Tuesday, November 15, 2011

THE DOUBLE AGENT DRESS TUTORIAL


that's right, bitches.

gather:
about 3 yards of four way stretch jersey, 60 width (you can get away with 2 way if you're careful)
polyester thread
ball point needle & pins
tissue paper
ruler & measuring tape
some good tequila 

measure: (my measurements in parenthesis for example)
armhole, just loop your tape loosely from top shoulder, under arm and back to top shoulder  (16)
waist  (28)
bust at widest point  (34)
hip at widest point  (38)
dress length:  from lower point of underarm to wherever.  knee.  ankle.  thigh (slut).  (28)

calculate:
A: armhole divided by 2 = __    (8)
B: waist measurement divided by 4 = __    (7)
C: bust measurement divided by 4 = __    (8.5)
D: hip measurement divided by 4 = __    (9.5)
E: length stays the same = __    (28)

that's a lot of math for me.  at this point, i suggest you get your tequila out and have a good swig.  DON'T SHOOT IT, GODSAKES THAT'S QUALITY TEQUILA.  done sipping?  let's make the pattern pieces.

using your new figures, make your top and bottom pattern pieces:

TOP: one rectangle, on the fold, measuring E by B  (28 x 7)
BOTTOM: one rectangle, on the fold, measuring E by D  (28 x 9.5)


these are SO not to scale.  i drew them about forty times and finally gave up.

now make your BUST piece:  draw a straight line equaling A (for me, 8 inches long).  this is your center fold.  now draw a line equaling D for the bottom edge, and a line for the upper edge equaling B.  at the midpoint of A, measure across equaling C.  it should look like this:


now connect those dots by drawing in a nice little curve on the open edge.  this is where your arm will go.   

you now have all three of your pattern pieces!

add your seam allowance all along the edges of all pattern pieces, except on the fold.  unless of course you're a hoochie mama and you want it tight, then forget the extra room.  you may also want to make it in hot pink spandex.  or dizzying stripes.  no judgement here.

you'll need to cut each piece out, on the fold, twice.  

sew bottom edge of BUST piece to upper edge of BOTTOM piece.  sew upper edge of BUST piece to lower edge of TOP piece.  it will look like this:


you now have one half of the dress.  do the same for the remaining pieces.  join front and back at side seams, matching bust piece seams, remembering to keep that nice little curve you created for your armhole open on the BUST piece.  duh, who would sew it all the way up without armholes.

now dance around in front of the mirror while you shimmy in and out of its myriad looks.  try it upside down to start off with.  at this point, you should have had enough tequila to come up with some interesting combos...







some other thoughts:  

don't have a serger?  you should be able to zigzag the seam with great results.  make sure your seam allowance is wide enough so that the zig zag is at least 1/4 of an inch away from the seam edge.  this will help keep it from bubbling.  don't have a zig zag setting? stretch your jersey at both ends while sewing with a looooong stitch.  but really, straight stitch sally, get a zig zag.

if you cut carefully, you can leave your edges raw, as stretch jersey doesn't fray-- just look at anything made by american apparel.    

always use the right machine needle!  ball point, jersey, or, in trampy spandex land, stretch.  and 100% poly thread is your friend.  your very good curve loving friend.

my biggest difference in measurement is ten inches.  i have no idea if this will work with a wider differential. again, get your tequila out, and try it.  the worst that could happen is you'll end up with a cool cowl scarf and a nice buzz.

lemme know if you do it, and above all, please tell me what you chose to imbibe whilst doing.  priorities.

(ps: feeling too lazy to sew?  slacker.  enter my shabby apple giveaway to win a candy cane dress!)

39 comments:

  1. I'm feeling a bit lightheaded now from laughing so hard. Or maybe from all the math. Oh, could it be the tequila? Is 9AM too early for that?

    Thank you so much for the excellent tutorial and bootylicious photos. Thinking about squeezing my lumpy potato body into something so slinky and tight makes me feel a bit queasy (ok, queasiness probably from breakfast tequila) but if I find some fabric made of bungee cords this might be just the thing.

    But to be serious for a moment, you have made this look fun and easy and I might actually make a tunic-top sort of thing along the same lines. It's an awesome style and you look great in it!

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  2. Yea Girl! I'm glad you finally broke down and posted this goodness!
    I had to add a bit more curve in the lower half of the pattern for my version to keep it from looking like a sac (a bit more booty up in here)
    I just used a T-shirt dress as my pattern making two back pieces, not sewing the shoulder seams and attaching the funnel neck. I do feel a bit constricted when doing the exposed shoulders, covered arms look though.
    Thank you so much for consistently making me laugh and inspiring me. This dress is my favorite fall wardrobe item. Thanks to you! I'll have to send you some quality tequila, I'll have the Mexican hubby choose!

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  3. Awesome!! I love this dress and the addition on therapeutic tequila is brilliant!

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  4. Wise that the tequila comes after the math. LOL. Fantastic dress. I love how the stripes go in different directions.

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  5. hubba, hubba.
    I totally want to try this out. My hope is that it won't look like sausage casings on me.

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  6. I think I need to go shopping for some jersey!

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  7. fab dress,
    I'm off material shopping too after seeing this and I'm gona pick me up some tequila as-well, not had any of that in a while hehe! I think I will remember to drink the tequila after I make the dress other wise I may just sew the dress to myself!!

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  8. Eep, I've been too chicken to sew stretch, but I think you may have emboldened me enough to give it a whirl!

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  9. YAY! I LOVE. THIS .SO. MUCH!!!! You rock! YAY!

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  10. Ooh I am aso loving that dress with the red belt! Good patternmaking skills and you look hot!

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  11. Don't take this the wrong way (as it is a compliment in it's purest form): Good lord girl, you have an AMAZING ass!

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  12. I second Juliet. Now what was all that about not going to the gym? Looks like the dress is doing it for you! I might have to try it myself.

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  13. Dear Oona,

    You might in fact be the funniest sewing goddess I've ever come across. I will in future always mix tequila with my pattern cutting and sewing! ;)

    Awesome dress!

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  14. About bloody time missus! I've been hanging around waiting for this tute ;)

    Nice bum btw!

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  15. It's wine all the way with me, although drinking and sewing never ends in good results for me. This'll be the 1st project on my fantasy overlocker that I'm imagining purchasing with the imaginary money I don't have.

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  16. Oh, Oona, you're a lady worth sipping tequila for! (Yeah, in the past I've only shot it, with lemon and salt. Mostly on my 19th birthday, which is drinking age where I grew up) I do have a bottle of Bailey's that is definitely sip-worthy.

    I think I need a crazy striped jersey so I can try this. It just wouldn't be the same without the stripes.

    Thanks SO much for sharing! :)

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  17. Thank goodness I bought all that knit in NYC! I'm so stoked you finally made this for us! Although I think I'm going to start off with a top and then try the dress...form-fitting is NOT in Lisette's style.

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  18. @ EVERYONE: thanks y'all! remember, as lisette points out, you can always make it as a top if you're not feeling like wrapping yourself in a sausage casing (nicely worded, kelly).

    @ katrina: oh, miss blanchalle. not in kalkatroona, it isn't. just put it in some grapefruit juice and call it a breakfast cocktail. and bungee cord fabric. priceless.

    @ shkoober: WHAT. okay, but i'll have to send you something appropo in return. lemme think of something from my southern man...

    @ kelly: haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    @ juliet, amy, karen & nikki: i love you.

    @ tanit-isis: i would have expected no less of you.

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  19. Wow. You look so good. Thanks for sharing

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  20. I am VERY excited to try this! We leave this weekend for a two week trip to florida and I am on a mission to make some easy dresses that will pack/travel well. I might make a tunic (thigh/slut) length one too in a fabric I have only 1 yard of--such a fun versatile top. Thanks so much for posting this and your wonderful humorous way!!! i love that you left out the armholes--makes me feel better as a beginner seamstress!!! And the fact that you shared it is even better! :) Way to go!!

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  21. can you also wear it as a hoodie? What up OOOOONA! love your hair! do you like vodka? or are you lookin for a fun Holiday drink to really bring in the New Year?? Check out my post about the Famous Black Santa Holiday smooth one on the shabby apple giveaway.. maybe you give it a try Happy Holidays*Melissa

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  22. You get extra credit for this. I am so making one!!!

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  23. Hi, I remember this dress from a post awhile back. So glad you posted a tutorial. I just got a stripe jersey in the mail, so looking forward to trying this soon. Thanks!

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  24. I'm not sure if it's the Irish Coffee or the stripes that are making my head woozy... I love how you can wear the dress upside-down!

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  25. @ house: yo pinheiro, thanks!

    @ elizabeth: oh this is SO easy, you must make one for your trip. or twelve. but that's a lot of drinking.

    @ melissa: yes you can girl. just not with my hair at full strength. black santa? hells yeah! HOLLA!

    @ daughter fish: i know you're going to do some amazing trickery to it... levitating pockets or something...

    @ somethingelse: a looooong while :). i recommend thicker stripes, this one actually made me dizzy while working with it.

    @ alessa: see above reply. true story. and i so want irish coffee now.

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  26. I know that my next fabric purchase will be 3 yards of something stretchy & sexy. Just hope the extra in the hips isn't dreadful :/ Go tight or go home, right?

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  27. @ threadsquare: YES GIRL.

    @ stacie: thankya!

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  28. Thanks for sharing! This is my new favorite dress! http://star-spangledheart.blogspot.com/2011/11/sew-grateful-and-magic-of-jersey.html

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  29. Wow! Thanks for that wonderful tutorial. I bought my fabric, and I'm ready to start the project tomorrow. One question for you: who do you manage to get the long dress config on the burdastyle website? I'm a little bit confused about this one.

    Merci
    Gigi

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  30. I am DEFINATELY getting my ass out there to buy some more jersey and have a crack at this dress...
    It's incredible, and fantastically adaptable that, were it not for the smell after dancing and spilling too many drinks down it, you could wear it night after night and not wear it the same way twice.

    You're a sewing genius, so thankyou, now off to do some shopping, drinking and sewing :D

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  31. Ooh how much do I love your blog! This dress is fab, with or without tequila!

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  32. YOU are awesomesauce. i'm actually going to give this a shot. (a shot of sailor jerry, that is!)

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  33. Clearing out sewing junk in preparation for moving next week, found a pile of seventies floral stretch fabric I had no idea existed...clearly bourbon-fuelled late night packing is about to turn into bourbon-fuelled late-night sewing. Thank youuuuu.

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  34. The dress is alluring. Thanks for providing the tutorial on how to come up with it!

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  35. Hey I just made your dress and it came out pretty amazing! People literally stared in awe when I wore it around the grocery store (but to be fair, they're pretty allergic to color here). I think it would have been perfect had I realized that the fabric I used didn't stretch widthwise, too. Here's my super short blog post about it: http://thehannahblog.tumblr.com/post/20087160121/striped-dress

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