Folksy Ltd

No sew summer dress. Help please!

Does anyone know how to make one of those pull over dresses you make by cutting an oval/circle into some fabric, and cutting head and arm holes?

I saw a tutorial on Facebook for diy, no sew Barbie doll dresses and she made one by folding a rectangle of fabric multiple times, and somehow cutting it into an oval shape before she cut armholes/a head hole. She then proceeded to make a lifesize one for herself using the same method, she popped a belt on and it looks so pretty. I’ll attach a link to the video so you can see, it’s the first one.

Does anyone have any experience with making anything like this? I really can’t get my head around the cutting process. I can’t seem to get the right rectangle that will fold into a triangle for a start. I also have no idea how much fabric I would need for an adult dress. A friend of mine on facebook said there are patterns available on the other place that starts with E but I can’t seem to find one. I can’t find any information, anywhere!

Video- it’s the first dress she makes, after making the barbie one she makes herself one: https://www.facebook.com/MetDaanMagazine/videos/2052591748311872/

I had a look at your video link and then went hunting for another version and every other version I found started with a circle of fabric rather than an oval but everything after that was the same. An oval would be useful as a starting point if you are particularly well endowed as it would give you the extra fabric front and back to go over curves and still have the hem roughly level but if you have normal proportions then a circle should be fine. The amount of fabric you need would depend on your height and how long you would like the dress to be but you might find yourself being limited by the width of the fabric - you would need to buy the same length of fabric as it is wide so that you can cut the circle ie if it is 150cm wide you need to buy a length of 150cm (plus a bit to make the belt). The radius of the circle will give you the centre back length of the dress - when I measured one of my just to knee length dresses I got a centre back measurement of 100cm so the 150cm fabric (radius 75cm) I mentioned above would give a fairly short dress on me. A softer, thinner drapey fabric would probably work best so that you don’t end up with masses of bulk around your middle.

1 Like

Thank you so much, that’s a really helpful answer and makes so much sense! I’m ambitious but rubbish when it co es to these things so you’ve put me on the right track there!

Thank you :heart:

You’re welcome, if you need any more help let me know. My dad is an engineer by training but the son of a dress maker - he taught me some useful (and some less useful) skills - everything is just an engineering problem to me these days.

1 Like

I’ve just watched that video. Surely making a dress in this way would leave raw edges which would fray. I’m no expert on dressmaking but sew lots of other things and cutting out fabric leaves raw edges. The concept of cutting the fabric like she does with the neck and armholes and then not finishing the raw edges in some way is completely alien to me!

1 Like

I also have some advice for this project. Do not start cutting until you are really sure of the result. These sorts of DIYs are everywhere on the net, but they can be tricky the first time you try them.

I suggest buying a metre and a half of VERY CHEAP polyester to try the idea, before you cut into your chosen fashion fabric. These projects can go very wrong if you cut just slightly too large a neckhole or armholes at the first stage. Making a test garment will help you know exactly where you should be cutting. You can then take measurements and notes before transferring these onto your nice fabric.

Also, although this garment is cut on the bias (it’s a circle dress) it will ravel and fray if you use a woven fabric. You can hem the edges, but then it won’t be “no sew.” The best solution is to use jersey (T-shirt) fabric, which will roll slightly at the edges, but will not fray. Jersey also has terrific drape so that would be my personal choice.

Hope this helps!

Sam x

1 Like

Oh I’m with you on that! I was intending on helming the edges. It was mainly the concept of the creating such a simple dress that appealed to me, I was going to hem it up to make it a more durable item. :grinning:

1 Like

Thanks for the advice, I will be sure to practice before using my best fabric. I will have to go and buy a nice jersey fabric, but thought I’d still give it a bit of a hem just to finish it off… when it comes to the finished article ofcorse :grinning:

1 Like

Yeah! It’s best to put a hem on really. It just doesn’t make such good U-Tube theatre :wink:

I’m actually thinking of making one for my daughter myself, now. For kid’s clothes these patterns work well because you don’t need to worry about them being to short at the sides, so thank you for the inspiriation.

Sam x

1 Like

Wonderful! They’re just ideal, I love these sorts of dresses but sometimes they’re really low cut, or really short in high street shops. I can fit these to suit my needs, and I can always pop a pair of shorts under them.
Let me know how they turn out if you have a go. :grinning:

Thanks again for all your help you lovely lot, I knew Folksy folks would be helpful :heart_eyes:

1 Like