How to make dresses without any real talent or patterns

So I was reading Tavi’s plea for an equivalent of Sassy magazine & her longing for DIY stuff and it occurred to me that I should’ve posted how I made my salopette dress the other day. Because, face it; blogs are the new Sassy. A magazine is a platform funded by the fashion and advertising industry which means that it has to romanticise consumption. So why are we waiting for a (non-independent) magazine to pop up that tells the ugly truth about the fashion industry and its fucked up beauty standards, why are we waiting for it to tell us that yes you can have style and a full outfit for under 10 Euro (if you’re willing to invest some time), and why are we waiting for magazines to feature some kick ass DIY? Why are we waiting while we have THE MAGICS OF THE INTERNET?? Blogs are (mostly) unbiased and are free to do exactly this and that’s why we love them.

The internet is a source of unaccountable joy as such it seems made out of rainbows and unicorn blood. Where else can you hear about a band that has only made three singles in the 80s in full obscurity and hear the music instantly? Where else can you find surrealist communist films from the 70s etc. etc. In my pre-teen, internet-less years of loving jazz I discovered three jazz musicians I love in THREE YEARS, I can discover over ten new musicians in a couple of hours now. All the knowledge I’ve gathered in maybe six years of the internet could’ve taken me a whole lifetime without the internet! I HAVE NOTHING BUT UNDYING LOVE FOR THE INTERNET AND YES THIS NEEDS TO BE IN CAPSLOCK.

Anyway, let it be known I have no patience for the absolute and wholly horrible act that is sewing. HATE HATE HATE. It’s the most tedious thing to do for me, so if you feel the same don’t let it stop you from making dresses! These things took me less than three hours to make. I also didn’t use a sewing machine most of the time. Add a cocktail and some catchy music and you’ll actually have fun doing this! Click the images for bigger.

Salopette dress as seen here. I got the fabric for 2 Euro at the flee market. It was originally a table cloth! 😀 Total cost = 2 Euro

salopettedresDIY

Dress with collar as seen here and here. I just cut out the collar and sewed it onto the fabric. It’s done pretty horribly and I’m sure there’s a better way so I didn’t describe that one. I found the fabric with a friend and demanded him to give it to me. Total cost = 0 Euro.

dresswcollarDIY

Apple dress as seen here. This one is most simple of all! I’m pretty sure this only took up one hour of my time though admittedly I did use my sewing machine. I got the fabric from my neighbour. Total cost = 0 Euro.

simpledressDIY

Also a high-waisted skirt as seen here and here. Now this is EASY. It mostly takes me a half an hour to do this or less. Fabric for 8 Euro in a cheap store. I made two skirts out of this one and still have some left! I forgot to add that this has to be a little wider than the biggest part of your hips/thighs.

skirtDIY

Additional info/tips:

fabric

Of course, not everyone can get second hand fabrics (though seriously check out the bedlinen and stuff in your local charity shop) but in cheap fabric stores you can get some from ranging around 8-15 Euro.

Perfectly finished dresses are for losers! & remember kids: only cut a little of the fabric and then rip off the rest for a straight line. It’s less time consuming and easy!

Also, don’t be afraid to tell me if something isn’t clear! I’ll answer your question(s) in the comments.

EDIT: I put a zipper in the side of my dresses, I fold the fabric and sew the zipper straight on. This way there’s less sewing 😀

19 Comments

  • IKR?
    If it wasn’t for the internet I honestly don’t think I would have half of the knowledge of certain things that I do now. And I wouldn’t have met some of the most amazing people! (amazing people do NOT live where I live,unfortunately)

    Ooh and I’m definitely gonna try out the salopette-dress!
    Now I just have to find some sheets that will work…

  • I am a big fan of pattern-less sewing, thanks for these! I find patterns so tedious, and every once in a while I’ll try them out but can never figure out the sizing and all that stuff.

    I agree with you re: internet, although I do have a soft spot for “real” magazines as well, it’s just too bad about their contents. To me it is sort of like Kindle vs real books, or downloads vs vinyl albums, although I guess that is different because their contents are the same. 🙂

    • Hooray! I can’t figure out patterns as well + it’s much more enjoyable when you go this way because there’s no pressure of ever doing something wrong and messing everything up. It’s just that simple 😀

      I love magazines too, but I stopped expecting them to bring us DIY, cheap things, truthful articles about the fashion industry etc. I just tend to regard them as something completely different now.

  • Ands thank you for taking over where sassy left off lol. I have felt no need for magazines since I started reading blogs 😉

    • Haha yay. Me too though I do like a magazine sometimes, I just started expecting different things from it.

  • Hehe I like the little drawings! Patternless sewing doesn’t work that well for me though, I’ve done it a few times but I find it very frustrating XD. Sewing classes for me!

    • I don’t even understand how that is possible! If you use pins to keep everything together before you sew it, it is literally the easiest thing in the world. You also can’t use clumsiness as an excuse because I am intensely clumsy as well 😀

  • Oh what a fun post!! I have some pointers too if you need any. I am in a few design classes right now as you probably already know from my blog. You dont seem like you need any though. Ha Thats so crazy about the birdies in your hair. Shoot me your address via email so I can send you a little birdie..

    Twila
    blog.twilasvintageclothing.com
    twilasvintageclothing.com
    twilasvintageclothing@gmail.com

  • ARGH dit is awesome. Ik ben echt geen fan van dingen naaien, heb er een haat-liefde verhouding mee, want ik merk dat zodra ik er mee bezig ben, het echt heel kamerend werkt. Maar ik ben echt verre van goed. Vind ook dat je gelijk hebt in het internet als magazine gebeuren. Praise the internets! Hahaha en unicorn blood? LOVE. Ik ga denk ik je jurk-ideeen een keer proberen, lekker kalmerend!
    Oh en ik ben trouwens jaloers op je “english writing skills”, ik merk dat ik vaak heel veel te vertellen heb, maar dit gewoon niet kan uitdrukken in het engels…zucht
    xxx

  • Yes, the internet’s really AMAZING; the best part is that you have COMPLETE creative freedom to say and do whatever you want, plus the ability to share to others all over the world.

    Thanks for sharing the dress tutorial; when it comes to sewing, I have 2 left hands, but I might even give it a try 🙂

  • That’s so sweet of you! I’ve been considering sharing ‘how-to’s’ on some of the things I make. There’s nothing nowadays to help people out easily.

    x x x

  • OMG, I’ve been thinking lately about wanting to make a dress! I have one idea in particular in mind and really want to try it, but I agree about sewing. I have basic sewing skills but it’s so tiring and blah and tedious. But your yellow dress above is AWESOME and now I’m inspired!

  • How do you get in or out of the dresses, you didn’t explain that in your instructions, though I’m guessing you use a zipper.
    Am I right or is there some easier method of getting out of the dress?

    • Oh, right sorry! I use zippers in the side of the dress! Though for my salopette dress I’ve used a big safety pin since I had enough fabric… but I wouldn’t advise that. In the skirt I’ve just used a big elastic band.

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