Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Very Simple Strapless Dress {Mini Tutorial}

One of my latest tutorial finds was this super cute ‘Simple Skirt’ from Katy at Sweet Verbena. I stumbled across her blog via Pinterest and though she is fairly new to the blog world she has some adorable and amazing tutorials. Her style is awesome and her projects are simple and fun. In addition to making a ‘Simple Skirt’ I also used the same idea from her tutorial to create my most recent dress--meet the Simple Strapless Dress! 

This was a learn-as-I-go sewing project for myself. I’ll try to explain as best I can the steps I took and adjustments I made to the skirt tutorial. Once you review and understand Katy's skirt, this should be a breeze for you to make!

Here is what I used:
1 and 2/3 yard of 45” wide fabric
1” wide elastic
Sewing Essentials

((Please bare with me as it may get a little wordy since I don't have photos of the steps I took; for reference please visit Katy's tutorial as she took very helpful photos of each step!))

For the first step, rather than folding your fabric completely in half lengthwise to create a 2-layer skirt as Katy did, fold down your top edge roughly between ¼ -½ way down your fabric. To get a more accurate measurement of how far you should fold your fabric, measure the height of your bust. Do this by measuring from the top of your chest (or the bottom of your armpit--where the dress will sit) to directly under your bust. Add about 2 inches to that measurement and fold your fabric.

Since your bust measurement is longer than what the equivalent measurement of your back would be, cut your folded fabric with a slight curved edge working from the center to the ends. This will help eliminate any excess fabric or poofiness on your back.

Here is my pitiful attempt at creating a diagram to describe this:
The faint gray line is where your fabric is folded over to and the black curved line is what you will cut out from your flap
Create your casing at the top of the fold just as Katy did. Do this by laying down your elastic across the top of the fold and pin directly underneath it. Sew a straight line where you just pinned. Here is your first casing!

This is when Katy slides in her elastic, gathers the skirt and sews up the two sides to finish her skirt--super simple!! To create my dress, we will add one more step so that we can create the casing for the second elastic around your waist.

Leaving about an inch seam allowance, sew a line along the bottom of your curved fabric flap. Lay your elastic as best you can around the curve and pin on top of the elastic (same idea as the first casing) and sew along that pinned line. Your two slightly curved sewn lines create the casing for your second elastic.

Here is another lame attempt at a diagram:
The two grey dashed lines are where you sew to form your casing
Measure your elastic to where one piece fits comfortably around your upper chest and another piece around your waist. Be sure to have enough slack to stretch over your head but enough tightness to hold up your dress. Insert your pieces of elastic through the casings using a safety pin (or whatever works best for you!) and pin the elastic to each open end. Stretch both of your elastics and play with the fabric to get a nice even gather. Hem the bottom of your dress (if needed). Pin the two edges together, right sides facing each other, and try on your dress if you’d like. Make any adjustments to your elastic at this time. Once fitted, sew straight down the edges to form your dress and you’re all done! **You'll notice that one key difference from the skirt was that my one seam is worn at the back of my dress, rather than at the sides.

Add a belt for a little more shape if you'd like!

If you have ANY questions at all in regards to making a dress of your own, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Thank you Katie from Sew Woodsy, Danielle from Blissful & Domestic and Kelly from Running with Glitter for featuring my dress!!



Katy said...

It looks amazing! You did such a great job. I love that you converted it to a dress and the pretty fabric you chose. You are cute as a button too! Thank you so much for sharing your link with me and for featuring my project. (:

Katie said...

Love your new dress! I'm ready to give this a try as soon as I pick up my machine from the shop! :) Hopefully I'll have no more scary clicking noise!

Katy said...

The fabric is beautiful & the dress looks great on you.

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

so cute! i love katy's blog!

thanks for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday :)

Jenn said...

You are so tan and so cute!! I LOVE the dress. The belt is a great addition. Do you want to make me one too?

Lisa said...

adorable!!! love it and will have to give it a shot :)

Kelli said...

How weird that I am actually using Katy's tutorial to make a skirt for myself in the morning and I find your dress version tonight! Great use of the tutorial and your dress is super cute. Great for summer!!

Fonda @Southern Scraps said...

Very pretty. Love that fabric.

Katie said...

Still can't get over this dress! You were tied with 4 other bloggers for the reader's choice. You can go take a look at your feature on Sew Woodsy! Congrats & I look forward to you linking up tomorrow!

cookieandclaire said...

Awesome - saw this featured on sew woodsy! Great job! New follower and can't wait to see what you share! Would love a follow back if you have the chance! Come see me at
Cookie and Claire

Jazmin @ My Little Memory Jar said...

This is a gorgeous dress!! Love the simplicity of it. And the bluuuue! :o)


Kelly @ Run With Glitter said...

You are featured this week on the Glitter Spotlight!
Thank you for linking up!

Jennifer said...

Just wanted to let you know that you have been mentioned on my blog. If you wish for any content to be removed please let me know.

Jennifer said...

Your dress came out it with the belt. Found you over at Me Sew following :)

Blissful & Domestic said...

I just wanted to let you know I featured you over at Blissful and Domestic today. Stop by and grab a button:>

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could do a vid tutorial? Or pics showing how you made the back with the curve? I tried this, but, I think I misunderstood and couldn't get the back quite right.

Anonymous said...

Can I just ask? The casing at the waist, do you sew through both layers or just the rounded edge flap?