With or without a sewing machine, there’s a trick to sewing a stunning dress with minimal sewing. I first tried this idea on an old jeans vest that I loved. I sewed an old skirt to it, and turned both into a stunning dress that I sewed together by hand (being too poor to afford a sewing machine at the time). Since then, I have saved money and time by sewing more dresses with minimal sewing. I just go to Nordstrom Rack or another outlet, find a stunning top, then go to the fabric store and choose a stunning fabric that I can sew into a skirt that will attach to the vest and turn it into a dress. I especially like short tops that can be sewn into empire style dresses. And I find that slightly sheer rayon or silks can be sewn into the most beautiful summer dresses, while flannels or cotton rib make stunning winter dresses. So here are the steps I follow to sew a stunning dress with minimal sewing.
What You’ll Need to Sew a Stunning Dress with Minimal Sewing:
Once you’ve chosen a top that you would like to sew into a dress, go to the fabric store and choose the skirt fabric for it. If you choose a very sheer fabric, buy an opaque cheap fabric to form a lining underneath. Try to match the style of the skirt fabric to the style of the top. For example, sew a winter dress from a long-sleeved knit top and flannel skirt; or sew a summer dress from a jeans vest and a chiffon skirt. Buy enough fabric to go around you 1.5 times. The length of the fabric when it is wrapped around you will determine the hem length. Also, to sew a dress with minimal sewing, you’ll need a one inch elastic band and one safety pin.
Sew the Dress Skirt with Minimal Sewing:
Fold the fabric in half, with the back facing out, then sew the ends of the dress skirt together to form a tube. Next fold the top over twice at 1.5 inch thickness to form a channel into which you will later thread the elastic band. When you sew this top hem of the dress, make sure to sew close to the bottom of the fold, so as to leave the channel wide enough for the elastic; and remember to leave a slit open to slip the elastic through. Finally, hem the bottom of the skirt tube, once more folding the fabric twice before you sew. This dress with minimal sewing is especially easy because you’ll be sewing in simple, straight lines.
Sew the Dress Skirt to the Top:
First put on the vest, then wrap the elastic band around you one inch above where the vest ends. If you want to sew a loose dress, add a few inches to the elastic band measurement. And remember to add two inches for sewing the elastic together. Now cut the elastic, attach the safety pin to one end, and use it to thread the elastic into the top of the skirt, where you sewed the dress channel. When finished, sew the elastic together and close the channel in the top hem of the skirt. Finally, finish sewing your dress by attaching the skirt to the vest. For a thin top, like cotton rib, sew the dress by placing the top and skirt face to face. For thick tops, like jeans or velvet, sew the dress into the vest itself. Just slip the skirt under the vest, then sew by hand into the hem of the vest, making sure you do not penetrate to the top fabric, which will leave telltale stitches on the front.
And discover how to sew a long, flowing skirt.