Dresses are my go to for Summer. Last year I spent about 3 months just sewing new dresses for myself. That's a lot of dresses. But somehow there's always room for more. I love that I can just throw on a dress and shoes and be out the door without worrying about coordinating. Today's inspiration dress is actually very similar to the one I featured two weeks ago except the kimono style cap sleeves, high v-neck and longer length make this one a little more retro-sophisticated.
How To DIY a Striped Cap Sleeve Dress
Step 1 This sweet striped retro-style dress from the Shabby Apple is so much fun. I can imagine wearing it for a weekend in Palm Springs, drinking lemonade and enjoying a warm breeze. The fun contrasting stripes and flattering gathered waist would make this an easy piece to wear day after day.
Step 2 This is a very simple dress with a kimono cut bodice and gathered skirt. I looked around for a similar dress pattern but couldn't find a design quite this simple. This dress would be so easy to draft a pattern for that I decided I'd just show you how I'd draft it. If you don't feel up to drafting your own pattern, check out BurdaStyle 02/2011 #116 and BurdaStyle 01/2013 #102A.
To draft the bodice, trace a t-shirt that you like the fit of like I did for this t-shirt. Make a high v-neck and cut two pieces on the fold – one for the front and for the back. (This will make a v shape in the back. You can also curve the back neck or cut it deeper for a fun surprise.) Cut the bottom of the bodice about an inch below the natural waist.
To draft the top part of the skirt, measure your waist (W) and the length from your waist to a couple inches above the knee (L). Cut two pieces .75W x L. (This will make a skirt 1.5 times the width of your waist measurement. If you want more gathers, you can make the skirt 2 times the waist measurement.)
3. SKIRT BOTTOM
Cut 2 pieces the same width as the skirt and about 12 inches high. Don't forget to make the stripes go horizontally for this piece.
4. WAISTBAND CASING
Cut the waistband casing the same width as the skirt by 2 inches high. To make the gathered waist, add a casing to the inside of the skirt and thread some elastic through it.
5. TIE BELT
For the belt, you'll need a piece of fabric about 60 inches by 2 inches. Sew in a tube and then turn right side out.
Now that you have the pieces, sew together the bodice shoulders and side seams. Finish the neckline – attach bias trim, turn under and topstitch. Hem the sleeves. Sew together the skirt and attach to the bodice. Add the elastic, make the tie belt and you're all done.
Step 3 This dress is made with a rayon jersey very similar to this one from Girl Charlee Fabrics. I love sewing with knit fabrics. It goes so quickly using a serger and the stretch is so forgiving.
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