I needed to make a dress inexpensively and fast. Thus was born: How to make a dress quickly and easily when all you have is just enough fabric for the skirt part (and that has to be pieced together) and an inexpensive pattern.
1st: Go to the thrift store and get a couple of nice pullover, knit or stretch knit shirts that you like. Make sure they go down to at least and inch or so above your pelvic bones. Wash it.
Step 1: The fabric preparation.
Get your pattern (something super simple) and set it aside. Sew the fabric scraps together lengthwise with the grain (knitwise). For this, I sewed 3 strips of floral print stretch knit fabric that were 36 inches long, together for the front and I sewed 2 pieces together for the back.
Step 2: Adjusting the pattern
Cut out the front and back pieces of your dress pattern (they will pretty much be identical on the simpler patterns). Cut off the top part of the dress pattern 2 inches or so above where the waist line is marked. There should be a line to make an adjustment to shorten the dress at the waistline for a short waisted person. I cut mine off at that point.
Step 3: Sewing the skirt pieces
Take the pieced fabric, fold it in half and lay your pattern onto it making sure that your arrows go with the grain of the knitting and that your piecework seams match up evenly. Cut out your skirt pieces and sew the side seams. Use a contrasting fabric marker to mark the side seams for future reference.
Step 4: The shirt preparation
Take the washed shirt and turn it inside out. Using a seam ripper, rip open the bottom seam (or the shirt's hemmed edge).