Step 1: Supplies and Equipment
Satin - about a yard
Cotton Jersey - one oversized t-shirt of 1 to 2 yards, depending on how long you like your dresses
Satin Ribbon - 3-4 yards of 1 7/8" wide
Sewing Thread - match the colors, but I shouldn't have to tell you that
Sewing basics - scissors, chalk, pins, etc
Sewing machine - ideally this will have a stretch stitch, otherwise use a narrow zig-zag
Laser - join a fab lab/tech shop, find a laser cutting service, make friends with a laser owner or I guess you could pick one up at your nearest laser store
Computer with vector friendly software - Illustrator is my first choice, Inkscape works well and is open source (free)
Some notes about fabric choices:
Because I was planning to use a laser on this dress materials selection became a priority. I love silk, cotton and wool as much as anyone, but natural fibers burn when lasered and fray easily afterward. Vinyl releases chlorine gas when cut with a laser which is probably bad for humans and definitely bad for the lenses in a laser unless it has special ventilation set up.
This left me with polyester as my first choice. When you cut it with a laser the edges melt and leave you with a fray resistant edge. It also comes in a huge variety of colors - I chose a pretty shade of coral. That said, I wanted a dress I could throw on to go out on a summer evening and I'm not a fan of wrapping myself in layers of plastic when it's warm.
I decided to make the dress itself from cotton jersey and use the polyester as cap sleeves and a belt. It's the best of both worlds - the cotton is soft and matte in finish, the satin adds a little sparkly formality without having to feel like I'm wearing a disco ball. Because the fabric stores I frequent seem to be avoiding stocking jersey at all costs and I really don't like the way interlock wears I opted to pick up a plain black very oversized t-shirt. Go for a good brand, the quality of the fabric will be a lot nicer. Also pre-wash it, failure to do this may result in a dress that is embarrassingly short after it's been washed.