it on since it doesn't stretch like a t-shirt does. So keep that in mind when choosing a shirt to make this dress with!
There are so many variations that can be done to make this style of dress. That is what is so fun. There really aren't any rules- no pattern. Just go with the flow and see what you can come up with!
Linked up here.