Do you ever go to the store with one project in mind, and leave with a totally different idea? That's how this project came to be. I went to Joann looking for a cute floral print. I'm usually pretty disappointed at Joann's selection and this time was no different. So I stumbled across the solids section and decided to get creative with some color blocking.
A tank top/t-shirt in your size
3/4" Clear Elastic (about a yard give or take)
Lightweight Cotton Fabric (1 yard -give or take- of each color)
Optional 1 yard Muslin (for lining)
Thread to match your trim fabric.
Begin by trying on your tank/tee. Make a mark about 3/4 an inch below your natural waist.
Cut straight across where you just made the mark. You can save the bottom portion of the tee as a guide for making more dresses.
To determine how much elastic you'll need measure the width of the bottom of the tank. Take this number, multiply by 2 and add 0.5
i.e. My tank was 13" across so... 13 x 2 + 0.5 = 26.5" of elastic
Stretch the elastic out a little bit and then lay the two ends on top of each other with about an inch of overlap. Sew so that you have a loop of elastic.
Lay your elastic loop on the right side of the tank. Pin in place. The loop should be just a tad smaller than the tank.
Sew with a stretch or zig-zag stitch, pulling the elastic lightly as you go.
You want the (two) panels of your skirt to be 12" wider than the width of your tank. Cut as shown below. Cut along the fold so that you have two panels of fabric.
The length of the dress will also depend on your body type and preference. Mine came to just right above my knee. I'll give you the measurements I used but keep in mind that I'm pretty tall at 5'9" and you may need to adjust for your size.
Sorry I forgot to photograph this but, for the two-toned I used 21" of my main fabric color (red/navy) and 8" of the trim (mint).
Finish the edges of the strips if you'd like. Pin and sew
If you don't care about having pockets, go ahead and skip the next few steps. But bear in mind that they're really not too much extra work, and soo worth it to have a place to put your hands, phone, etc.
Fold your remaining trim fabric so that you have four layers of fabric on top of one another. Lay your hand down and free hand a pocket pattern. One side of the pocket should be a straight line. The rest doesn't really matter too much, kind of a slanty oval works best.
Or you know, cut a heart valentine style and cut along the fold.
Right sides together, pin the pockets 3 inches down from the top of each panel. You'll want to be as exact as possible so that everything lines up properly.
Sew with a 1/4" inseam. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Iron the seams open.
Now lay the panels, with pockets outstretched, right sides together. Take care to line up the trim at the bottom and everything else accordingly.
Sew as shown.
Use the iron to shape, and hey look, you just made pockets.
Here's what you should have so far:
Depending on your fabric, you might want to line the skirt. You can get away without on darker fabrics, but lighter fabrics are usually more transparent. I lined my red dress but not my navy.
Cut two panels of muslin to the same dimensions as your panels. Sew together opposite sides with the same inseam as you did your skirt.
Sew or serge the muslin layer and the skirt together as shown. They are only joined together by that top stitch.
Set your straight stitch to the longest length setting and sew two gathering stitches (about 1/4" apart).
Pull the top threads to create a nice, uniform gather.
Now with the tank/tee right side out and the skirt wrong side out, insert the tank as shown.
Pin the bottom of the tank to the top of the skirt.
Sew (with a stretch or zig zag stitch) very carefully and slowly with a half inch inseam. Once you've gone full circle, go around once more for good measure.
Finally hem the bottom and
finish the lining. You may need to cut it about an inch shorter than the rest of the skirt so that it doesn't peak out.
I like a wrinkled look so I twisted my skirt and squeezed tight to create a little texture.
I love it without, but a belt or sash seems to really pull things together.
Wouldn't this be cute with your team colors? I made an A&M one for a friend a few months back.
Oh and if you're wondering what happened to the mint, teal, lavender combo..
I guess the iron was a little too hot. Do you see the print it left behind? Plus it made my seam pucker so much that I lost a good inch or two of width. I had such high hopes for it and I had worked so long and precisely.
Oh well, maybe another day!