While Florida has only two seasons (hot and less hot), I decided that I wanted to look forward to the springtime weather and make myself a dress. My last article on how I tried making a skirt came out pretty successful, so I figured that I could do a series of stories on my sewing adventures. Of course, before I actually started making my dress, I needed to gather a good amount of fabric first.
For my springtime dress, I decided to go with this beautiful mint-colored, matte satin from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store. I ordered about two-and-a-half yards. I also bought a Simplicity #4070 pattern package so I could have some reference on how to construct the bodice. I wanted the dress to be relatively simple, but very classy and ladylike with a gathered skirt.
Next, I pattern out my bodice and lay it out on a piece of the folded fabric. I pinned everything down so nothing would budge when I was cutting it out.
After pinning everything down, I cut out the fabric and then pinned the appropriate pieces together.
I realized midway through the process that the fabric I chose was a little too sheer for my liking, so I decided to use some basic white broadcloth as lining. I roughly traced out the size of my sewn bodice and then cut a piece of white broadcloth to match it. After pinning the lining and sewing it onto the bodice, I only hemmed the top of it; the bottom hem would not be seen, as it would be sewn with my skirt.
To create the skirt, I used what was leftover of the fabric from the bodice. I chose to create a rectangle skirt because I find it easier to make and attach. After measuring out the amount I needed, I double-hemmed the bottom of the fabric. I sewed a straight stitch across the entirety of the fabric and then painstakingly hand-gathered the folds.
After I had the folds like I wanted them, I sewed a straight stitch across them to keep the fabric in place. I then lined up the skirt with the bodice and pinned the “right” sides of the material together. Finally, I sewed a straight stitch across the two pieces and trimmed off the excess fabric.
I measured how much I needed to insert my zipper, and then I sewed it in using this tutorial video I found on Youtube.
My last step was to add a green ribbon to accentuate my waist and give the dress a cute springtime vibe. I was actually pretty pleased with how my dress turned out, though there is always room for improvement.
Overall, I feel like my attempt was a success. In the future, I could perhaps add straps to the dress so the top won’t budge and so that it fits me better in general. Practice always makes perfect with sewing, and now that I have some experience with making a dress, I’m excited to start creating more of my own garments.