My Dragon dress!!!! I can't say how much I love this dress. I saw the fabric at the fabric store and knew I had to make a dress.
I love the shape of the skirt
I wore it to a friends memorial because it reminded me of him and it was a huge hit. It's one of those thing you have in your closet that just makes you feel good when you wear it.
Edit: Anyone interested the fabric is "Shibuki Dragon" The Alexander Henry Fabrics Collection 2007
This rocks! Woo Hoo!!!
Fabric: I used three yards and had some left over...I'm 6'0 so most people will need a bit less.
Zipper: Whatever length you feel comfortable with. I have a short torso so I like shorter rather then longer but make sure you can easily get in and out of the dress.
*To start measure from your waist (bellybutton or smallest part of your torso) to about how long you want the skirt of your dress to be and add an inch.
*Measure your waist and cut that number in half plus one inch for the waistline of your skirt. (you can always make it smaller down the line so a tiny bit on the big side isn't terrible.
*My skirt bottom is about 2/3's larger then the waist line measurement so I had 15 inch waistline (remember that is half the real measurement plus an inch) and 41 inch bottom.
*The slope of the skirt is what makes it hang so nicely. My slope was 7 inches longer in the center of the skirt. I'm thinking for every two inches wider another inch longer. Really you can eyeball it pretty well.
Fold in half and snip the parts that are a little uneven so you have a nice looking slope.
This is the basic shape you want to cut out for the dress top. The more of "V" you cut the lower it's going to be after adding darts. You've been warned!
Measure the widest part of your bust and cut your piece that long. I cut this shape with a basic concept of how wide it needed to be but make it a few inches longer then you think it should be. The darts take quite a bit of fabric. I cut mine too small so I ended up sewing on the thin strip under the original bust line.
Here are the first set of darts. I held the fabric piece up to myself and just pinched the fabric in the center where I liked the darts to be and how far apart and pinned it. Ideally you'd like to have about three One in the middle and one on top and bottom to round out the front. You may just have to play around with it.
Close up. That bottom part is where I added on cause I didn't make the piece long enough, never mind it.
The second set of darts. Again you want to hold it up to your body and pinch in two darts on either side to really make it round enough for womanly parts to actually fit in. Again, play around with it. It isn't hard it just that we all are different shaped and you'll find what works for your figure.
This is around what the new shape should look like after both sets of darts on either side. Think bathing suit top in terms of shape.
Cut out the middle of your dress. it really can basically just be a box as long as the top meets up with the "bathing suit top" and the skirt bottom.
Sew the bathing suit top to the middle of the dress and you can hold it up to yourself just making sure so far, all is well.
Snip out a panel for the back of your dress. you want it to fit the width of your back nicely. Again the bottom needs to be wide enough to fit the skirt bottom. Decide where you want the top of the dress to fall on your back, add an inch and make it a little longer then your waist.
Cut the front of your dress to be about the same length from armpit to bottom as your back piece.
Sew skirt together leaving room on one side for the zipper and a little room on the other side for sewing the top on.
Find the center of the skirt and the top and the back. Sew the top and back to the skirts trying to stay centered.
This is what you'll have so far. I snipped off some of the extra fabric on the right side (left when on backwards
) where I was adding the zipper. Just so you have a shape closer to your bodies shape to sew that zipper on with.
After sewing in your zipper you need to pin the other side to make your dress more form fitting. Don't wear a shirt like I am, just start pinning it snuggly to your body but not tight. Sew.
Finish your edges on skirt and top. Roll the fabric over on itself. Folding will make weird creases. Roll it and pin it.
This is where we're at. Mark with pins where you want your straps to go.
Now the important part......The Tailoring
Turn your almost finished dress inside out and start to pin your dress to fit your body. You want the pins all to compliment the shapes of your figure. It's hard to see on this picture but there are red lines where I pinned. I pinned the bust to have a closer fit underneath getting rid of the extra fabric. I pinned down the side without the zipper slightly pulling to get rid of any folds across my stomach and back, making it as smooth as possible. This will take a few times. Just take it off and sew your pin marks then try it back on and see how it fits. I pinned the dragon dress about five times before I was happy. The up side is you don't have to take out your stitches...just keep on fitting.
And just like that you have your very own self make and self tailored dress!....That needs to be ironed!
It's really REALLY not that hard I just like to be thorough so I'm wordy. I really hope you guys tackle it! It's really worth it to learn basics to tailor your own clothes. I'm a tailor by profession these days and I'm learning a lot I can add to my own sewing. As for drafting your own patterns....patterns are made for one body type that was a plastic manikin somewhere and for anyone that isn't that manikin most likely it's not going to fit perfectly. Making your own patterns you can make things to fit you like a glove along with some simple tailoring! I hope it was clear if you have any questions you can always PM me! Action shots at another date.