Friday, March 4, 2011

A new summer dress!

So since moving I've been thinking and longing for the summer time. I hear it's warmer here for longer and I'm SO excited! Of course this line of thinking led me to clothes, and I began thinking of making a new summer dress. I literally have several totes full of fabric just waiting to be used - so I dug through and found a table cloth that had been given to me, but didn't fit any table I had. It was an antique with a fun floral pattern.
So, I did as follows:

I had a general idea of my design - I wanted it fitted on top with straps and gathered at a high waist. I wanted it about knee length with a gathered hem.
1. I held it up to myself to determine how much of it should be the skirt and cut it in two (roughly 3/4 for the skirt and 1/4 for the top).

2. For my top I used the draping method by cutting off the white border and hemming what would be the "neckline", then fitting the bust to the form. In the past I have always used the flat pattern method for designing, which is precise and involves using and moving darts - basically your design is done in pattern pieces first and then cut and sewn. This time I decided to try the draping method, which means you use a dress form and fit, cut and pin it in place, and then sew.

3. I sewed the outer edges of my "skirt" together.

4. I gathered the top of the "skirt" and fit it to the bottom of the "top".

5. Remember the white excess I cut off of the top before hemming it? I used that plus the white off the bottom and gathered it to make the ruffle for the hem.
6. I put in an invisible zipper
7. I used scraps to make straps with little cap sleeve ruffles.

A tablecloth dress... I'm so excited to wear this dress when the weather gets a little warmer!


  1. Omgoodness, that's gorgeous! I didn't know you could sew like that...I'm just starting and when I brought the idea of that method up to my MIL, who is teaching me she balked and said it wasn't "allowed".
    You did a fabulous job!!! Can't wait to see pics of it on YOU!

  2. Haha Marcy! Well, it's definitely "allowed"! Just make sure you have a dress form that is very close to your size, or get an adjustable one and make it your size first... then do several fittings on you with a full length mirror. Basically sew, try it on, sew, try it on, etc. 'till it fits the way you want. Best of luck!

  3. so cool!!!! I love that so much! I think you should make those and sell them at farmers markets!!!!

  4. You have so much talent! I totally would buy that dress! And I love that you made it from a pretty! :) Now let's hope summer comes soon...