When it is summer at our place, the heat gets to you so much that it makes you burn inside-out, and you forget all your good intentions of eco-friendly living and the family budget and put on the A/C at full blast all day and night. On the clothing side, I usually make some simple night dresses in this pattern for the times when I am out of the purview of the A/C. I even go a little bolder sometimes and make a loose loungewear with simple straps. Here is the pattern and sewing tutorial.
Cut out the Bodice pieces
Take two fabric pieces – 40 inches long and atleast 36 inches wide. Fold them by the middle and mark as in the picture below. If you only have a fabric which is 36 inches wide, you can take H-F as 18 inches- which is the maximum width you can get.
A-B is the folded side.
Cut out and make the strap pieces
Cut straps 11 1/2 inch long and 2 1/2 -3 inch wide (depending on the width of strap you want). Cut this fabric on the bias. 2 1/2 inch wide fabric will make you a 1 inch wide strap, which is good enough.
Fold by the middle and then fold the two edges to the inside.Press and then stitch in place for your strap. If you think this is a too wide strap and you want thinner, check out this post on making thin fabric tubes.
Make the central pleat
Find the middle of the bodice top edge. Fold the bodice by this middle, right sides to the inside. If you have a printed fabric, ensure that it is aligned symmetrically.
From the middle fold mark the extra you have added for the pleat. I have added 2.5″ So I sew this 2.5 inches, 8 inches from the top edge- the red line in the picture below.
Now fold this extra fabric into an inverted pleat, at the back.
Stitch this pleat in place.
It will look like this from the front – The extra fabric is stitched as a pleat and forms room enough at the bottom part of the dress.
It will look like this, when everything is done.
Bind the armhole
Cut out bias fabric pieces to bind the armhole. Do so for all 4 armholes.
Join the strap to the front bodice
Cut out 2, 1 1/2 inch fabric pieces for binding the top edges of the two bodices.
Keep the strap pieces inside the binding piece and the bodice piece. Stitch the top edge.
Cut out the side in shape for the armline – the red line in the picture below. Remember to leave atleast 1/4 inch at the sides to fold to the inside.
Turn the binding to the back and hand sew in place.
Join the strap to the back bodice
Keep the other side of the straps to the back bodice. Sandwich this with the other binding piece.(The back bodice is kept right side up. The front bodice is kept backside up on top)
Stitch in place.
Turn to the back and Hand sew in place.
Join the side seams and Hem the dress
Finish the sides and sew the hem. You have to make a narrow hem, because of the curve at the hem.