Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Shoulder Summer Dress {Mini Tutorial}

One day last week I had the sudden urge to attempt my first dress without a pattern or tutorial from blogworld. I cancelled my daily gym plans to go straight home and sew! I knew exactly what fabric I had wanted to use. I decided on a one sleeve tank style--perfect for summertime. Here is my rather successful attempt at creating this dress--I will break down the basic steps I took to make her.


My fabric came from Larry's grandmother. I had known that I wanted to make a dress with it from the first day I got it...I loved the colors and with it being a stretch jersey I knew it would be a little easier to work with when fitting myself. There was about 2 yards that I had to work with--plenty! Since I didn't want to use a tutorial from online or a purchased pattern (which are more of a headache than help sometimes!) I grabbed a one-sleeve dress that I already owned and that had about the same stretch as the fabric I was working with.
Hello perfect dress that I want to re-create :)


The first step was cutting my fabric. I folded the fabric in half (making sure that the fabric stretch was going horizontally) right sides together and laid my dress on top of it. I made sure everything was laying flat, pinned my dress to the fabric and then cut around the shape of the dress leaving a HUGE (this is an understatement) seam allowance...just to be sure of course. You can always cut excess fabric off, but you can't add it back on!

Bailey pouting from not being aloud to play on the fabric

See my huge seam allowance!



The black lines are where I pinned the shape of the dress
I removed the pins that were securing my dress to the fabric and used them (along with lots more) to form the shape of the dress on my fabric by pinning around the entire dress, following all the curves. I then tried her on inside out just to see the fit. It was like a glove! Either I had traced the dress perfectly or the fabric really liked me...either way, I was very happy!

I then took her off and sewed up both the side seams, following the shape of the pins, still with a huge seam allowance. I also sewed across the top shoulder. The basic shape was done! I tried her on one more time for good measures before completing the last few steps.

Trying the dress on inside out!

(I apologize but from here on out I didn't take anymore photos--if you have any questions, please let me know and I'd be happy to answer them!! Only 3 more steps to go!)

This next step is when I typically would have used googled. For those of you who need them, there are many, many,many how-to-make bias tape tutorials but, since Larry's grandmother was over for the start of my dress I had her briefly re-fresh me on how to make my own. I have created bias tape in the past for accessories but have never sewn it onto a garmet. Since this was for a dress--it had curves and I would be wearing it regularly--I figured I would attempt it the correct way! It wasn't too bad! Since I was working with a jersey that wouldn't hold a pressed fold too well, I skipped the ironing part and just went for the sew-on! After lots of pinning, sewing, folding, re-pinning and re-sewing I had both of my "armholes" complete! This process didn't take near as long as I had thought it would...thankfully!

My next step was finishing the raw edges on the inside of my dress. Remember my ridiculously large seam allowances? I chopped off almost 2 inches from each seam and did a zig-zag stitch right at the edge to keep the inside from fraying.

I wanted the dress to be fairly long so that I could wear it for numerous occasions. Plus, over time if I wanted it shorter, I could just adjust the hem. So for now, she hits right at my knees. Complete your final step--the hem, and you're done! I am beyond pleased with the results!


This was surprisingly a quick, one-nighter, done in less than 3 hours project--and a new dress for my summer wardrobe?? Yes please!! I see many more of these in my future!!


*Stay tuned for a mini tutorial on how I made the matching belt! :)*

Now go grab a dress from your closet that you love and make one of your own!

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14 comments:

Christina said...

It turned out so cute!

Pamela said...

Love it!! So cute!! :)

Danielle said...

This is super cute and looks so simple to make. I think I will have to try this out

Amanda said...

It's looks really cute! I love the belt too. Great job!

Natasha said...

SO cute! can't believe you did it in 3 hours! I will definitely be checking back to see the belt tutorial, really love how it added to the dress!

Alisha @ Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife said...

This came out fabulous!! Excellent copycatting!! My sewing instructor just taught us how to do this. Another project added to the list LOL Stopping by from Tea Rose Home and your newest follower.

This is the project I posted: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.com/2011/05/wool-buffalo-check-coat-finished.html

Minhas filhas,minha raz√£o de viver said...

Hi!Beautiful!!!!Sorry,no speak english,kyssis by!!!

Sharde said...

this is so adorable! i love it i love it! I am so going to have to make one myself. I have a problem though, i generally don't like any clothing garment that I make from scratch. I can do all sorts of sewing, but i never have good enough fabric available! cute enough, rather. lol. anywho, I just hopped over from bcd!

thestyleprojects.blogspot.com

While They Snooze said...

How awesome is that?! I have a huge piece of striped knit I've been wanting to make a dress with... it's now my next project! I think using a pattern is harder too... I'll be tracing an old dress. This looks great Angela... thanks for the inspiration.

Stephanie Smith said...

This is really cute. Love that you didn't use a pattern. I hate patterns, too.

the Furnitista said...

great job!! it looks great!

Alethia said...

Great dress~ Awesome job!!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

So adorable, it looks great on you!!

Thanks for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday! Hope to see ya again this week :)

Dacia said...

Super cute dress! Awesome that you made it without a pattern!