So here goes my first sewing post. I am by no means a quality seamstress, I am just learning as I go. This dress was made with no pattern or instructions so there may well be a better way to do it, but I will just share with you how I did it.
Apologies for using black fabric, it makes it a little harder to see what is going on in the photos.
What you need:
Fabric – I used a viscose lycra (basically like a knit). 2 meters of a 150cm (60″) wide fabric. If the fabric cannot be wrapped around you when folded in half then you will need about 2.4 meters
Cotton – I used an 4 reels because I was using an overlocker. Only one is needed for a sewing machine.
Elastic – optional. I haven’t added elastic to my dress yet, but I probably will at some stage. Or even just tie it up in the foldover top section.
The fabric was just big enough for me to wrap the top around me once, while folded. (The top tube needs to be tight enough to hold the dress up). I could, therefore, cut pieces for both the front and back of the tube from the first 40 cm of fabric:
Fold in half longways. Cut off 40 cm and then cut along the fold.
If unable to wrap once around:
Cut two pieces 40cm x the width needed to wrap around once.
Se these two pieces together along one long edge of each piece.
Fold in half (inside out – seams out) so that the seam cuts across the middle. Sew along the long open edge.
This will make a tube when put right side out. Fold it in half so that you still have a tube, but it has all raw sewn seams inside. This part is hard to describe. I.e. Fold one half of the tube into the other half so that you can only see the outside of the tube. It should have two raw (unsewn) edges meeting at the bottom and the outside of a seam running along the top. This is so that when you fold the top of the dress over you still don’t see any raw edges, as they are sewn inside the tube.
Fold the fabric in half lengthways to cut two skirt pieces. To ensure that it wasn’t too tight I started the top of the skirt slightly wider than the width of the tube and flared it out to the full width of the folded fabric. To work out how long the skirt must be measure the length from below your bust line to the floor and add about 20 cm, to be safe.
Sew along both long edges to make the skirt. Leave inside out.
The hardest part to explain: Place the folded tube inside the top of the ‘inside out’ skirt, so that you have six raw edges at the top. (2 for the tuba and 1 from the skirt, for both front and back). Ensure that the vertical seam of the tube lines up with the centre of the piece you decide will be the back half of the skirt. Tack this together, right around. Try on. When you are happy with this then sew it together.
When you have sewn it (shown here as tacked) and pulled the top out, you will see that you have a dress.
Hem however you want. I just overlocked a few centimeters longer than I wanted the dress and then folded it in and sewed.
Phew, I hope that vaguely makes sense!