Time: ~1.5 - 2 hours
- ~2 yards knit fabric (56-60" width)
- Existing sleeveless shirt that fits you well
Due to the length of the post and amount of photos, please see the rest of tutorial after the jump.
This dress is based upon a sleeveless shirt you already have in your closet. More details here, but essentially this lends your shirt's shape and fit to your new dress.
1. To begin, assess how long you'd like your dress as well as how wide your skirt hem needs to be in order to walk comfortably. The easiest way to do this is to measure the length and hem width of a maxi you already have. From past projects, I know to use a rectangle 50" long by 56-60" wide (I use the standard width of most knit fabrics) for the total dress. Always account extra for length!
2. If you are also using the standard width, simply fold your fabric edge to the fabric center.
3. Fold your shirt in half and align the fold of the shirt to the fold of the fabric. You will now cut out 2 panels for your dress - the BACK and the FRONT.
4. For the BACK panel:
- Carefully cut along the neckline, shoulder, armholes, and sides. When cutting, make sure to cut at least a 1/4" away from your shirt to account for seam allowance.
- For the skirt portion, you will cut diagonally from the corner of your fabric to the corner of your shirt. This is illustrated by the stick in the picture below.
Line up your shirt with your fabric.
Back panel is essentially your shirt + a diagonal cut down to the hem
- As with the BACK panel, align the folds of the shirt with the fabric AND the shoulder of the shirt 3" down from the top of your fabric.
- To create the draped neck, you're going to modify the neckline cut into a rectangle (extend 3" from the edge of the shoulder) that then merges with your shirt armhole and sides. This does not need to be terribly precise as there will be room for adjustment.
- Then cut diagonally from the shirt edge down to the hem as you did with the skirt portion of the BACK panel.
6. Now that you have both panels cut out, place the right sides together and sew down from the armhole to the hem. Try on and make sure the fit is to your liking.
7. For the shoulders, you're going to align the back shoulder with the rectangular front. The rectangular edge will allow the center to drape downwards.
Dress with sewn sides
Aligning back shoulder to rectangular edge
Do for both sides and pin in place
8. For the other side of the shoulder, fold the top edge of your rectangle towards the wrong side until this aligns with the back. Pin in place.
Folded rectangular edge aligned with the other side of the shoulder
9. Baste your shoulders together and try on. If you'd like your drape lower, simply move your front panel downwards until you get your desired outcome.
11. Finish your edges by folding inward and stitching along the back neckline, armholes, and hem.
A closer look at the draped neck
Your finished dress
Since I used a solid fabric, I think a belt adds a little visual contrast and interest
Questions? Please feel free to ask below or send me an email!