This tutorial is for an evening dress that is boat neck kimono sleeve style. It can me made long or short. I made mine short - more like a cocktail dress.
I began this dress for the sole purpose of attending Gwen Stefani's Royal/T Party for the benefit of the Japanese children. This was one of the most amazing experiences ever! The whole night was fantastic. I won a few pieces of Gwen personal clothing, met the entire No Doubt band, and Gavin. They gave us gift bags, we painted lil' dolls. The band played four songs. Such an awesome night Gwen and No Doubt provided for us. Thank you to my dearest brother, Ryan Booth for taking me and the hubs to this for our birthdays. Thanks to our new found friend, Rob Wallace, for catching my fall, awesome pictures, and dinner.
To learn how to make your own evening dress, you know where to click.
You want to start with your pattern first, using brown paper bag, newspaper, or drafting paper. Measure elbow to elbow, across your chest. Add 2 extra inches to each side for seam allowance. this is for the length you want across from sleeve to sleeve. For length of the dress, measure from the back of the bottom of your neck to however long you want your dress. Mine is 33 1/2 inches. Consider I am 5' 2" and am making a short dress. For the front of your dress, measure from the hollow of your chest to the desired length of dress. Mine came to 31 1/2 inches. When drawing the pattern, give yourself 2 extra inches on each side of your waist measurement, for seam allowance and for shape of dress. My full of skirt measurement around the hem is a total of 49 inches. From waist to hem the grade is 19 inches. The pattern for your dress should look like half of a kimono. Wide sleeves, and small boat neck scoop at neck line.
You will want to cut one on a fold line, and 2 not on a fold.
For the sash, multply your waist measurement by 3 for the length of the sash, and make it 6 inches wide, so when folded length wise it comes to 3 inches wide.
I made the pattern length half of the full measurement and placed it on the fold of the fabric.
For a flowier dress, I recommend silky satin materials. Mine was 96% polyester and 4% spandex.
Start pinning your pattern to your fabric. Remember, for the dress, cut 1 on the fold, cut 2 not on fold.
When you have cut out your dress you will have 3 pieces. 1 full piece for the front and 2 half pieces for the back, so the zipper can go up the center. With right sides together, start pinning your shoulder to the end of sleeve together, and under the arm down the bodice together.
Have your stitch set to the zig-zag setting. and sew your seams.
For your arm holes, roll the hem and set your stitch to the straight stitch setting.
Do this for the neckline as well.
Now for the zipper. When you purchase an invisible zipper, it will come with instructions on how to sew it in the garment. You can use a zipper foot for your sewing machine or your regular foot. I still can't find the correct zipper foot for my machine, so I use the regular foot. My zipper was 15 inches long.
After the zipper is in, you will want to sew up the remaining bottom part of the back of your dress with the zig zag setting. The zig zag setting is to keep the material from fraying. I also cut my fabric with pinking shears.
Now we can go back to the straight stitch setting. Roll and pin your hem line. Sew a rolled hem.
For your sash, fold the fabric in half length wise, right sides facing. Pin together and sew on a straight stitch setting.
Pull sash right side out and fold in ends. The seam of the sash should be in the middle of the back. Pin together, and sew on a straight stitch setting.
Keep your dress inside out and steam from a high place, like your shower rod or iron on a low synthetic setting with some steam. Turn dress right side out and repeat. Steam or iron sash as well.