To say that I’m a bit excited about today’s tutorial is an understatement. I absolutely love the way these dresses turned out! I hope you’ll like them too and make some of your own.
What you’ll need:
- An old tank top that still fits around your bust (don’t worry if it doesn’t fit your baby belly, that part will be cut off)
- 38mm (1.5″) wide elastic
- 1 to 1.5 metres/yards of knit fabric
Notions: Ballpoint needle; Twin needle (optional)
Let’s get started! First, start with a few measurements:
- A: Measure right under your bust
- B: Measure from your under-bust down to your knees – or wherever you would like the skirt to stop
- C = (Meas. A x 1.5) / 2
Now cut your pieces as follows:
- Cut 2 in knit fabric of: (Meas. C + 2cm/1″) x (Meas. B + 3.5cm/1.75″)
- Cut elastic: Meas. A + 2cm/1″
Before you cut your skirt pieces, trace a slight curve at the bottom of one of them (see photo below). This will be the front of the skirt – the curve will prevent the front of the skirt from looking shorter than the back as your belly grows.
Put your tank top on. Make a mark just under your bust. Take the top off and draw a line 1cm (3/4″) below the mark you’ve just made (this will be the seam allowance when you sew the elastic on). Cut the top along that line.
(Optional) Overlock or zigzag stitch the raw edge at the bottom of the tank top. This step is optional. Knits don’t fray so you could leave it like that, but I personally like to ‘neaten’ all the raw edges so I overlocked it.
Cut your elastic. Place the ends of the elastic together and sew with a 1cm (1/2″) seam allowance.
Open the seam and press flat. Topstitch on each side of the seam to hold it in place.
Make markings or pin at regular intervals on both the bottom edge of your tank and the elastic. The way I do this is I start by pinning at the seams to give me the halfway points. Then I fold each section (from one pin to the other) in half to get the 1/4 points. Then I fold each new section in half again to get the 1/8 points. I end up with 8 pins/markings.
Pin the elastic to the tank at the points you’ve just marked. Both the tank and the elastic are right side out, and the elastic should end up on top of the tank (see photo below). You can choose to match the seam of the elastic with either one of the tank’s side seams, or align it in the middle of the back. Sew the elastic to the tank using a straight stitch, about 3mm (1/8″) from the edge of the elastic. You might have to pull very slightly on your elastic.
Now, take your 2 skirt pieces and place them RST (Right Sides Together). Stitch or overlock along the sides. Repeat for the other side. If you’d like to neaten the top edge, use a zigzag stitch or overlock it (once again, this is optional as knit fabric doesn’t fray).
Turn the dress Right Sides Out. As you did before to attach the elastic to the tank top, make markings at regular intervals on both the elastic and the top of the skirt (see above for more details). Pin together at these points, making sure the front of the skirt (with the curved hem) matches up with the front of the tank top and the side seams of the tank align with the side seams of the skirt. Sew together using a straight stitch, about 3mm (1/8″) from the edge of the elastic. You will have to pull on your elastic quite a lot to match both parts up.
Try the dress on and check the length of your hem. Fold the hem towards the wrong side of the fabric, pin in place and press. Sew in place using a twin needle or zigzag stitch. And voilà, you have a brand-new dress.
The turquoise one seemed liked it lacked a little something after I finished it so I added a few ruffles to the front, using the leftover fabric from the tank top. It was the first one I made and I actually cut the top too low, the elastic is sitting too low so I’ll have to fix that.
If you’re making one of these for yourself, send me a photo. I’d love to see your creations.