Ever get the itch to "make something" right before you go to bed. Just me? Ok. :0) I was headed off to bed last night and was locking up the house when my sewing room summoned me. On my cutting bench was a pile of chevrons just begging for something to be done with them. My fabulous mother in law (she knows the surest ways to gain my undying love and devotion - buy me fabric, particularly the "stripy fabric I love so much"), bought me a pile of it when is was on sale at her local fabric store at less than $3 a yard people! I have red, gray, blue, light pink, dark pink yellow, navy, green, purple and teal. I have chevron until chevron goes out of fashion and even then I will continue to love it because I love it that much. The red chevron in particular was calling my name. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it but I knew I wanted to make something for me. Sometimes a girl just needs something pretty and new to help her feel awesome again. Sometimes she needs to make it herself to enhance this feeling of awesomeness. And if it is a success then she will wear it proudly and feel like a rock star. If it is a flop but still wearable (I worked on this for hours, I will wear it at least once!) she will lie if people asked her if she made it. "No, my great Aunt Agatha did and I'm just wearing it because I don't want to hurt her feelings..." For once, something I made for me actually wasn't so much a flop...It was inspired by this:
This little number would cost me $40.00
My version: FREE! I already had the tank in my drawer and my mother in law gave me the fabric for the bottom. But even if you had to buy the stuff it would run you less than $10.00. Not bad huh? Especially for something that took about an hour to make. I'm sure there are some fabulous tutorials on the net on how to make these tank dresses but I didn't bother looking for one. Who has time for instructions? You do? Oh, ok, here's how I did mine...
1 tank top that fits you well
Approx 1 - 2 yards of fabric depending on your size and how full you want your skirt to be
Take a nice fitting tank top (or a not so nice one in my case - it had paint on the bottom!)
This one runs your about $2 at Walmart. Figure out where you want your dress to hit you. The smallest part of your waist is the most flattering on most people. If you're not sure grab a dress you like that is a similar style and lay your tank top on top of that. Cut your tank top the same length as the top of that dress. Make sure you add about an inch for seam allowance, etc.
Grab your fabric. Figure out how full you want your skirt. I measured all the way around me (with the fabric of course, who needs a tape measure!) then cut two. I like a really full, flouncy skirt - that way if I look all "hippy" (not as in groovy but as in yup, she's had two kids!) it looks like I'm supposed to be that way. And I think it's more fun! But it's up to you. The length can be however long you choose. Mine comes to just above my knee. Make sure you add about an inch to the skirt length for seam allowances.
Sew the short sides of your two skirt pieces together to make a big tube.
Now, make a gathering stitch all the way around the tube edge. I like to gather big pieces by starting at one seam edge (don't backstitch!) and sewing the longest, widest stitch all the way to the other seam edge. Then I'll stop, make a long thread tail and cut. Then I repeat for the other half of the skirt. To gather I gather each half at a time. This makes it easier so you're not gathering the whole thing in one go (make sense?) and it's easier to adjust and even out your gathering.
I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the steps but it's pretty easy from here on out.
- Turn your skirt inside out.
- Leave your tank top right side out
- Insert tank inside of skirt.
- Match tank side seams to skirt side seams.
- Adjust skirt to fit tank top
- Pin tank top to skirt
- Sew it together
If you put it on now it would look like a dress but would hang a little weird at the waist. So what you want to do is, leaving your dress inside out, take your elastic and attach it along the seam you just sewed using a zig zag stitch. As you work around the outside of your dress pull the elastic just slightly. This helps your dress fit a little better and helps with getting it over your head! (PS: Ignore the position of the sewing foot!)
The Sash: (Again, sorry, no pics!)
- Figure out how wide you want your sash (mine is 3").
- Measure from hip to hip along your front and cut a piece that long in the width you want.
- Now cut two more pieces that wide and TWICE that length.
- Sew these pieces together to make one long piece.
- Fold it lengthwise right sides together.
- Sew along the length
- Turn your tube right side out.
- Tuck your end pieces in and top-stitch them closed.
You can either just tie your sash or attach it to the dress. To attach it to the dress...
- Find the middle of the dress.
- Find the middle of the sash.
- Match those up, lining up the bottom edge of the sash slightly overlapping the middle seam of the dress.
- Sew from just past (back side) one side seam to just past the other side seam (across the front of the dress) along the bottom edge of the sash.
- Repeat for along the top.
Put it on, tie it in the back and feel fabulous! Now go hunt through your closest for more tank tops because you are going to want like 15 of these dresses! They are easy to make, fun to wear and oh, so comfortable!
Just for fun ;)
PS: I'm going to be making more. I promise that when I do I will add more construction pictures. I get a little lost in the process sometimes. - C