Monday, May 7, 2012

Zero Waste Evening Gown

Sewing Level:  Easy

Do you ever feel guilty throwing fabric scraps away?  It is possible to design beautiful clothing that uses the entire fabric yardage without creating scraps; it is called zero waste design.  I created this blue gown from nine yards of 44" wide silk chiffon without removing selvage edges or creating scraps.  The fit is flexible and very comfortable.  If you can cut rectangles and triangles, fold them and stitch them together, you can design and sew this gown. 

To create the bodice, take a 36" long panel of fabric, and fold it both across the width and the length, making a 18" x 44" box.  One fold is center front, the other fold is part of the collar.  Remove triangles of fabric to open armholes and provide fabric for a collar.  Cut a second bodice to serve as lining.  Join the bodice to the lining at the armholes, turn and press.

To create the three tier skirt, determine the three finished lengths.  If the longest tier is 40", the panel needs to be 82" long:  (40" finished length + 1" seam allowance at waist) x 2. The second tier has a 35" finished length so the panel needs to be 72" long (35+1) x 2. The top tier has a 24" finished length so the panel is 50" long (24+1) x 2. Fold each panel and seam the selvage edges; then join to bodice at waist, insert elastic, and you are done.

If this doesn't sound easy but you like the dress, the pattern and illustrated cutting and sewing instructions will be posted on this website in June so please check back.  

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