simple spring//summer dress DIY

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this simple spring//summer dress is easy to make in an afternoon (and the instructions can easily be altered to fit a little one!)
I used about 1 yard of fabric.

 

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note: the desired length DOES NOT include the straps.
using your self-measured measurements, cut two rectangles of fabric as shown above.
(fabric hint: if you are my size or smaller, you can make this dress with the width of the fabric and have only one side seam instead of two!)

 

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first step: finish your raw edges and sew a hem at the bottom of your dress.
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face the rectangles right sides together and sew up the side seams.
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try it on (or hold it to your body) and find where your waist is. mark this spot on the right side of the fabric with pins around the entire dress.
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shirring:
hand wind your bobbin… not too tight, not too loose and place in the bobbin holder of your sewing machine. Thread it like normal (with regular cotton thread on the top).
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starting right underneath the pins, sew a straight line all the way around the waist of your dress. Be sure to leave a tail of the elastic thread at the beginning AND the end of your line.
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When you get back to where you started, tie the elastic ends together.
Sew another line…and another…and another…and another. (I sewed about 5 lines with the elastic thread, but you can do as many as you’d like!)

 

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After you have your lines sewn, it will be a bit scrunched. Take your dress to the ironing board and press on top of the elastic thread and it will scrunch even more!
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when you have the desired amount of elastic lines at your waist, measure up about 3″ and measure in from the side seams about 5″. Repeat the above steps and make a shirred “box” (as seen above).
(I sewed lines from about 3″ upwards of the waist and almost all the way to the top (approximately 12 lines).)
Don’t forget to tie off your elastic ends!
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Make about a 1/2″ casing at the top of your dress. Be sure to leave an opening for elastic!
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cut four strips that measure 22″ x 3″. Fold them right sides together (long ways) and press. Sew a seam up their long side.
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tuck in the raw edge on one end and topstitch.
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Turn your dress inside out and attach the straps evenly on the front and the back.
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these kind of straps make this dress super versatile. They can tie together like shown, the back straps can be tucked in and it can be worn as a halter, you can criss-cross the straps, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this fun dress tutorial!! I’d love to see what you make with it!

13 thoughts on “simple spring//summer dress DIY

  1. where can I print it? cute dress. these are pricey if bought at fabric store, and selection to what they have. so i was delighted to see this post.

    thanks for sharing, glad i found your post.

    Linda in Kansas :)

  2. I love this dress and plan to make it. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t understand after ironing the elastic stitching. Photo shows near the top but words say waist. Also, did you do 5 lines of stitching or 12? Thank you

    1. Hi Carol, I was unsure too about how many lines of elastic thread stitching & where, til I zoomed in on pic. Five rows of elastic thread stitching all the way around at waist, and a block of horizontal elastic thread stitching on the back, starting near the top (approx 12 rows of stitching that will be between the back straps when they are attached). This takes up the fullness of fabric in the back, so it doesn’t look like u have boobies in front and back:) I’m just an interested sewer & reader, & love this idea.

  3. A yard of fabric wouldn’t make a dress for many of the people I know, including myself. In fact, it would be a skimpy top. I think you should indicate something like that instead of making a blanket statement to make bigger people who want to be covered believe they can do that cute look with only a yard of fabric.

  4. Thanks for showing me how to make that father. I’m going to try it then I will probably use it on a lot of things. I like to make kids and babydoll clothes

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