13 January 2011

DIY: le sac dress

kinda d i f f i c u l t ][ 2-3 hours
cost: $10-20 depending (compare to $38-$48 at american apparel)
shop at: fabric stores (Jo-ann Fabrics, or search Google for local shops)
read: the instructions once though before you get started

This super versatile dress is mad fun to play with.
I hope the pictures help, it's hard to explain sewing via words.
This dress is literally a rectangle. If you've ever sewn a drawstring backpack, it's very similar!


- sewing machine that can do a straight stitch OR be tough & sew by hand
- iron
- scissors
- ruler
- pins
- big safety pin
- 1-1.5 yards of knit jersey fabric (t-shirt material for the body, make sure it's not too heavy or see-through)
- 1/3 - 1/2 yard of cotton fabric (for the string; you can expand to other types later, in the meantime, cotton is great for beginners, less fuss, plus it comes in fun prints!)
- thread in a color that goes with/matches the knit jersey fabric
- basic understanding of sewing machine or someone who can help you

1. For the body, decide your length & width. I made mine with 21" x 31" pieces for a short, slim fit. You know your size, so go from there. To play it safe, always make it a little bigger. Cut your size rectangles out of the fabric. You can always tweak it later, or make a second dress in a new size.

2. Fold the sides of the rectangle inward, about the first 7 inches at 1/2 inch on both sides on both body pieces. Pin down. Stitch down.

3. Fold the top of the body piece inward 1.5 inches. Pin down. Stitch down all the way across, near the edge. This is the tube for the string to slide through. Repeat for other body piece.

4. Right sides together, pin the rectangles to each other. Stitch (or overlock, if you have a machine) the sides all the way down, but do NOT stitch up the arm holes or top tube.

5. The String: use iron to create tidy creases. See visual aid. It's just a bit of folding & stitching. Use pins to help it stay put.

6. Push the finished string through the two tubes. Attach a safety pin (or profesh pull tool) to the end to make it easier.

7. Done! Try it on & play with different arrangements you like. Prepare to get compliments. :]

SEWING TIP: when you start stitching, go back and forth over the first 3-5 stitches to reenforce the strength. Do the same thing at the end of a line of stitching before you cut it off the machine. Don't be afraid to pull out your stitches and try again if you run into problems.

FABRIC TIP: some knit jersey comes in a tube, so you can skip the sideseams! just cut slits/stitch the arm holes & top tubes for the string.

ALTERNATIVE IDEAS: use any fairly lightweight fabric for the dress body; just be careful with obvious wrong & right sided fabrics. You wouldn't want the white on the outside & the flowers on the inside. // use ribbon or other strong string instead of making your own. keep in mind it will be tugging at your neck. make sure it's not itchy!

SIZE ISSUES: If your dress is too small or too short, you can wear it as a skirt or top! See links below for info.
Or if it's a total disaster...sew up the bottom and use it as a bag or...an umbrella case? haha. & try again. :]

How to Wear & Other Details:
AA Dress Page: http://store.americanapparel.net/rsa0300.html
AA's Youtube, with dress-arranging videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq-J_3a5pSw&feature=related

be sure to check out my other projects!

DIY #2
♥ I worked really hard on this tutorial. It took a long time to prepare.
I was obviously inspired by American Apparel.
but I came up with the instructions & drew the sketches & took the photos myself.
So if you see this anywhere else, it's not the original.
original polyvore post date: 8/15/09


  1. Stefanie ♥'s Kneesock :)17 July, 2011

    Amazing! Mind, where do you get all of these from? You must have some kind of book or website that gives you the measurements/ideas and everything. Help?

  2. Nope! I'm inspired by what I see in different places, and I figure out measurements on my own, trial and error. :)


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