How to make a flowy dress

Written by maria kielmas Google
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How to make a flowy dress
Flowy dresses are fun and ideal in hot weather. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Flowy dresses are stunning to look at, easy to make and comfortable to wear. As its name suggests, a flowy dress spins and swirls with the movements of its wearer. It allows air to circulate around the body even in the hottest weather. A flowy dress can be casual or elegant, even a wedding dress. If you’ve never sewn a dress before, this is the best way to start.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Six metres of fabric such as soft cotton or crepe
  • Soft tape measure
  • One metre of 2.5-centimetre width elastic band
  • Matching thread for machining
  • Tacking thread
  • Pins
  • Sewing needles
  • Dressmaking scissors
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Choose your fabric. Crepe and soft cotton are the best fabrics to use if you are a beginner as they are soft enough to flow but do not stretch like jersey. These fabrics are easy to cut and stitch. If choosing a printed fabric, select a pattern that you will be able to match across the seams.

  2. 2

    Wash, dry and iron the fabric to remove accumulated dust and dirt. This also ensures that the material keeps its colour and shape. If the fabric drains of colour and stretches out of shape, discard it and buy a new length.

  3. 3

    Use the tape to measure the upper chest of the wearer. This is the size of the torso just below the armpits and just above the top of the bust. Add 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) to the measurement and write it down.

  4. 4

    Lay the clean and ironed fabric on a table and fold in half lengthways. Ensure the corners and selvedges (woven sides) of the material are exactly in line. Press the folded edge gently and cut along the crease to make two equal pieces of fabric.

  5. 5

    Ensure fabric patterns and weaves match. Lay out the fabric pieces with their right sides together. Turn the top fabric piece upside down while keeping the right sides of the pieces together. This keeps the same pattern around the dress. Measure 1.5 cm from the selvedges for the seam width. Move the top fabric piece up or down to match the pattern on the lower piece. Pin the two fabric pieces at this point.

  6. 6

    Smooth the top fabric piece over the lower one. Pin the two sides together from top to bottom at the 1.5 cm width. Pin the other side at the same 1.5 cm width. The patterns on each fabric layer should match at the seam on this side. Tack the two sides loosely together over the pins. Remove the pins and machine each seam over the tacking stitches. Remove the tacking. Press the seams with a cool iron.

  7. 7

    Cut the elastic to the measured size plus 2.5 cm. Loop the elastic band into a circle and tack the ends allowing a 2.5 cm overlap. Machine over the join in a zig-zag pattern. Turn the sewn fabric pieces inside out and place the joined elastic over the top part. Roll the top edge of the fabric over the elastic band, pin and tack into place. Ensure that the material over the elastic band is equal in width around the dress top and that the elastic band remains loose within the fabric pocket. Machine over the tacking stitches. Remove the tacking stitches.The fabric will gather loosely around the elastic band to create the top of the dress.

  8. 8

    Fit the dress on the wearer to measure the hemline. This can be maxi, midi or mini length. Pin and tack the hem together. Remove the pins and press the hemline with a cool iron. Sew the hem by hand or with a sewing machine. Remove the tacking stitches. The dress is ready to wear as a simple wide garment. Alternatively, use a belt to add shape at the waist.

Tips and warnings

  • Silk, jersey made from natural or synthetic fabrics and chiffon are also suitable fabrics for flowy dresses.
  • Use ribbons of a matching colour to add shoulder straps.
  • Avoid polyesters and nylons. These fabrics can be difficult to sew at the seams and can make the garment look stiff and papery.

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