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Topic: New Jersey Dress for Fall - *Edit* Now with Tutorial!  (Read 51597 times)
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« on: September 16, 2007 02:38:03 PM »

I have a party to go to tonight, but I woke up this morning and realized that the summery outfit I had planned wasn't going to work (basically, fall came overnight here).  So, I grabbed some bargain bin fabric and whipped this up this afternoon (okay, "whipped" is totally a lie; it took me all afternoon, one run to Jo Ann's for suitable ribbon, and even a few tears when I thought I had made an irreparable mistake while cutting).  This is the first thing I've designed and made myself, rather than following a pattern or someone else's tutorial.  I'm not a proficient sewer at all, so I'm really proud of it.  I only half believed it would turn out wearable.

The ribbon at the waist ties in a bow in back, the ribbon around the hem ties on the side (I feel like a present in it!).  You can wear the bodice one of three ways - with the straps tied low to make a sweetheart neckline (shown - this can be modified by fanning out the fabric over your shoulders to make cap sleeves), with the straps tied at the top of your shoulders to make a V neckline, or with the straps untied to make short sleeves.  Tonight I'm going to wear it with a thin cream sweater and brown tights underneath.  Toasty!

Comments would make my day!

*Edit Edit Edit*

Okay, here is the tutorial!  It really is very simple; I'm sure that a good seamstress could make it in no time at all.  This isn't exactly the way that I made mine, but this way should be easier and should make the final product look neater (I'm definitely going to make another version using this method).  Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions (FYI - In the pictures, red denotes the seam you are sewing, green denotes already-sewn seems, and blue denotes the ribbon).

To make this dress, you need:

For the bodice:
Four rectangles of fabric wide enough to cover half your chest, long enough to cover from the top of your shoulders to the bottom of your chest (dont forget seam allowances!).  

For the skirt:
Two rectangles of fabric four times as wide as each of the bodice rectangles, and long enough to cover from just under you chest to your knees (or however long you want it).

Also: Two pieces of 1.5 wide ribbon, one long enough to wrap around your chest and tie, one twice as long as one of the skirt rectangles.  One piece of 1 or 5/8 wide ribbon, long enough to run inside of the ribbon around the hem and tie into a bow (the same length plus a few inches would probably work).  

Plus, a few scraps of fabric for tying the straps.

To construct the dress:

1.  Sew two of the bodice rectangles together a few inches up the middle (I did 3.25).  Repeat with the other two.  Now you have the front and back of the bodice.

2.  Sew the bodice front to the bodice back by placing the pieces on top of each other (correct sides together) and stitching up each side a few inches (I did 3).  

3. Stitch across the top of the rectangles to make shoulder straps (but not all the way across, leave the two rectangles on the left separate from the two rectangles on the right, so that your head can go in between!).

Now you have your completed bodice.  Set it aside for a minute.

4. Put the two skirt rectangles correct side together, and stitch up both sides to make the skirt.

5. Okay, now it gets a little tricky.  You need to attach the skirt, which is twice as wide as the bodice, to the bodice.  I did this with lots of pins.  I pinned the center of the skirt to the center of the bodice, then the quarter marks of the skirt to the quarters of the bodice, and so on, until the entire skirt was gathered up under the bodice.  You can just stitch right on top of the gathers (you dont need to worry about matching correct sides), since the ribbon will cover any mess you make.

6.  Take the first piece of 1.5 wide ribbon.  Wrap it around the chest of the dress, covering the skirt/bodice seam.  You can either sew it all the way around (except a few inches in back to give yourself room to tie), or just tack it in a few places.  Whichever way you attach it, make sure it covers your entire seam.

7. Almost done!  Now, Take the other piece of ribbon.  Sew it around the bottom of the skirt.  Stitch along the top of the ribbon and the bottom of the ribbon to make a channel.  Make the two ends meet on the front right side of the skirt.  Run the narrow ribbon through the channel, pull it tight enough to make the skirt poofy, but still allow you to move, and tie it into a bow.  

8.  Wearing it as it is will give you the look of a V-neckline and short sleeves.  You can tie your scraps of fabric around the straps in different ways to achieve different looks (I described them above).  

Thats it!  Now go wear your cute new dress.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2019 01:02:52 PM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007 02:44:58 PM »

this looks absolutely lovely! You did a great job! What a great piece to go from summer to early to late fall! I think its great!
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007 02:46:38 PM »


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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007 02:47:06 PM »

Very cute! Great job!

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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007 02:52:22 PM »

that's really cute!  and i love how the straps/sleeves can be worn so many different ways. 

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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007 02:54:52 PM »

Beautiful! I love the ribbon at the bottom! Great job!

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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2007 02:55:28 PM »

This is super cute! It looks like a much more practical version of an anthropologie knock-off i made this summer

« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2007 03:31:31 PM »

Ohmygosh, I love this!
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2007 03:37:59 PM »

i love it! ... and NO pattern? .. does that mean there will be a tutorial??  Wink


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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2007 04:15:09 PM »

Oh my goodness, I LOVE THIS!!!  It's absolutely gorgeous.  That's funny, I'm in North Carolina and Fall truly came overnight here, too!
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