I’m almost three weeks into my self proclaimed “Summer of No Pants” challenge and I’ve got dresses (and skirts) on my mind. Although the thought of buying a dozen new dresses is quite appealing, I’m aiming to add some more handmade dresses to my wardrobe this season, starting with this easy criss cross strap sundress. And, as part of the Melly Sews 30 Days of Sundresses series, I’m sharing the tutorial!
Want to make one too? Let’s get started.
- Knit Fabric (mine is from Michael Levine)
- 1 inch Fold Over Elastic (FOE)
- Fitted Tank Top to trace or Knit Dress/Tank Pattern
- Tracing Paper and Pencil
- General Sewing Supplies
One: To create the front pattern piece, fold a fitted tank top in half and lay it on top of the tracing paper. Trace around the tank top adding about 1/2 inch around the outside for the seam allowance. Draw a horizontal line about 3 inches down from the shoulder seam. In an A-line, flared shape, add the desired length.
Two: To create the back pattern piece, trace the front pattern piece that was created in step one, but draw a horizontal line just below the armseye.
Note: If you have a knit dress or knit tank top pattern that you like, you can modify the pattern by cutting the shoulder seam approximately 3 inches lower for the front pattern piece and cutting the back pattern piece at the bottom of the armscye.
Three: Using the pattern pieces, cut out the fabric.
Four: To determine the length of FOE needed for the underarm and back seam, drape the elastic around the edge, criss crossing in the back. Make sure to leave extra length on the elastic for fitting. Cut the elastic. Now sew the FOE to the fabric, encasing the edges, with a zigzag stitch. Start sewing at the end of one of the straps and continue to the end of the other.
Five: Repeat step four with the neckline seam.
Six: This step is optional, but I folded under my FOE to the wrong side of the fabric and stitched with a zigzag stitch. For a more sporty look, leave the FOE showing.
Seven: Try the dress on to determine strap placement. It helps to have a friend pin the straps evenly.
Eight: Stitch the straps in place and hem the dress.
Also, make sure to check out this post to enter a giveaway at Melly Sews and to see a running summary of all the sundresses in the 30 Days of Sundresses 2015 series!
Oh, and to see the simple knit sundress I made last year for the series, check out this tutorial.