Thursday, March 13, 2008
Simple gathered summer dress
To create this beautiful and simple dress, you'll need six rectangles, two peices of ribbon and some elastic.
Two rectangles (wide and long) are body peices, two (short thin) rectangles are straps, two (long thin) rectangles are casings for elastic on the back of the dress.
The two body rectangles should be twice as wide as your final size, and as long as you desire, likely about knee length. Make sure you add seam and hem allowances. 1/2 and inch wide per rectangle and 1" extra for the length.
You should draft and cut out slight armhole spaces, 1 " deep by 2" high should be sufficient. To finish, turn the edge and stitch, or you can cut corresponding peices, sew right side out, the turn and top stitch.
Sew one side of the two body peices together, and now we will start the gathering. Sew straight lines 1/4 " from the top on one neck area. On the same body peice sew two straight lines about 1/2" apart, 1 " below the armhole spaces. Try to make these as even as possible.
Now tug on the strings of thread to find the one that pulls easily to help you gather the fabric. Gather all three of the strings so that one of the body peice is half the original width. The other body peice will still be flat for another moment.
Now, on the other side we will be sewing channels using long thin rectangles of fabric and feeding elastic through it. The rectangles should be approximately 1 " tall and as long as needed. Sew two straight lines on the top and bottom of each rectangle, one placed at the top of the neck area and the other 1" below the armholes, corresponding to the gathering on the front of the dress. For the top of the dress, start by sewing the casing on the right side, then turn so the casing is hanging on the underside, topstitch and sew another straight line on the bottom of the casing.
Now feed elastic through the casings and sew it to the seam, casing and all. Then on the other side of the casings, pull the elastic until the dress is the appropriate size and sew it to the seam allowance.
Now we are revisiting the front body peice and we are turning it right side up. Take two peices of decorative ribbon and stitch it over the areas that are gathered. Now turn the dress right sides facing and sew the second seam together.
Now the dress is nearly done, just hem the bottom of the skirt and add two straps and you're done!
If there's anything that you aren't clear about feel free to ask and I will try to help make it clearer! Thanks and good luck!
I will add step by step photos in the next few weeks so that you can see exactly how it's done.