DIY Tutorial: V-Neck Dress - College Fashion

DIY Tutorial: V-Neck Dress

a.k.a. Introduction to Pattern Making!
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Reformation Cherry Red Cote Dress

Cote Dress from The Reformation

For this week's DIY tutorial, I will be showing you how to make a cute dress that you can whip up in about an hour. 

I’ve based this tutorial on a red v-neck dress that I saw on The Reformation's website. Although it’s quite a summery dress, you can continue to wear this into the fall by layering it over a turtleneck and tights. Read on to learn how to make your very own dress.

Things you will need:

  • 1 meter stretch fabric

Note: Using a stretch fabric means not having to put in a zipper, or other types of closures. Although, if you make this a looser-fitting dress, you could get away with woven materials as well. I suggest materials such as ponté, or other thicker knits. As for wovens, denim and corduroy would work well.

  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine 

How to Make It:

First, cut out your pattern pieces. I’ve used a different format than usual for this tutorial, as the pieces were too big to fit on my backdrops! Hopefully this will be clear, or even clearer than usual.

Learn how to draft your own dress pattern with this easy tutorial.

Trace a well fitting t-shirt to create the top pattern.

Learn how to draft your own dress pattern with this easy tutorial.

Add a straight line to create the front v-neckline.

For the top of the dress, lay a t-shirt that fits you well on top of some tracing paper, then outline the shoulder, neckline, and waist, as shown in the image. Be sure to add a half-inch of seam allowance on all raw edges. 

Then, draw a straight line down from the neckline to create the v-neck. Cut out the back following the original, and the front following the straight line.

Learn how to draft your own dress pattern with this easy tutorial.

Cut two identical trapezoids for the skirt pieces.

For the skirt pieces, cut two trapezoids. The top part should measure half of your waist measurement, and the bottom about 1.5 times that measurement. If desired, you can also add pockets using our “How to Add Pockets” tutorial as a guide.

Learn how to draft your own dress pattern with this easy tutorial.

Attach the top at the shoulder and side seams.

Sew the front pieces together along the shoulder and side seams. Then, fold in the neck and arm holes by half an inch and hem them down. Sew the skirt together at the side seams.

Learn how to draft your own dress pattern with this easy tutorial.

Use a zig zag stitch to attach the two dress pieces at the waist.

Attach the top to the bottom piece by flipping the top piece so it’s "right side" out. Then, put the skirt piece over it "wrong side" out, and sew them together along the waist using a long zig-zag stitch

The reason for using a zig-zag stitch here is so that it continues to stretch, as opposed to a regular straight stitch, which may break when you try and put the dress on. 

Finally, hem the skirt to finish off your dress!

The Finished Project:

You're done!

You're done!

This is probably the most complicated project I’ve done on here, and involves the basics of pattern designing. After all, you've basically designed this entire dress! 

And feel free to customize by making it with a round neck, or even a square neckline. I hope everything was clear to you, and feel free to ask questions in the comments below. 

Will you be making your own v-neck dress?

As always, share your work over on Instagram by tagging us @collegefashion. We can't way to see what you create!

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