How to Design Your Own Sundress

How to Design Your Own Sundress thumbnail
Design a sundress by sketching and then draping on a dress form.

Sketching is the first step when designing a sundress. This gives you an outline for all aspects of creating the dress, including the style and look, the color and the fabric. Use fashion draping to make an original design by positioning inexpensive muslin on a dress form to create the structure of the sundress. The muslin will then be used to create a pattern for your uniquely designed sundress.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Form
  • Muslin
  • Draping fabric
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    • 1

      Study both types of sketches on pattern envelopes. The front of the envelope shows fashion drawings on a body, while the back has sketches with style lines and sewing details. The more drawings you analyze, the easier it will be to design your own dress.

    • 2

      Draw a dress form that is proportionate to the woman who will be wearing the sundress. Draw the form with shoulders back, curving in at the waist and out again at the hips.

    • 3

      Find a silhouette similar to the sundress you want to design. Use quick pencil strokes to trace the outline and lines from the photograph or drawing. Lay a piece of tracing paper over your drawing. Create your own design, changing as desired and following the original silhouette where needed. Alternatively, you can sketch drawings freehand, converting design ideas to paper sketches.

    • 4

      Add color and pattern to the sketch to give you an idea of the fabric you will choose for your design.

    • 5

      Cut and prepare muslin. Mark grain lines and any other reference lines, measure, block and press to create the front and back bodices, front and back skirt and right side.

    • 6

      Pin the muslin to the dress form and manipulate it where needed for tucks and gathers to shape and fit the garment. Be creative and experiment, adjusting fabric and trying new looks. Once the design is complete, mark seam lines, darts and any reference marks on the muslin.

    • 7

      Take the muslin off the form and lay it flat on a work table. Use rulers and design curves to smooth out, connect and finalize the markings on the muslin. Add seam lines and cut off any excess material.

    • 8

      Pin the pieces of muslin together and put them back onto the dress form. Check for proper fit and make any necessary adjustments.

    • 9

      Take the muslin off the dress form once again and press it flat. Transfer all lines and markings to paper to create a sewing pattern for the sundress.

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