You can make a form-fitting strapless dress to wear on its own for a night out on the town or with a dressy jacket for a dinner at an upscale restaurant. Make the dress as long or as short as you would like and use a fabric that clings on its own to avoid having to insert elastic to keep the dress in place. Practice making the dresses a few times to add to your own wardrobe, and then consider making a dress or two for a friend or family member's birthday.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Elastic chiffon fabric (at least 2 yards)
- Sewing pins
- Old form-fitting dress
- Fabric pen or piece of chalk
- Fabric sheers
- Sewing machine or sewing needle
- Silk flower or ribbon (optional)
Lay a large piece of elastic chiffon on a flat surface, fold the fabric in half and pin the fabric in place so that the two sides stay tightly together.
Place an old form-fitting tank top or strapless dress on top of the fabric to use as a size template. When using a tank top dress, place the dress at the top of the fabric with the straps overhanging beyond the top of the fabric.
Trace the outline of the dress with a fabric pen or a piece of chalk, adding an extra 1/4 inch all the way around the template. Add extra length to the new strapless dress by drawing the bottom line lower than the dress and make the new dress shorter by tracing above the bottom line of the template dress. Use fabric sheers to cut the outline from the fabric.
Place the right sides of the dress together and pin it in place. Fold over 1/2 inch of the bottom edge on both pieces of fabric. Pin and then sew the hemline using a straight stitch by hand or on the sewing machine. Repeat to make a clean seam line for the top of the dress.
Sew the side seams of the dress, approximately 1/4 inch away from the edge of the fabric using a small straight stitch by hand or on the sewing machine.
Turn the dress right-side-out and sew on a decorative finish, such as a silk flower in one top corner of the dress or a silk ribbon along the top or bottom hemline.
Tips and warnings
- For added support along the top seam line, lay a piece of elastic within the fold line and pin it in place. Sew the seam closed while pulling gently on the elastic to make the upper seam line pull a little bit tighter for less worries about the dress falling down.
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