Monday, 21 March 2016

How to Make a Dress in 10 Minutes

When you need a quick dress with minimal sewing, cutting, or other work involved, and find yourself without a pattern, it's a useful skill to be able to make a dress in as little as ten minutes. I was originally found without anything green for St. Patrick's Day, so the night before, I whipped together a little green number from some leftover spandex/lycra (the same kind as Lululemon uses, actually). The style I've designed is fitted, knee-length, with halter tie-neck straps, and fullness (to create pretty drape effect!). Interested?

Of course it's a minimalist style, but it's tasteful, and considering that it was made in literally ten minutes and required one seam (yay for minimal sewing), who can complain?

So, without further ado, here are a couple images to help you make your own 10 minute dress:
Here is your layout!! Don't cut yet though! Spread the fabric folded in half to create two layers. The side that is showing to you right now is the inside, so if your fabric has a pattern, have it inside the fold at this time. The shape that you see here is exactly the shape you will be cutting, unless you want a different neckline than what is seen in my photo. Remember, by tying the halter neck straps higher or lower, your neckline will also rise or fall.

Here you can see what area of the image is what, so you know what's up. The left side of the image is the hemline (bottom of the dress), and the right side is the straps that tie around your neck. Be sure your fold is in relation to where the fold in the image is (at the bottom).

Here are the areas and measurements necessary to create the shape of your dress. I used tailor's chalk to mark the measurements, and cut in body-like curves from one point to the next. Feel free to mark up the dress as you like, because at this point, your dress is inside-out. Also, as you take measurements, remember that we're working with spandex, which is stretchy, so it's forgiving to a degree. Don't make your measurements too big, or your dress won't turn out as form-fitting as mine. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though! If you were interested in not having the fullness, you would maintain your hip measurement from the hip-line (as shown above) down to the hem.
 Here is the stepwork:
1. Lay fabric, folded on an edge, on a flat surface. Wash & iron beforehand as necessary (helps with accuracy and prevents unexpected shrinkage in the future)

2. Mark your neckline. It could be curved, straight, whatever you like.

3. Measure straight down from this neck point to where you want the hem of your dress to be. I think mine was about 60 cm, but all bodies are different lengths to input your length accordingly!

4. Measure 7 inches down from the point of your neckline (see the image for a visual), and mark. From this point, your waist measurement will go to create a 90 degree angle.

5. Measure your waist circumference, and input is where the diagram shows.

6. Measure, on yourself, from your waistline up to where you want your neckline to sit (bust level). Use that measurement on your dress. Input your bust circumference from this point (refer to image for a visual). This forms your back shoulder area as well, so be sure to style that as you'd want it. Look at my pictures to see where mine sat, below the shoulder blades.

7. Measure your hips and their relation to your waist, and ensure that the length of your dress is not any smaller than that measurement, so as to create the drape effect!

8. The seam at the back of the dress is called the center-back! Shape it as you desire. If you like my style, mimic what I have there!

9. Time to cut, according to your pattern. For the hem, give it a slight curve.

10. Once cut, sew one long line along the center-back seam. I used a serger, but a sewing machine will work too, just don't make the seam allowance too big or the dress will be too tight. Remember, spandex stretches a fair amount so if you don't make the seam allowance too big, then it will stretch to a form-fitting style, no problem.

11. Wear your dress wherever you so desire... it's ideal for costume parties, festivities, etc., however if you finished the neckline, hem, and underarms, it'd have a more professional appearance. However, the spandex/lycra used here does not fray easily, and thus it can go without finishing for at least awhile!

Thanks for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, amazing directions and you look stunning!