I made this about 5 or 6 years ago, it was the first article of clothing I made from scratch by myself. Since then I have improved a bit, so don't mind the odd way it hangs or my strange hemline. It was a construction flaw and I am sure yours will be extremely fab!
Oh, and I am a terrible speller.
I made the original design from a twin fitted sheet, with a design that ran lenghwise. For best results I suggest you do the same. I *think* that this size fabric will make a dress in any size we may need.
1) You will need to decide what your finished length will be. I made mine floor length, with no problem, so you should be able to do the same (I am 5'8" and had at least a foot left for my hem).
2) Holding the sheet lengthwise, measure against your self from just under your breasts to the length you wish your dress to be. Cut this length from the sheet. Do not worry about the width yet. Set this aside.)
3) You now have the rest of your sheet to work with.
The bodice is relitively short, needing to go from your prefered neckline over your breasts to the place you measured your skirt from. You may decide later to put darts in your bodice if you have breasts size C or larger. I did, and it looks great. I made my bodice straight and it naturaly dipped in the back because of the halter style strap and the weight of the skirt. I like this look. For extra support you will need to make your dress tank style, so that your bodice will sit closer to your body. Measure (with the fabrick if you like) how wide your bodice will need to be and the area around your body to the center of your back. My dress has no zipper, I slip it over my head and shoulders, but you may wish to put one in at the back seam. Cut your bodice several inches wider and longer than you need, there is plenty of fabric and you can always make it smaller if you need to.
4) For the halter style strap you will cut the fabric twice as wide as you feel gives you support under your breasts, plus one inch. I felt 4.5 inches to be enough for support so I measured 9 inches wide for the strap. The length is determined by what you will need to go under your breast (where the skirt will connect to your bodice) around the back of your neck and down to the same position under your other breast . Again, it is wise to cut the lenghth a bit longer! The tank style dress is the same idea, but with two straps.that will not go around the neck but instead attach to the back of the dress.
5) To begin piecing your dress together, start with the strap. Turn right sides together and sew the long seams to each other. This will form a tube. Turn this right side out. Pin your strap in place and test it on your body before attaching. I have attached the straps on my dress only at the bottom seam, allowing them to move separate from the bodice with my body. You may choose to attach them at the top of the bodice if you like.
6) To attach the skirt match the back bodice seam with the edges of the skirt and pin in place. I chose to make finger pleats at the front center of the skirt and at the back center, giving me lots of room to move, but keeping the sides smooth and slender looking. You may choose to make pleats only in the back, or to gather the dress all the way around. When it is well pinned to the bodice you may sew them together.
7) Sew the back seam of the skirt and bodice up.
Finish the top edge of the bodice I made a hem and hand stitched it with a decrative stich in a contrasting thread. (I had chosen the chain stich, but do as you like) You may decide to stitch this on your machine with a matching tread.
9) When hemmin the skirt, I made a wide hem and attached a piece of dust ruffle to the hem seam for a petticoat effect.
10) Some additions I may make next time: Outside square pockets about mid-thigh height, a stash pocket inside the halter strap or bodice (for my wallet
) More decorative stitching, I am better at it now.
Please email me with questions, additions, suggestions or misteaks, I want to make this as simple and fabulous as possible! Also, I would LOVE to see your dress(es)!