Burlap, made from the jute plant, is an inexpensive fabric. It is also very strong and has many uses. Sacks that hold a hundred pounds of livestock feed or potatoes are made from burlap, and gardeners appreciate its versatility and biodegradability. If you are going to a costume party as Daisy Mae from the Li'l Abner cartoons, cut a hole for the head and arms and wear it as is. If, however, you want to make a more sophisticated creation, it will take a bit more work.
Wash the burlap sack. No matter if you have just finished up a sack of potatoes or if your sack has been sitting in the garage for a while, you will want to start with clean fabric. If you want to dye the burlap another colour, do it before you sew the dress.
Cut the burlap sack down both sides so that it opens up into a flat piece of cloth. Spread it out and calculate how many yards of material you have to work with. Unless the dress is for a child, you may need a second sack.
Determine if you are going to design your own pattern, buy one from the local fabric shop or download one from the Internet. Burlap is a textured fabric, so you may want to choose an A-line dress rather than a design with a fitted waist so that the dress will hang nicely.
Decide if you will line the dress or if you don't mind the rough feel of burlap against your skin. If you decide to line it, opt against a pattern with a waist, as the extra layer will make the dress too thick.
Pin the pattern to the burlap and cut carefully. Remember to leave an extra half an inch for a seam allowance.
Sew the two or more pieces together and then reverse. If your pattern has sleeves, sew them on first. If your burlap dress pattern has a zipper, sew it in carefully and be sure the fabric doesn't bunch up.
Visit your button box and pick the best ones to go with your dress. Try a few different combinations to see which buttons look best.
Wear your creation proudly. You will be the only person at the party in a burlap dress.
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