I'm a big girl, I don't mean chubby, I mean big. (please no mean comments) Its very, very difficult to find clothes that fit me that are also cute, and if they are cute they are reeeeaaally expensive, so I've decided to start making my own. There are also very few patterns out there for someone my size so I have to improvise. This is the first dress I've ever made myself, and my first tutorial, so forgive me if I mess up, and since this is my first dress I decided to make it simple. Hope you like it :) (sorry for the crappy picture quality, my camera is on the fritz and I had to use my phone.)
First you will need to take your measurements. Measure around the biggest part of your bust line. You will need twice that length in the fabric you want to use. (I picked yellow.)
For example if your bust measures 34 inches (which mine does not ;) ) you will need 68 inches of fabric.
I cut my fabric into two equal lengths (ex. 34 inches each) This way I had a seam under each arm so I could get everything situated when I put on the dress. You can also just fold it in half. Match up the two pieces, pretty side facing each other, and sew up the sides.
You should basically end up with a huge tube.
Next, you will need to make a seam at what will be the top of your dress. It should still be inside out, so take about an inch of fabric along the edge and fold it towards you. I did this the whole top edge and pinned it as I went along. Sew this fold down, making sure you leave enough room between your stitches and the top of the dress for the elastic. Stop sewing about an inch before your thread will meet the place you began stitching. You need a space to stick the elastic through. (Holy cow that was confusing, sorry. Just make a wide enough hem for the elastic, and leave a gap in your seem.)
Measure yourself from where you want the top of your dress to the bottom of your bust. Make sure to measure over a breast, keeping the ruler formed to you, not down the middle or your dress won't come up very high, which could result in unforseen peep shows. For example, on me this measurement was 10 inches.
Next you'll need a 1 to 2 inch strip ( I just cut mine from the bottom) of fabric. Measure from the top of the dress to the length you just measured (10 inches for example.) and pin you're strip of fabric to the dress here, all the way around. (the dress should still be inside out) You'll sew along this strip twice. For the first line, sew close to the top edge of the strip.
Next sew another seam, making sure you leave enough room for the elastic.
Find the space where the ends of your strip meets. This is where you will thread the elastic.
Fasten a safety pin through the end of your elastic, and stick it in the hole.
Push as much fabric onto the safety pin as you can, grab the end of it, and pull. This can be tedious, but a few inches at a time you will get your elastic through. Do this for the bust line, and for the top of the dress. Once you get it theaded all the way through, I recomend safety pinning the ends of the elastic together.
Pull on your dress. (Its getting there I promise.) Grab the ends of your elastic, and pull untill you're sure its tight enough to keep the dress up. Once you've gotten it right, move the safety pin to keep the elastic the right length.
Take off the dress, trim any (now) excess elastic, and sew the ends of the elastic together. Make sure you sew them really well so they don't pop apart when you're moving around. Sew up the hole in your top seam. Don't worry about the bust line.
Move the fabric around the elastic till it seems evenly disbursed, and all thats left to do is trim the dress to the length you want it and hem it up. All done :)
I hope I didn't confuse the crap out of anyone, and I hope you like your dress :)