Sewing Dresses Without A Paper Pattern!

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These two dresses were sewn and designed without a paper pattern. I was on a mad sewing binge of pre-Jamaica wardrobe prepping one day and forgot to take photos as I went along, sorry about that.  This first dress is a maxi that is redesigned from Pinterest tutorials to work better for me.

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A useful tutorial for this style of dress can be found on www.mimistyle.com or www.bambinogoodies.co.uk or www.elleapparelblog.com.  There are many very simple tutorials on lots of different blogs and websites, but these are just a few I looked at before tackling this project.

I bought the fabric for $3 a metre and I got 3 metres of the bolt end.  It is made from two long strips which are 1/4 the width of my widest part (my hips).  I folded the strips over, figured out how long I wanted the neck line to sit and then sewed it up front and back along the middle seams, leaving a slit in the bottom hem of the back to allow ease for walking.  Then I left enough room on the side for arm holes and stitched up to that point on the sides.  Then I finished the neck line, sleeves and hem.

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Here is the finished dress. I found the arms a bit too long, so I created pleats to take up the excess fabric.

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Here is the detail of the shoulder pleats.  I then added elastic around the waist to draw it in and create a waist line.  I think this dress turned out very well, I still need to tweet the pattern as it turned out a bit big and baggy.

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This second dress is just made from laying a T-shirt down on some fabric which was folded over in half lengthwise and then half again lengthwise.  I traced out the arm hole and neck line and then made the dress as long as I wanted.  I made one side V-neck and the other side scoop neck.  I can wear it either way and still have it look nice.  I haven’t decided if I am putting elastic in or not or just cinch it in with a belt.  I also got the fabric from a bolt end for $4 a metre and I got 3 metres as well.  I still have enough left over for a top or skirt.

I think they both turned out well, they were very expensive and even though I didn’t thrift the fabric, I got it for an amazing price.  What do you think?  Cheers, Michele