My little Missy has been requesting a strapless dress. I’ve tried explaining to her that a strapless dress wouldn’t stay up! I thought this fabric would make a perfect little sundress or tunic top so I made her the next best thing to strapless and added skinny spaghetti straps.
When I first had her try it on, she resisted a bit because of the straps, but I showed her that I made the top extra tight and she could tuck the straps in when we were at home, but when out and about, she had to keep the straps on to avoid wardrobe malfunctions…
How cute is this outfit? We already had these pink leggings, so I decided to to make a tunic top instead of a dress and use pink fabric for the straps and belt.
The best part of this dress (or top) is that you can make it in any size! It’s so easy and doesn’t require a pattern! I totally want one for myself. My only recommendation is if you are busty, you may want to leave off the ruffle, especially if you are using a stiff cotton fabric. I’m top-heavy. So for me, I plan to use a slinky jersey or stretch knit. By using fabric that lays close to the body, I could keep the ruffle, but add a few inches to its length so the bottom of the ruffle hits below my bust line, but above the belt/waistline. (To get the perfect length on the ruffle, I would probably cut it a little long and hem it last, so I could ensure the perfect length.
- Fabric (1 to 2.5 yards depending on size, length, and width of fabric. I will go into more detail below in the measure and cut section below. The chevron knit fabric I used came from Girl Charlee.)
- Elastic (1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. – Tweens and younger can get away with 1/4 inch, larger sizes should use 1/2 inch)
- scissors, ruler, measuring tape and other basic sewing supplies (ball point needle if sewing w/ knits)
Instructions: (seam allowance is 1/4 inch unless otherwise noted.)
With the right sides of the fabric facing down, line up the top edges of the main dress piece and ruffle. Sew along the edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Flip the ruffle over to the right side and press. To create the casing for a 1/4 inch wide elastic, measure down a scant 1/2 inch and sew a line all the way around the top of the dress, through the ruffle and main dress piece. Leave a 1 to 2 inch gap to insert the elastic. (If you are using 1/2 inch elastic, create a 3/4 inch wide casing.)
Using a safety pin or other tool, thread the elastic through the casing.
Step 3: Adding straps and belt
Fold the strap fabric together as shown below.
Fold over one more time and sew along the edge.
Fold the straps in half, find the middle and cut in half so you have four strap pieces.
Try on the dress and mark where you want the straps to be.
Pin the straps in place and sew above and below the the elastic.
Do this for all four straps and tie a knot it the end of the straps.
Sew the belt together using the same method (except fold the ends in instead of tying knots.)
To hold the belt in place, you can make a little belt loop using an embroidery needle and thread. Or try the dress on and pin the belt in place and attach with a few stitches on each side of the dress.
Optional waistline: On my daughter’s dress, I did not add an elasticized waistline, I let the belt cinch the fabric in. When I make this dress for myself I will add shirring to help define the waistline. To do this, I will try on the dress and mark where I want the shirring to be. If you need a tutorial on how to shir with elastic thread , check out my shirred sundress tutorial. If you want to add a casing with elastic, see how I did that in my tunic top tutorial.
Hem the bottom of the dress with a 1/4 inch hem and you are done!
|These were some of the last pictures. I had asked her to sit still while I fiddled with my camera settings. She asked if she could move her toes, I said yes and she thought it was the funniest thing!|
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