Like any bride, I immediately started scouring for cute, white dresses to wear as soon as I got engaged. Even though my engagement party thrown by my family had already come and gone (and was held in the deep of winter in Chicago, so white was definitely out of the question), I still figured I could wear white dresses for the next year for bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and the like. The only issue with white is usually that it has to be really high quality to:
- Not be see through.
- Not look cheap.
I found one I loved, but it was $180, so it didn’t really feel a match. Instead of continuing my search, I designed one that is perfect for summer and any bridal occasion you can think of! It has a full, tiered skirt and a fitted bodice. The cutest little straps add for a fun detail, and I realize now that I fully copied them from Julia Engel’s Gal Meets Glam collection dress that is too cute not to love!
In designing this dress, I started with a fitted bodice with darts. After I had completed the construction of the top, it had a horrible fit. Being bustier, the darts didn’t do enough to create a fitted silhouette at the waist. Instead of darts I changed the design to add princess seams, and I really love how it turned out. They are simple to create in a tube top style bodice since it’s such a short section to cover, and they make the entire top fit perfectly.
The other fun addition to the construction of this dress was adding in a cinched back instead of a zipper. Being able to throw this dress on over my head and flex with every glass of rose consumed makes it much more wearable. It’s a little tricky to conceptualize, but all you need is a rectangular piece of fabric and a lot of 1/8″ elastic. By sewing strips of elastic on to the rectangle of fabric and stretching them as you sew, you are able to achieve a ruffled look that stretches when thrown over your head. Just make sure to remember to sew enough skirt to the back section so that it can also stretch!
In order to make this dress completely opaque, two layers of cotton-poly were required, resulting in a fully lined dress. I don’t think anyone is complaining about that, but it does add a significant amount of time as you’re essentially making two dresses!
Head over to Fabric Wholesale Direct to check out the full DIY instructions and pattern!