I had a lot of positive response to my hippie sun dress so I thought I would do a tutorial....now this is my first tutorial about the first dress I have ever made...so if I am not giving enough details or too many details let me know. You can also easily convert this to a skirt - explained below.
Photo of completed dress:
First step --- the tools needs: and a sewing machine helps a lot too
Then you go shopping for fabric or use fabric that you already have. When I did my dress I used flower fabric - each strip a different fabric. You choose what you like - a certain color, print, etc. Each strip of fabric is 1/8th of a yard.
To know how many (1/8 of a yard) to buy measure around your body just under armpits. If doing this for a skirt measure where you would like skirt to land. I measure 46 inches and I used 33 strips of 1/8 yard fabric. So, divide your inches around by 1.3 and then buy a few extra just in case...
Once you have all the fabric you need to cut one side of the 1/8th strip down to 2 inches:
Place fabric (you can pile the fabric on top of each other and cut several at same time) on 2 inch line on cutting board. Put board you are going to cut against on the two inch line and angle the other end to the 15 inch mark and cut:
Then move your board to the other side and cut at that 2 inch line angling out to the 15 inch mark:
You end up with this:
2 inches at one end moving out to 5 inches by 15 inches down the fabric and the rest left at 5 inches.
Then you lay the fabric out in a pattern that you like:
Now you start to sew. It gets heavy to sew after about 10 pieces - I found it easier to put 10 together and then another 10 and then sew them together and so on.
You can see that after sewing the 2 inch side is now about 1.5 inches:
Now at this point you can decide that you want to just so a skirt. In this case you can sew enough strips together to fit where you would like the skirt to be. Then hem the top and bottom - put in a zipper or buttons. Personally, I would sew several extra strips and put a fabric tie in.
To do a fabric tie you decide where you would like the front to be and then put in button holes starting 4 inches down - using a quarter as the button size works great. Then you hem down the top of the skirt (small hem) and then do a hem that includes the button holes (larger hem).
To continue with the dress.....
After you have sewn enough stripes together that it fits you perfectly under the armpits. Sew the thing closed.
For the shoulder straps measure the straps of a top that you like and add a few inches. I find that cutting a 1/8 yard piece in half is a great place for me to start but do what works with your body. Choose a fabric. Cut it to the inches needed. For width you will need it to be 2 inches wider then the finished product.
The thinner one started with 4 inches of fabric and is 2 inches wide now. The thicker one was 5 inches to start and 3 inches at finish.
Follow photos for making straps:
Then put on the bra (or not) that you believe you will be wearing with the dress. Put dress on top of top that fits you well and pin shoulder straps onto dress. Put dress on and adjust straps for perfect fit and perfect bra coverage.
Sew straps on:
You now have a mumu.....
Now the hardest part of dress. You need to attach a strip on fabric around body so that you can give curves to your body. Choose fabric - 5 inches wide or whatever works best for your body type - iron under edges and start pinning - this works best with a friend to help. You will want to start pinning under the chest and then curve upward under the arms then be straight across the back.
under my chest to top of dress was 9.5 inches:
While the back was 5.5 inches:
Then create button hole as explain above with skirt option and sew the strip on.
Then for the hem you can straight hem it or add lace --- be playful and follow your vibe.
If more details are needed ask and I will respond. It is late now and I am soooo tired.
Happy sewing everyone......