How often do we see something in stores, fall in love with it, but then immediately fall out of love with it because of the price tag? I think that part of that with a DIY community is that often we realize and understand that it wouldn’t be too tough to re-create the look in our own way for ourselves without having to spend as much money. I’m totally guilty of that!
I love that Heidi from Elegance & Elephants is doing this fun Knock It Off Series, and am thrilled to be participating.
It all started with this dress from Gap.
Totally darling, love the lace-ish top fabric with the pop of color peeking through. It’s a simple cut of dress, which I like so that there’s not too much taking away from the details of the white fabric.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- fabric: one solid color for underneath and some sort of lace-ish fabric for the overlay
- skinny elastic
- sewing machine/accessories
- bodice pattern (optional)
** The bodice pattern I used is from this pattern. A free option is from this pattern from The Cottage Mama.
Start off by cutting the pattern pieces. You’ll need two of each fabric cut; one of each for the front and one of each for the back. Place the wrong side of the colored fabric facing the right side of the lace.
Cut a slit down both layers of the back pieces. You want a decent sized slit so that the dress will easily fit over your little gal’s head. Do not make a slit in the front!
Sew along the arm holes, shoulders, and neckline of the front and back bodice pieces.
Clip the corners – being careful not to cut the seam – flip right side out, and press.
Measure from where the bottom of the bodice will hit to where you want the bottom hem of the skirt to be. Add on half an inch to this measurement for your length. Measure the bottom edge of the bodice piece, and double this measurement for the width. Cut two solid colored pieces of fabric to this measurement and two lace pieces of fabric to this measurement. Place the lace piece’s wrong side to the right side of the colored fabric. (You might wanna run an iron over your fabric. Clearly I did not).
Hem up the bottom of both of the skirt pieces, hemming up both layers together.
Run a gathering stitch along the top, raw edge of each skirt piece.
Gather the skirt to the width of the bodice pieces. My favorite way to gather is to put the right sides of the bodice and skirt facing each other, pinning in the middle of each piece. Gather evenly on one side, then gather evenly on the other side.
Sew the bodice and skirt together, finishing the edge with a zig zag stitch or serger.
Turn right side out and top stitch.
When you have completed this for both the front and back of the dress, place them together with right sides facing in. Sew along each side seam, finishing the edges.
Next sew along each shoulder seam. Don’t sew the neckline shut!
Press open the shoulder seam.
Turn the dress right side out, and use a seam ripper to make a small hole in the back slit of the dress, near the top of the slit. This is where you will insert the elastic.
Pin a small loop of elastic in place where you made the hole.
Top stitch along the entire top of the dress – you will go around the neckline, across the shoulder seam, around the arm hole, back across the shoulder seam, the back neckline – including the slit. This will catch the elastic and sew it in place. I also like doing it this way so that the top stitch keeps down the shoulder seams that were pressed.
Hand sew a button on to the back of the dress.
The dress is a little bit of a boxy fit – which can definitely be cute – but the original dress had a decorative ribbon along where the bodice and skirt meet, so I wanted to do that as well, and make it functional by turning it into a sash to give the dress some shape.
Pin the ribbon along the front of the dress, only from one side seam to the other. Be sure to leave ribbon on each side of the seams for tying the sash in back.
Sew the ribbon in place along the front of the dress only.
Now you can tie the sash in back and give the dress some shape!
Try it on a darling girl, and totally fall in love with the knock off dress – and it’s price tag!
This dress went together SO easily! And quick!
Now I just need to make two more in different colors.
Yes, I said need. Don’t laugh. We like our matching around here.