DIY: Easy $6 Dress

Just so we’re clear- today is actually Wednesday, not Monday.  But, because I have been waiting months to take part in Katie and Sherry‘s Winter Pinterest Challenge

(read more about it here), which takes place today, the normal DIY is happening today.  No biggie.

In November last year I took part in the second Pinterest Challenge (I posted my Boot Socks tutorial).

For this challenge, my Pinterest inspiration comes from Rachael at Talk2TheTrees.  She made an adorable little dress for only $6.  With our upcoming trip to California, I could picture myself strolling along the boardwalks in a similar little number, so I absconded with a Sunday afternoon naptime and made my own version.

(To be completely honest, this is my third attempt at the dress.  If Katie and Sherry were hosting a Pinterest Fail Party, my first attempt would be up for first prize.  Just think of curvy me trying to fit into too small of a broadcloth skirt- no stretch- and having to have Ben come and help extract me from the thing’s reign of terror.  My second attempt was a success (because I learned to use a stretchy material for the skirt), but since I was still smarting over how that first attempt beat me, I didn’t take any pictures; hence, the third attempt.)

I started out with a $6 tank top from Walmart and some extra material I had in my fabric box.  The material was from MCC months ago, and I think I maybe paid $3 for it.  But because it was already in my possession, I’m slapping a $6 price tag on this dress and calling it done.  It makes me feel better.

I have loved the colours in this fabric since I bought it.  Perfect for summer weather (please be kind to us, California!)

I started off with trying on the tank top and marking where I wanted the bodice to end with a coloured chalk.

A quick snip with the scissors and the top was done.My little helper.

To make the skirt, I measured where I wanted the skirt to end on my leg, measured how much fabric I wanted around my waist, and then cut a rectangle of cloth to fit those measurements.

After cutting the fabric, I sewed the two end together to make a cylinder. For this, use a zig zag stitch.  A regular straight stitch will cause the fabric to pucker.

Rachael used a broadcloth cotton material for her dresses.  As I mentioned earlier, a cloth with no stretch didn’t work for this curvy girl.  To make the skirt wide enough to go over my hips, I needed to make it too large to sit nicely.  My second attempt and this attempt were made with a stretchy jersey material- so much easier to work with.  Rachael’s design also called for ruching the skirt, but because jersey doesn’t ruche all that well, I pinned pleats in every inch and a half or so as I attached the skirt to the bodice with pins.

After Everything was pinned and was sitting nicely, I sewed the top to the bottom, again using a zig zag stitch. And voila- dress completed.

The next step was to make a tie at the waist.  I took a favourite belt to use as a pattern and cut the fabric out double the width.

Using the same zig zag stitch, I sewed down the straight sides to create a long tube.  Pull the tube right side out, and then you are done!

Perfect summer dress complete and ready to head out into the emerging beautiful weather. (please ignore the diaper box and the towel drying on top of it.  Bad me)

One of the things I like most about this dress is that with the addition of tights, boots, and a sweater, it can go straight through the cooler months as well.  Not that I’m looking forward to reentering fall and winter seeing as we are barely out of them, but hey, a girl needs something to look forward to.

This is a pic of my second attempt.  I love the bottom fabric and actually have enough to make a second one, or a skirt.  I’ll see where the inspiration board on Pinterest takes me.

For everyone who made the trip from Katie or Sherry’s for the Pinterest Challenge, thanks for coming over to visit! If you’ll leave a comment and your site address, I’ll be happy to return the favor.  Everyone else, head on over to Katie and/or Sherry‘s and click on some of the tutorials.  You won’t be disappointed.

I’m off to my last class for this semester on Saturday (imagine me performing heel clicks as I wear my lovely new dresses).  Hopefully life can get back to normal around here soon.  Blessings!

Linking up over at Serenity Now  and The REAL Housewives of Riverton as well!

Weekend Bloggy Reading