Tuesday, September 22, 2015

simple tunic dress sewing tutorial (or, the Cerberus Dress)

I've been making a lot of my own dresses lately, if you remember in the last couple weeks I made my high low swing dress and told you how to make it, as well as my sleeveless coat. This dress I made on a whim, because of the fabric. I was buying fabric for my Halloween costume and found this green fabric with what looks like the Cerberus symbol from Mass Effect (the video game, for those of you less nerdy then Noah and I). Which I've been watching Noah play hours and hours of recently. No really, check it out:

Yup. Nerdy to the max.

So of course I totally bought the fabric, and brought it home to show him. And of course he got the reference immediately. True love, right?

Regardless of the nerd-tastic beginnings, the Cerberus Dress is a huge success, and super easy to make your own. And you don't have to use a fabric that reminds you of a video game to end up with an elegant, simple dress. Today I'm going to share the tutorial with you!

you will need

2.5-3 yards of thin cotton or other finely woven fabric
a tank top that fits you well, for making the top of your dress
paper (for making a pattern, I used wrapping paper)
sewing machine 
thread that matches your fabric

making your pattern

To make yourself a pattern, you need your paper and tank top. Lay your tank out on top of your paper, and trace it, giving yourself about .5 inches all around for hemming and sewing it together. The back and front may be a little different, usually the neckline is lower in the front, so you may want to include this detail. 

To turn it into a dress pattern, extend your back piece until it measures to the back of your calves, and make the front piece around knee length. If you'd like them to be curved like mine is, add that to your hem. Cut out your pattern pieces and use them to cut your fabric. 

the process

1. Cut your back piece out of your fabric, holding it up and making sure its the right length.

2. Cut out your front piece, and on either side of the bust mark a place for side darts, one on either side seam. they should be about 1 inch long and extend three inches into the torso. This is to help give the dress a tiny bit more shape.

3. Sew your darts into the front piece, on the wrong side of the fabric.

4. Sew along the side seams and the shoulder seams. Do two seams, the first one a straight stitch along the seams, and the second one a zigzag stitch just outside of it to keep the edges from fraying and having your dress fall apart.

5. Fold over the neckline twice, and sew with a straight stitch. This may be fairly difficult, and will be easier if you make this a very small seam.

6. Fold over the hem edges twice and sew using a straight stitch.

7. Fold over the arm hole edges twice and sew with a straight stitch. You're done, it's that easy!

A very important step if you want your dress to have a finished professional look, iron it using a steam iron. this makes it so that all your edges lay flat and your hems don't wrinkle. Trust me, it's worthwhile. But if you're using a synthetic fabric, be sure to lay a towel over it and iron on top so you don't melt your fabric. 

I hope you love this dress as much as I do! If you have any questions please feel free to email me. And if you make one of your own I'd love to see pictures! In the meantime if you want more fun tutorials you can check those out here. Have fun sewing!

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  1. Great post, great dress! Thanks for sharing.

  2. AMAZING DRESS!! I absolutely LOVE IT!!

    You look beautiful!


  3. love this! you look great in this color . Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature on Monday xo

  4. Nice dress and so fresh, love it. Thank you so much for sharing on #wednesdayswisdom, have a great week

  5. i love to sew and this is a great idea. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

  6. I love the shade of blue just perfect for our Spring and Summer here in Australia. Thanks for sharing your pattern and how to make this dress at #WednesdaysWisdom

  7. I love love love that fabric! Thanks for the tutorial, I need to make myself some new dresses for this summer.

    And thanks again for linking up to And Sew We Craft Together.

  8. What a pretty dress! I love the fabric too - even though I don't play Mass Effect ;-) Thank you for sharing this excellent tutorial with us at Hearth and Soul - pinning!