For Larry's birthday I opted to make a dress and accessories instead of buying them! I had fabric leftover that I hadn't used and originally purchased with the intention of making an elastic waistband dress, but wanted to make something a little more different and fun this time around.
I started off by making the skirt...an almost trapezoidal shape using my measurements to create a somewhat fitted, simple skirt. Not too tight, but not too loose. Instead of using an elastic band, I followed the steps in this baby onesie tutorial to attach the skirt to a stretchy tank top... Blue Cricket Design Onsie Dress . Simple idea all around--stretch the tank to accommodate the width of your skirt while you are stitching them together. After you're done stitching, the skirt will gather accordingly!
To give my dress character and more fun, I added layered ruffles! The two things I would have changed if doing this again is that I would have added the top ruffle BEFORE attaching the tank to the skirt (so the seem would be hidden) and I would have allowed more fabric! I somewhat underestimated the amount of fabric I would need to create the amount of fullness that I had originally wanted. (But I couldn't help this since this was fabric I had already purchased prior to this project! 1.5 yards...)
I cut the three layers for the ruffles in various lengths and made a small hem at the top and bottom of each. I then made a gathering stitch at the top and scrunched them until they were able to be pinned flat around the skirt at the placement that I wanted it. I used my own discretion as to how wide I made the ruffles and where I placed them on my skirt. The thinner you make your ruffles and the more layers you add, the fluffier your skirt will be! When attaching the ruffles, I made sure the bottom of the one overlapped the top zig zag stitch of the one below it to make sure you wouldn't see the seam. My third and final ruffle hung below the skirt hem so that you wouldn't see the skirt underneath. For the final look, I added a belt at my waist to disguise my first ruffles seam--oops!! I think I would have worn this with a belt either way though!
I also made myself a clutch and ring. I used a basic clutch tutorial that I've come to love & use A LOT from Anna's Noodlehead blog. You can create many variations using this simple clutch "blueprint." I made the front out of the same material as my skirt...adding a yellow trim and black lace for detail. The entire back and center band of the clutch is a shiny black fabric PERFECT for accents and making purses. I also added a strap and had a matching yellow lining with a money/ID pocket on the inside.
The matching ring is SO simple to make! I saw this clever idea on Smashed Peas & Carrots & fell in love!
All in all, Larry & I LOVED my outfit for his birthday--I felt comfortable and confident in what I had made. Making my own outfit (while challenging) was very worth it! Not settling for something in a store was awesome.
In the end, all I can say is...
Go handmade :)