An off-the-shoulder dress is an attractive alternative to a strapless dress, allowing you to show off your shoulders without being completely exposed. It’s a versatile style that can be both sexy and sophisticated. If you make the dress yourself, you can customize it to your needs. You can make it short and wear it to clubs or you can make it long and wear it to the office. It is a simple dress to make even without a pattern.
Things You'll Need
Measure yourself from your armpit to the length you want the dress. Draw a line on the paper with the pencil the same length as the measurement plus 1 inch to create the center front.
Measure yourself across the chest from armpit to armpit. Draw a line on the paper starting at the top of the center front line and perpendicular to it, the length of half the armpit-to-armpit measurement, to create the neckline.
Measure yourself around the bust. Mark a point on the center front line 3 inches from the neckline. Measure from that point, perpendicular to the center front line, to 1/4 your bust measurement plus 1 inch. Mark that point with the pencil.
Draw a line curving in about an inch between the point you just made and the end of the neckline, for the armhole.
Measure yourself from your armpit to your hips. Measure along the center front line the distance you just measured, starting from the neckline. Mark the point with the pencil. Measure yourself around the hips. Measure on the paper from the point you just made to 1/4 your hip measurement plus 1 inch and mark that point.
Mark a point on the paper halfway between the hip point and the chest point, 2 inches closer to the center front line. Draw a curved line connecting all three points to create the waist.
Draw a line on the paper, starting at the bottom of the center front line and perpendicular to it, the length of 1/4 the hip measurement plus 3 inches to create the hemline. Draw a diagonal line from the hip point to the end of the hemline.
Cut out the pattern by cutting along the lines with the scissors.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing each other. Pin the pattern on the fabric, lining up the center front line with the fold. Cut out the front of the dress by cutting around the pattern. Remove the pattern. Cut another piece the same way for the back.
Pin the front of the dress to the back of the dress along the sides with right sides facing each other. Sew the front to the back of the dress along the side seams 1/2 inch from the edge with the sewing machine.
Measure yourself around the shoulders with your arms down. Cut a long rectangle of fabric 9 inches long by your shoulder measurement plus 1 inch in width.
Fold both long edges of the rectangle in 1/4 inch with the wrong sides facing each other. Sew the edges in place using a stretch stitch, as close to the inner edge as possible.
Fold the rectangle in half widthwise with right sides facing each other. Sew the short ends of the rectangle together 1/2 inch from the ends to create a loop.
Pin the top edge of the loop to the top edge of the dress with the right sides of the loop facing the wrong side of the dress. Line up the center of the back of the dress with the seam on the loop. Sew the loop to the front and back of the dress 1/4 inch from the edges using a stretch stitch.
Fold the loop in half lengthwise over the top edge of the dress. Sew all the way around the open end of the loop, 1/4 inch from the bottom edge of the loop using a stretch stitch.
Fold the hem of the dress up 1 inch with wrong sides facing each other. Sew the hem in place using a stretch stitch.
References and Resources"Designing Apparel through the Flat Pattern"; Ernestine Kopp; 1960
"Guide to Fashion Sewing"; Connie Amaden-Crawford; 1986