Introduction: A Dress From a Dress!

Learn how to make an adorable polar fleece dress without using a pattern!

Step 1: Make the Template

My daughter wanted a colourful dress with flowers and designs, so I immediately thought about making one out of polar fleece fabric. I love working with polar fleece! It is forgiving, looks great, and it's easy to sew.
She had a dress that she really liked in her closet, so I started with that to use as a template. I had a meter of the polar fleece. I started by folding the polar fleece in half, and laying the dress on top. I carefully flattened it and smoothed out all of the wrinkles. I pinned the dress to the fabric around the perimeter.

Step 2: Cut Out the Fabric

After making sure there were no wrinkles, I carefully started to cut around the perimeter of the dress leaving about an inch of extra fabric. I know an inch seems like a lot, but I had to leave seam allowance, and, if you could see how fast she is growing right now, you would understand the extra room! I stopped cutting at about halfway around.

Step 3: Cut Out the Entire Dress

I stopped cutting halfway around the dress because I was a little worried about it being symmetrical, a lopsided dress wasn't quite the look I was going for. So I folded the dress and fabric in half and then unpinned it. I cut around the rest of the perimeter, using the other side as a guide. The neckline was a little high, so I also trimmed a little bit off of the front side to lower the neckline.

Step 4: Gather Your Fabrics

I dug up a whole bunch of brightly coloured polar fleece scraps...once again, my crafty hoarding tendencies have paid off!

Step 5: Start Designing!

The next step was to play around with the design. I used two different colours of light green polar fleece tmake flower stems and grass. I laid them out, then when I was happy with the design, I pinned the stems in place.

Step 6: Make It Look Good and Pin It Down

I added some rough circles to represent flowers, and when I was happy with the placement, I cut out the petals. I also thought it was a little empty at the top, so I added a sun, and clouds. Can't have any empty space, right? I pinned everything down to keep it in place.

Step 7: Sew It Down!

I sewed around the perimeter as close as I could get to the edges. I didn't change the colour of my thread, I just used purple thread, the same colour as the dress. You don't have to worry to much about being exact with your stitching... just wait until you see the next step!

Step 8: Trim It

Saying that, "learning how to trim polar fleece seams changed my life" might seem a tad dramatic to some, but it really did open up some totally new amazing possibilities for sewing for me! I could never figure out how some people could sew around shapes so perfectly, but it turns out they don't... They just trim around their seams after they sew! Mind blown.
So, to trim the seams to give the illusion that you are an expert seamstress, use a sharp pair of scissors and carefully cut around each line of stitching leaving about a millimetre. If you cut too close, the stitching will come undone in the wash. I also rounded the corners a little so the points didn't roll.

Step 9: Put It All Together!

Th last step to the dress is to simply sew the side seams, shoulder seams, and turn up the hem and neckline. The other amazing thing I love about polar fleece is that you don't have to worry abut finishing the edges...you can just leave them raw!
The dress turned out exactly the way I wanted it to look. It fit my daughter perfectly, and I love the placement of the designs.
I hope to have inspired you to create something! Share your ideas and thoughts! Thanks for reading!
I have entered this instructable in the Dress Contest... If you like it, please vote for me! Thank you!

Comments

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sangeetajha made it!(author)2016-04-16

Looks Lovely dress

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flyingpuppy made it!(author)2016-04-08

Do you think 55 is too old to wear a dress like that? I want one!

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artzcool made it!(author)2016-04-09

No! I was thinking about making one for myself too! Lol
Thank you!

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always+curious made it!(author)2016-04-04

Looks lovely and surely comfortable to wear. Congratulations.

Was living in Australia for many years, and used polar fleece many years ago. Now in Europe in a country where there is no polar fleece! So have tried secondhand shops and come across excellent quality tops - used 1 sleeve to make winter hat, then a pull down neck warmer. Trying for hood/scarf thing later for next winter.

Polar fleece is marvellous and your tip about "finishing" the item is excellent.

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artzcool made it!(author)2016-04-04

I can't believe you can't buy polar fleece in some countries... It is one of my favourite fabrics to sew! Second hand stores are a great idea! Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

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kokoleo made it!(author)2016-04-03

Super cute! Looks comfy too.

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parisusa made it!(author)2016-04-02

I didn't know anything about working with fleece! Great tips! I love your daughter's pose! And the position of the sun is so clever! No pattern is my type of sewing. Tracing is the best!

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artzcool made it!(author)2016-04-02

Thanks so much! Much appreciated :)

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alisonb made it!(author)2016-04-02

very sweet dress, she looks very cute in it.

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