Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pretty Panel Dress Tutorial

One of my favorite summer dresses is this.....
from Matilda Jane. I love everything about it and wear it all the time over the summer! I was looking at it's overall structure this past summer, and came up with this for N.
I LOVE IT!! So here's how to do it.....

#1 - Find a tee (long or short sleeved) or tank. I've only used Old Navy brand, but I'm sure other brands will work just as well. I tried the shirt on Natalie and made two marks. One mark is where I'd like the skirt to start and one is about a 1/2" lower than that, where I cut the shirt. Cut the shirt on the lowest mark, all the way across.

#2 - Stretch the raw edge of the shirt as far as it will go and measure. This measurement is going to be the width of your skirt. Divide that measurement by 6 (the number of panels you'll need) and add 1/2". This final number is the top of the panel measurement. Mine ended up being 5.5" wide.
Double the top of panel measurement to get the bottom of the panel width. Mine was 11" wide.

#3 - Pick one or two or even more fabrics for your skirt. Decide how long you want the skirt to be and cut your fabric that length. I cut mine to be 16" long. Use the bottom of panel measurement to cut the width of your fabric, mine was 11" wide.
Fold your fabric in half. Divide your measurements in half and cut your slanted line. I cut my top at 2 3/4" and bottom at 5.5". Do this 6 times for all 6 panels.

The panels you've cut should look like this...

#4 - Arrange your panels how you want them to look on the skirt.

#5 - Lay one panel on top of the other, right sides together, and pin. Do this with all 6 panels. They will look like this....

#6 - Stitch down the raw edge of each panel pair, using a 3/8" seam allowance. Serge or zig zag the raw edge to finish it off.

#7 - When all 6 panels are sewn together and serged, open the top and place the shirt inside, right sides together. The raw edge of the skirt should be lined up with the raw edge of the shirt. Pin all the way around. You'll have to stretch the shirt to get it to lay flat against the skirt.

#8 - Stitch all the way around the skirt, using a 3/8" seam allowance. Serge or zig zag the raw edge to finish it off.
#9 - Your dress, inside out, should look like this. Make sure the serged egde is laying flat against the shirt, not the skirt.
Top stitch the seam to the shirt, close to the seam.
When you're done, it will look like this....

#10 - Find the recipient of your creation (or get her out of bed since she wasn't sleeping anyway!) and try it on! (Love the jammie-bottom-legging-look she's sporting here!)
I didn't finish the bottom of my skirt...yet. You could fold up the bottom 1/2" and sew a seam, serging or zig zagging the raw edge and call it a day. You could cut a ruffle to add to the bottom, (3" long x the width of your entire skirt bottom multiplied by 2.5"), which is what I plan to do as soon as I get some brown jersey knit!
#11 - I added a fabric & button flower embellishment. I got the tutorial from here.

All done!

This is also a good way to recycle tees/tanks that have been stained or torn on the lower portion.

LOVE it!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sista!
    I just finished cutting an ankle length dress using the technique u have shown here.
    And this is my first one. :)