About this project
You probably shouldn't attempt this dress unless you have sewed stretch fabric before because it is tricky! You need to use a BALL POINT needle to sew stretch fabric! I based this on a project from a blog and off the Victoria's Secrete 'Convertible Dress'. I used a printed jersey two way stretch fabric for my first attempt. You could try using a different colour for the waist band from the rest of the dress or do the whole top part in a different colour from the bottom. You need to buy fabric that is very WIDE and need about 3-4 meters depending on how tall you are/how long/big you want your dress to be- I'm 173cm tall so I bought 4 meters of fabric that was 140cm wide. I sewed my straps together from two pieces of material but I would recommend sewing them from one piece folded in half and having the folded seam in the middle of the chest as it will sit better.
You Will Need
- Reasonably Priced
The dress is made up of four parts; a circle skirt, a waist band and two long straps which are all sewn together along the same seam (the way I did it at least!).
The length of the straps should be 1.5 times your height (seriously!) and they need to be quite wide otherwise the dress won't work so well. I didn't make mine wide enough so it isn't as good as I had hoped. Measure from the centre of your chest under your bust around to the back of your arm and that is how wide the straps should be. The waist band should be about 10% shorter than your waist and about 25cm wide as you will fold it in half (it can be wider if you want). The skirt can be as long or short as you want.
To cut a perfect cirle, first cut a perfect square from your material. Fold it in half to make a rectangle then in half again to make a square. Tie a pen to a piece of string and hold the end of the string on the corner of the square that would be the centre of the square then trace a curved line from corner to corner. When you cut along this line and unfold the material it will be a circle. Cut a smaller circle while the material is still folded for the hole in the middle. To figure out how big to cut this circle use the length of the waist band you have created ad the circumferance and then divide by 2 and divide that by pi and you have the radius which is how long to make the string when you draw the curved line.
I lined the straps of my dress by sewing two identical pieces together in a tube and closing one end and sewing the open end in to the seam of the dress which worked really well. It makes the dress a little hotter but creates a nicer finish. To make a nicer seam just cut both halves in one piece and fold in half then sew and sew the folded seam so that it is the side in the middle of the dress. I recommend sewing the waistband into a circle first, then fold it in half, and pin it in quarters around the hole in the skirt then sew these two pieces together. Then make sure the seam of the waist band is at the back.
The dress is pretty much finished unless you want to hem the skirt. I haven't figured out a good way to hem the skirt without it making it bunch as it is cut on the bias. Mum suggested using bias binding to sew a hem but the binding makes it a bit stiff so I haven't hemmed my dress YET. I will wear it out without a hem but eventually I want to hem it so please post your suggestions on how to hem it! I don't have access to an over locker so that is ruled out unfortunately :(
This is a REALLY flattering dress and is reasonably easy to make. My tips are to make sure you cut the straps as STRAIGHT as possible and to use one piece folded in half to make them as there will be less sewing (which is annoying with stretch fabric). Also if you want your skirt to ripple like mine then make the circumference of the circle you cut out of the skirt longer than your waistband and stretch the waistband to the same length as the circle when you sew it and it will gather. My final tip is if you want to wear a bra with your dress, make a bandeau or tube bra out of the same material you made the dress in and then wear a strapless bra underneath it and it will be camouflaged under your dress. I made a bandeau and wore it in all of the photos I've posted of me in my dress! There are SOOOO many ways to wear a dress like this and the number is only limited by your imagination!!