How to Make a Dress With 1 Yard of Fabric

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If you have only 1 yard of fabric, draping is a good technique. Draping is the process of laying out fabric directly on the body or dress form. Making a dress using draping techniques offers the convenience of no patterns, which is not only less time consuming, but also lends itself to a much more interesting garment. Draping also allows you to use less fabric and requires little skill and few tools. Have a partner help you if you do not own a dress form.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard of fabric, 45- to 60-inches wide
  • Pins
  • Partner or a dress form
  • Full Length mirror (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing thread and needle
  • Sewing machine
  • Pretreat the fabric according to the directions, which are typically located on the fabric bolt.

  • Have your partner drape the fabric starting at your neck, and wrap the fabric around you like she's enclosing you in a horizontal envelope. You will look like you are wearing a long, strapless dress.

  • Stand at the mirror and begin to pull down the front fabric at the chest level into a draped V shape, stopping at the amount of chest you feel most comfortable showing. If you prefer the dress to be at the neck for a more conservative look, skip this step.

  • Have your partner pull the fabric toward your back at the waist until you are comfortable with the fit. You will have a lot of extra fabric in the back that will later be cut away. Check the dress front to ensure you are satisfied with the look.

  • Starting at the dress's back, have your partner pin the fabric as close to the body as comfortable, working vertically from the top of the dress all the way down to the hemline. You will have extra fabric remaining where your partner just pinned the fabric. Cut away the loose fabric.

  • Thread a sewing needle. Have your partner hand sew quick, 1-inch basting stitches from the top of the dress to the bottom hemline where you pinned the back of the dress. She can take out the pins as she does this. Set up the sewing machine. Take off the dress, and turn it inside out. Using a straight stitch sew down the back along the basting stitches.

  • Turn the dress right side out, and put it back on. Have your partner trim the hemline until it's even. If you want the dress shorter, have your partner cut to the desired length. Take the dress off, turn it inside out, and fold over and pin the hemline half an inch. Machine sew with a zigzag stitch.

References

  • "Sew NEWS" Magazine; Draping Principles; Lynne Garner; Febuary/March 2011
  • Photo Credit fashionable female dress image by terex from Fotolia.com
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