Do we all remember "ratpack’s":http://www.chictopia.com/photo/show/3813 infamous/ ridiculously rad do-it-yourself bandage dress? I know I do. I think if you search the comments you can find me delighting “make me one! make me one!” like I was at an NSYNC concert or something. And I was 12.
Rat_pack herself was super kind enough to provide us with Chictopia’s first official Blogger DIY (hopefully more in the future). I’ve divided it up into two parts so you can see everything step by step.
Setting up supplies
- Fabric (probably about 2-3 yards, depending on your size and on how bandagey you want the dress to look)
- Thread (same color as fabric and one contrasting color)
- Rotary cutter or scissors
- Roll of paper and pencil for pattern-making
- Sewing Machine
Creating the pattern
I have found that there are two good ways to make a pattern.
1) Take your measurements and use them to plot coordinates on your pattern paper to create a two-dimensional version of your shape.
Or if you’re averse to math,
2) Take something you own that fits you really well and copy it! I used a body-con tank dress and traced the shape onto my pattern paper.
Bear in mind that you only need to block out half the front piece and half the back piece on paper, because when you’re cutting, you can fold the fabric and place the center-line of your pattern on the fold to create a symmetrical piece of fabric.
Also note that this dress needs to be rather tight for the bandage strips to hug you properly, so if you’re using your measurements to create the pattern, make the pattern slightly smaller than you for optimal fit.
The finished pattern pieces should look something like this. The front and back pieces are virtually identical, only the back piece is straight across at the top, while the front piece should curve up a few inches higher towards the center for optimal boob-coverage. We’re aiming for decency here, people!
Cutting the fabric
Fold the fabric and place the straight edge of each pattern piece along the fold (that’s your center line) I used a rotary cutter to cut the pieces out of my fabric, but tracing the pattern pieces with a piece of chalk and cutting them out with scissors works equally well.
Once cut out, your dress pieces should look something like this! Front and back, respectively.
Cutting out the bandage strips
This is what will use up the majority of your fabric. I cut out the quantity of strips I thought I’d need… and then ended up cutting about three times as many by the time I was done!
The easiest way to do this is to fold up the fabric along the longest edge to the length of a ruler and slice off a bunch of two-inch wide strips.
Placing the bandage strips
Place the long 2-inch wide strips randomly over the dress pieces you have cut out.
Make sure the edges of the strips hang over the edge of the dress shape before you cut the strips to size; you can trim off the excess later.
Securing the bandage strips
To make sure the strips don’t go anywhere once you’ve placed them, it’s really important to baste (quickly hand-stitch) them onto the dress piece. I like to use a contrasting color of thread to make it easier to remove these stitches once the dress is done.
Trimming off the excess fabric
Once the strips are securely basted onto the dress piece, flip the whole thing over and trim off any strips of fabric peeking out from the edge of the dress shape. This will make it waaaay easier to match the edges when you stitch the front and back together.
After trimming off the excess, this is what the dress piece should look like when you flip it back over. Same shape as before, but covered in awesome bandagey radness. This is the front of the dress…. do the exact same thing with the back.
It’s also a good idea to really quickly hand-stitch down the center of each piece once the bandage strips are attached, so that you know which bandage strips go on which side once it’s all stitched together.