Friday, September 16, 2011

DIY pattern-free, basic & easy dress!

Isn't it awful when you think you're going to have a great day and then it turns out horribly? I really thought today was going to be fantastic, and it started out that way... but I just discovered that I drove off from the ATM this morning with my banking session still open and *without* my card. Brilliant. And, I left my phone on the other side of the state, so figuring things out has really started to take over my day. However, I think I have done everything that CAN be done until I can get a phone, so I'm choosing to move on... and write this blog! Which is good, because I didn't write this one in advance and now the day is getting away from me. Far, far away from me.
Anyhow, this dress is extremely easy. I did it in a very little amount of time and with minimal effort. The best part is that you can make all sorts of dresses using this same idea and then you can really take them from basic to super fun. You can change the neckline, add some elements (buttons, lace, trimming, pockets)... all sorts of things! In the future, I'll do another blog entirely about adding to an already made basic dress, and I'll even do more blogs about pattern-free dresses, but let's start with this super basic dress for today.
you will need...
Sewing machine
Another dress or a loose t-shirt

STEP ONE: (fold your fabric in half) I literally made this dress by tracing a t-shirt and tube dress on to fabric. Seriously. I found a t-shirt with a good fit and put it over a tube dress, then I traced the outline (plus 2 inches on each side for seam allowance and tightness factor). I think it would be easy to do this with a men's t-shirt and then just trace an extra 2 feet on to the bottom to make it long enough. After it's traced, put all along the dress on the INSIDE of the tracing. You can see that I traced on the *outside*, that's because I decided that I wanted it to be a loose-fitting dress and I wanted to actually cut it out even bigger than what I had traced. However, I had entirely forgotten that by the time I started cutting... so the dress is form fitting instead. Oh well. It just means I'll do it again! You can make the dress tighter, but be sure to cinch in a little bit at the waist or else you can just belt the dress when you wear it. If you're blessed with a bigger bum, remember to angle the dress out more like an A-line after the waist to create more room.

cut out and pinned
Cut out the dress. Decide what you want the neckline to be (sweetheart, boat neck, crew, whatever) and cut that out. You can trace it from another shirt with a good neckline or eyeball it. If you're going to do the latter, you may want to cut the first half and then fold it over and trace the other half, then cut it out. That will make it even. Remember that when you hem your neckline will be lower, so keep a seam allowance. Also, take a little bit off the back at the very minimum. You can always make the back the same as the front, that's kind of fun if you don't mind showing off your back!                                                   
Stitch together everything and hem the sleeves, neckline and bottom.

Try it on and make adjustments. My sleeves were really messed up. I had to go and play with the seam, loosening it with my hands so that they would lay right. You may decide that you want the hem shorter or that you want to take it in a bit. If that's the case, try the dress on inside out and pin it as needed. Then take it off and sew again!

Accessorize and wear it!

Audrey in Funny Face
I hope you have fun with it! There are so many ways you can spice this up. I really look forward to doing it again for a future blog. I'd like to make a shift and then an A-line dress similar to one I've always loved from the movie Funny Face. Audrey Hepburn wears it for a photo shoot in Paris while releasing tons of balloons. It's gorgeous! And it would be easy. You can check back for an entire blog about making your basic dresses and shirts more spicy as well. Have a great day... and if you're feeling cold, maybe you should make a knitting free lover/bff scarf

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