On a Saturday morning, the day before Easter, I decided that I was going to make a dress from Scratch for Easter Sunday. I gave myself essentially 24 hours before the event to make a dress which I had NEVER done before. What can I say, I was pretty impulsive and super optimistic about it working out. There aren’t many things that I want to do that I don’t at least try, so I had to give it a whirl.
I had just spent the morning shopping and during this time the dressing rooms weren’t open to trying on the dresses that I had purchased. When I got home to try it on, the dress either didn’t fit or was too short, or was just not cute once on. For some reason, I was fueled by the need to have a new dress for a special event (which I think has been more pronounced now that special events feel few and far between). I love to dress up and didn’t have the perfect outfit. But, I did have a sewing machine and too much confidence in my ability to pull something off.
Things you’ll need:
- Fabric Scissors
- Measuring tape
- Sewing Machine
- Fabric Chalk/Pen
- Seam Ripper (if you make mistakes like I did)
STEP 1: RESEARCH
Research started in the place I knew best… YouTube. I have watched a plethora of videos about sewing on YouTube, so naturally, that made me qualified to make a dress, right? One account that I particularly enjoy is Rosery Apparel who has some calming and educational videos about making clothes. Her clothing patterns are so easily accessible and a few are free online if you would want someplace to start. I started with some of her easy sewing videos making reusable makeup wipes and other easy items to really boost my morale. So after conquering how to sew a circle, I was brave enough to take on a dress!
While I love Rosery Apparel, I landed on this video as the one I would try to do:
I watched this video ONE TIME and set to work… So that can tell you how quality this tutorial is!!
STEP 2: CHOOSING FABRIC
Here is the point where I got lazy… I went to find the box of fabric that my family gave me at some point, dug through that, and only one fabric stuck out as the option for the Easter dress was a yellow floral one. The only problem was, it was essentially a reusable table cloth type of material so it wasn’t necessarily the best choice. But every other fabric I had was a horrendous color, upholstery fabric, or scraps. So I went with the crinkly tablecloth!! Yes, I very well could have gone to the store and picked up something else, but I did not. I must have considered the tablecloth a fun challenge.
STEP 3: PREPPING THE FABRIC PATTERN
Wasn’t exactly sure how to name this step, but once I had my fabric I had to measure it out for me. I made it entirely too big and had to keep sewing it down to size. I would definitely recommend still leaning on the large side though because you can always make it smaller but it’s harder to add on fabric. I went by the instructions that I remembered from the video and cut out the pieces accordingly. It was all quite easy after that.
STEP 4: SEWING
This part was pretty easy once I got going. I really did have to mess with the settings on my sewing machine to figure out what I needed to do or the best stitch width/length to use. I was thankful at one point that I had set the length of the stitches a little further when I had to rip that entire section out when I messed up 🙂
I would recommend being SO patient with this section. It was easy for me to get overly confident when I accomplished one section and totally botched the next. Take your time, it’ll be worth it. Also, try it on whenever you are able to! It’ll help you figure out what to fix before you move along too far. Don’t be afraid to follow your gut when you want to make adjustments! As you can see, I made mine a shorter version of the dress from the video. This was a decision I made later as I worked through the project. You can see below that this stage of the dress was longer than the final version. I hemmed it a few inches to finish up the sewing!
STEP 5: MAKE FINAL ADJUSTMENTS/SHOW THAT BABY OFF!!
After hours of sewing, seam ripping, and wondering why the heck I started this project in the first place… I had a dress!! In this step, you should take some time to clean up the piece and cut off any extra thread on the dress or It was incredibly exciting to have a full product that would be able to be worn. Even though the final product was a little crinkly as I walked!! It was so fun seeing the project turn from folded up in a box at my house into a piece of clothing I could wear.
I would HIGHLY recommend trying something like this out, even if you stop at the tank top point or if you just make reusable makeup wipes. Sewing can be a hard thing to figure out, but it can be done. There are tons of great videos or tutorials online that will help with learning how to use a sewing machine. Once you start learning and trying things out, I promise this project won’t be too hard.