Step 2: Fold, Cut, and Sew
2. Basically, you just want to fold your skirt in half and cut off the waistline (mine was elastic) and then cut from the waistline down to the side to create armholes. Its worth it to throw it on after you cut off the waistline and get a feel for how wide you want your neckline and how large to make your armholes. Another way to do it is use a tank top you already have as a guide, although you may still need to adjust it a bit. Make the neckline area a little wider than you would like. It will be gathered by the necktie in the end.
3. Next you want to hem all your raw edges you’ve just created. I don’t own a serger (dangit) so I just zigzag stitched the edges and then folded them under and straight stitched (on the armholes only) about a quarter inch.
4. The next thing you’ll do it create a pocket at the neckline for the sash/necktie/whatever-you-call-it to go through. Just fold under about 2 inches or so and straight stitch the bottom of the fold. *TIP* Be aware of the fabric that you’re working with. You might need to zigzag stitch the whole thing if you’re working with stretchy fabric. Mine was linen.
5. Now you need to make the necktie with your scrap fabric. I had a cut up old white sheet I used. I simply made a long sash by cutting out about a 5 inch wide strip and then folded it in half (right sides together) and stitching it together along the edge. Then I turned it right side out and stitched up the ends. Then feed it through the neckline pocket you made with both ends coming off to one side in the front. *TIP* Use a large safety pin attached to the end of your necktie to feed it through the pocket easily.
6. Now, put on your dress. It will look kinda like you’re wearing a potato sack with a cute little bow. Find where you’d like to create a “waist” and pin that area on each side.
7. Next, take it off, and mark with straight pins (or a fabric chalk) straight across to the other pin to make a straight waistline guide.
8. Next, wrap a long piece of elastic around your waist at the same area wear you pinned on your dress. Find the size/tension that you like and cut the elastic to that size.
9. Now, sew the elastic onto your dress following the waistline guide you’ve created (turn the dress inside out again and sew the elastic on the inside of the dress). To sew elastic so that it gathers the fabric (also known as ruching), start off by tacking the elastic down (preferably on a side seam) and then pull on the elastic to stretch it a bit as you slowly stitch it to the fabric. Practice on scraps first if you have never done this before. You’ll get the hang of it. Try to keep the same amount of tension on the elastic through the entire waistline so that it gathers evenly.