wow, thanks so much everyone. its a really simple dress, just very tedious (but somehow i like tedious better than difficult and thats how my projects end up). the ribbon was the most expensive, even though i used silk for the body, but surprisingly, the lace was the cheapest, since it was something like 30 cents a yard. i honestly used over 100 yards for this dress though, so it added up. it didn't take so much time because i worked on it during play rehearsal.. a play that i was cast as a townsperson and a member of the choir, so i had a lot of extra time on my hands. i even forgot to go on-stage a few times, but don't tell the director that. and Spork, i'd love to let you borrow it but its in storage in America right now and i'm in Tokyo and.. even if i shipped it now it might not make it for the wedding..
but thanks everyone for your kind comments.. i would totally crank these out and sell them if anybody would be willing to pay for the hours and hours (and ribbon) it takes to make it.
this is my tutorial (please excuse how un..good it is):
I got a simple pattern for a(n unflared) tube dress from one of the very cheap patternmakers like simplicity. by unflared i mean.. the skirt part is straight and doesn't do the mermaid thing. then i shortened the length to extremely short by following the directions on the patterns.
i sewed the body together entirely except for hemming the top (this dress is unlined, but you can make it lined if you'd like). this dress had darts for the boobs and for the tummy so i sewed those and then sewed the side backs to the front piece (as shown with the green lines). I left the zipper un-sewn.
i then layed the dress down flat and open, so it looks like the picture above. this is where it gets tricky.. i took one end of ribbon or lace and pinned it to side one, then, while leaving some excess ribbon, pinned the other end to side two, and then cut the ribbon. I did this with millions of ribbons, and after you have this completed, you're ready to sew!
by now it looks something like this except with a lot more ribbons and not sewn yet. if you didn't use a lot of ribbons it might be easier just to hand sew it, but if you used a lot, you may want to machine sew. but either way, sew along the red dotted line, far enough towards the edge so you can hide the stitching when you sew the zipper on.
this is what it'll look like.. but now we put the body of the dress on hold for a minute and work on the skirt..
cut a wide ribbon the length of the circumference of the bottom hem of the skirt. actually, cut it one inch longer.
cut various lengths of ribbon and lace and pin it to the long ribbon thats as long as the circumferfence of the bottom hem of the skirt.. you'll want a lot of layers, otherwise it'll be very scandalous. after you're done pinning, you sew along the lenght of the long long ribbon that all the mini ribbons are pinned to.
sew the right sides of the ribbon skirt and the top together. *right sides = the side of the ribbon skirt you want to show and the side of the top you want to show.
the bottom should look a little something like this.
finally, sew the zipper onto the top of the dress, where it belongs, as shown in the first picture. hem the top or add the lining and sew it to the zipper accordingly. and i think you're done
p.s. the real final step.. i decided the dress was too leggy, so i added the widest stretch lace to the bottom of the top of the dress, under the ribbon, so it hides a little more, but its completely optional and can be added at any time.