Camisole To Dress Tutorial
When you want a new piece of clothing, is your first instinct to head straight for a pattern book to find it? For many of us it is. But maybe a little detour is in order because if we look more closely we might find the pattern right in our own closet.
That was the case with this simple, skinny strap dress I wanted. I initially thought I would buy a pattern or make one from scratch. When I walked into my closet I realized I didn’t need to do either. I had just the pattern I needed - a perfect fit knit camisole. All that was required was making it longer.
The color inspiration for this project comes from a dress I saw on an old I Love Lucy Show rerun. Lucy's version was designed with a very full skirt and much different neckline, a popular style at that time. The element of her dress that captivated me most was not the style but the black color that extended above and below the waistline. I believe the black design on her white dress was a leaf pattern.
With my airbrush and a stencil I knew I could recapture the look I loved from Lucy’s dress, or at least something similar. My version is a simple white slip-on sheath dress to wear with a blue/green sheer print shirt I made. I chose knit fabric because it eliminates the need for zippers or darts which makes matching up the color pattern an easy job.
White knit fabric requires planning so that you can’t see through it. I lined my dress with a lighter weight knit which was added after the airbrushing was complete.
I used my favorite camisole for the pattern by tracing it onto tissue paper and adding seam allowances. I made it into a full length dress pattern by tracing one of my straight skirts onto tissue and taping it at the camisole pattern waistline. Instead of fussing with making my own straps, I chose a pretty ribbon sold by the yard. Clear plastic hardware makes the straps adjustable.
Try your hand at creating this dress using clothing from your own closet as foundation for the pattern. If you are making your dress with knit fabric, you'll find it's very forgiving when it comes to fitting.
TIP: Fold the camisole down the center front and only trace the left or right half. It’s easier than tracing the entire front and will result in an even left and right side neckline. Fold your fabric and align it to the center front of your pattern to cut it out.
step 5 - Mask off areas outside the stencil to protect them from paint.
step 9 - Stay stitch 1/2" from the edges of the armholes and necklines.
step 10 - Cut out front and back dress pieces from the lining fabric. Sew the side seams together.
step 11 - Slip the lining into the dress fabric with right sides together. Pin the armhole and neckline edges together placing the straps in position. Sew all the edges using stay tape.
step 12 - Top stitch the seam allowance to the lining close to the seam. Trim the seam close to the top stitching.
step 13 - Turn the dress right side out. Press all edges and finish the strap details.
step 15 - Hem the dress and lining.
step 16 - After 24 hours set the paint with an iron. Be sure to use a pressing cloth between the fabric and iron.
- Martha Stewart Tendrils Stencil
- knit jersey fabric
- stay tape
At Fabric Shop
- painters tape
- knit lining fabric
- sewing notions
- ribbon and hardware for straps
- tissue paper
- Aztek airbrush
- 9451 Green paint
- 9487 Blue paint