[Edited 9/28/13: I am definitely cheating here, but there was no way I was going to complete a black dress for Project Sewn's Little Black Dress theme this week. I already have two of them in my closet, and I rarely wear either, so it's just not something practical for me. Plus, I am up to my elbows in sewing for the kids, and so I'm reposting this awesome dress that I love from two months ago, since the rules say you have to have sewn it in the last six months. I just can't resist being involved! AND, my book club just read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, so it just kept going through my head. Recommended, btw! But I promise I will be sewing new things for the other themes.]
This dress was such a sewing win! And I tell you, I needed one. I feel like everything I touch lately turns into scrap fabric. This was low-pressure, since it was for myself (unlike the bridesmaid dress I was hemming and cut a hole in--maaaaaybe I'll tell you the story once I've figured out how to resolve it) and the fabric was picked up at a secondhand store for $4 for about 3 yards (unlike the leftover fabric from this dress that I attempted a tank out of, which totally doesn't fit in several weird ways). I have also so far avoided getting any silly putty stuck in it.
But the happy ending is, this dress came together easily and quickly, it's super comfortable, and I LOVE it. I want to wear it every day. I will probably make another one. [When I do, I promise I will make it a tutorial!]
|Photobombed by Snow White. Who is usually nowhere to be found when I actually WANT a picture of her.|
|From the side|
So, what I did was turn the dress inside out. To make a casing for the elastic, the raw edges from joining the top and skirt should be folded up toward the top, then fold up again so that the raw edges are hidden inside the casing. Make sure to stretch the fabric gently as you go so that you don't get puckers in the front of your dress, and sew all the way around the top of the casing. Then flip the dress right-side out again, and "stitch in the ditch" (sew on top of your other seam) where the top and bottom are joined together to hold the casing in place. Make sure to leave an opening for your elastic.
Then run your elastic through the casing. I used 1/4 inch. Before sewing my elastic together and closing the opening in the casing, I tried the dress on to make sure the elastic was as tight as I wanted it.
I would save hemming for last--that way you know how short your dress will be once you blouse the top out a little. I was planning to leave the hem raw, but since it was on the short side I added a second raw strip of the gray jersey, and I really like the added detail as well as the length!
[Also an edit--shortly after I posted this, Cate Blanchett wore this dress to an event. Coincidence, or she saw my blog post and called her stylist?]