Thursday, October 11, 2012

2 Yards + 2 Hours = Easy Dress!

This is a super easy (2 hours + 2 yards) dress that I made for myself as I attended and taught a class at the Sewing Summit. You can read all about my experience HERE!

I love a project that seems to evolve as you go. My main goal with this dress was to make it simple, and fast. My goal was to finish it in under two hours- yes, it can be done! You just have to work fast! I love, love the fabric, from the fabulous designer Amy Butler (Lark collection). And I love the diagonal print, so I wanted to let it speak for itself in a simple dress design. You won't believe how easy this was to make! Do you have 2 yards and 2 hours? Good, let's get started!

Supplies Needed:
main: 2 yards
accent: 1/2 yard
Two 1.5 inch metal D-rings
sewing supplies

Details about my Supplies:
Main fabric: designed by the fabulous Amy Butler, Lark- Jade Heirloom
Accent fabric: Amy Butler, Lark- Persimmon Kasbah
Fabric received from: Lily Bella Fabrics
D-rings from: The Ribbon Retreat

*all these measurements are based on my body and measurements-- I am 5'2" and about a dress size 3 or 4.

Dress Directions:
1. Line up main fabric on the selvages. Cut in half on the fold.

2. Determine the top of your dress. Cut off the selvage.

3. Now you are going to BASTE everything just for practice and fit. Baste the top, appx 8 inches from the side on each side (your shoulder to neck). An opening for your head will remain.

4. Then baste down the sides, leaving 8 inches open for each arm hole.

5. Now try it on. It will look like a tent :) Determine the length you want your dress to be, and where you'll want to take it in on the sides, and if you want to shorten the sleeves. I eyeballed and estimated all of this, and you will have FUN doing this too!

6. Then I laid it out flat on my floor and... cut it! I erred on the side of caution-- you can always cut off more, but it's hard to put it back. I got LUCKY with my estimation and was right on.

Once I cut the first side, I flipped that piece of fabric over and cut from the other side. I'm going to use that piece to trace onto muslin and save for a pattern, and then I will use the scraps for some fun fabric hair bows and rosettes).

I folded it in half just to ensure that everything matched up perfectly. Trim where needed. Then trim the bottom to your desired length.

7. Then I basted it all together again, wrong sides together. I checked the shape and determined where to alter the collar line and take in the sleeves.

8. The I layed it on the floor and shaped it just a tad bit more (under the arms and the collar).

9. Next I edge finished the sides (you can serge if you have one) and entire top edge. Do not do the sleeve openings, or bottom of dress.

10. Then I stay-stitched the arm pits just a few inches, to help pin the dress right sides together.

10. Then I pinned and sewed the dress right sides together, on the side seams and shoulders (at this point, I have not sewn the sleeve openings, head opening, or bottom edge).

11. Now hem the sleeves. I folded over once, and then again, 1/4 inch, ironed well, and sewed.

12. Then I hemmed the collar and bottom just like I did the sleeves.

 Belt Directions:
This dress would be pretty homely without a fun, contrasting belt to cinch up at the waist. Since this is a very simple dress, the belt gives it the shape it needs!

1. Cut a piece of fabric that is the width of your waist, plus about 10 inches. I just cut the length of the 1/2 yard. I made mine 5 inches wide.

2. Fold in half, right sides together. Press.

 3. For fun, I angled one end.

4. Now sew. You don't need to sew on the fold, but sew the two short ends and the long end, leaving a 4 inch opening somewhere in the middle of the belt.

5. Through the opening, turn the belt right side out. (I used my broom handle to help, then a pen to get the ends pointed out. I broke a lot of rules, but I don't like to sew by the rules, hehe). Ok, then iron it flat really well. Topstitch all the way around (on all 4 sides). You will sew that opening shut from the top-stitching.

 6. Now slip the two D-rings onto the straight end of the belt, and sew.

 Yay, done! The best part about this dress is that you don't have to sew in any sleeves!
Also, it fits right over my head, and I didn't have to create an opening. Great, right?
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  1. This dress is fabulous! I want one in the exact same fabric - gorgeous! Not sure if it will work for a larger size. I'll have to look at the measurements closely. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. It turned out beautiful. I love your fabric choices too, xoxo

  3. It's adorable!! They fit is perfect for you!

  4. Almost seems too good to be true! Looks great!

  5. It's such a lovely fabric! And I love shift dress too, since it's shapely but not tight.

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season

  6. Wow! This is great! You are so talented!
    Happy Friday! :)

  7. It was so fun to meet you at Sewing Summit! The dress looks fabulous in person :)

    And so funny we were in the same freshman ward. Such a small world!

  8. It 's so pretty and it really looks easy. I came here from Live Laugh Linky Thursday.

  9. This is adorable! Just my kind of project--easy, quick, and no set pattern. It looks great on you. I just won some Amy Butler Lark quilting squares on ebay and am so psyched to use them--love the prints!!

  10. Your dress looks adorable on you, and thanks to your tutorial, it seems easy enough for me to manage. I've made a good number of skirts for myself, but I haven't braved a dress yet. I'm pinning this one! I hope you'll check out some of my projects:

  11. You looked darling in it at Sewing Summit!

  12. You are too cute!! I wish I had your sewing skills!!

  13. What a cute dress!! I can't believe how easy that was. Awesome job!


  14. I love it! Thank you for sharing

  15. So stinkin' cute!! If I do this it will be sleeveless so I can wear it all year round (I have an enormous collection of cardis to layer over my summer dresses).
    You don't need interfacing for that belt? My muffin top would destroy it in 2 seconds flat, lol!

  16. I love those fabrics together! It's amazing how helpful a belt can be.

  17. WOW, I love it!! So simple, your fabric choices really make it very stylish!!

  18. You look great in this dress. Great draping skills. Alas I'm a bit more three dimensional figure-wise than you so can't get away with such minimal shaping but you show the 'how to' really clearly so well done!

  19. Wow! This is amazing. For a sewing novice like myself, I am always amazed at ladies like you who can do this. The fabric is gorgeous. You did a great job! Heather

  20. Great job! This is super cute.


  21. Very cute!

  22. Such a GORGEOUS dress... and so are you!!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  23. I am only a newbie to sewing but even I can understand your tutorial. The dress is gorgeous and Amy Butler is my bestust fabric designer. Thanks for posting :)


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H