How to Make a Scuba Dress From Just Four Measurements

Hi I’m Linda from Sewing Bee Fabrics I want to show you how you can make this dress from about 2 metres of fabric and just a few measurements

So depending on your size, the width of the fabric and whether your pattern matching at all will depend on exactly how much you need but you’re probably going to want around 2 metres of fabric So I made my dress and a tiny little dress for my daughter out of the 2 metres There was just enough space around the edge of he circle to be able to get her a dress in as well Run run run run run Weeeeeeeeee! Woosh! So the measurements that you’re going to want to be able to take for your dress, is you’re going to want an over-bust measurement So you’re going to come around the back with your tape measure, underneath your armpits, and you’re literally coming over the bust, and obviously you’re going to want to get your hair out of the measurement otherwise you’ll be including that in your dress as well

So that’s your over-bust measurement You’re going to want to do a waist measurement You’re also going to want to do from over-bust to waist and then from waist to whatever length you want your skirt So I made mine to a knee length So now we’re going to turn those measurements into fabric This top line across here, this is going to be half of your over-bust measurement plus about an inch or a couple of centimetres dependant on which you’re working in

The bottom line is going to be half of your waist measurement plus an inch or a couple of centimetres If your more on the curvy side, you’re going to want to add a slight curve here You don’t want to add too much or it’s going to make it look a little bit baggy and you’re going to end up with extra fabric hanging around Because of it being a stretchy knit fabric, it’s going to conform a little better anyway You’re going to want to cut 2 of these so that your opposite back to back

Then what we’re going to do is to add a circle skirt to it Now the easiest way I find to make a circle skirt is to first cut out a circle that’s going to be effectively your waist Now to do that what you need to do is the bottom measurement that you had on your waist, you want to minus off your seam allowances so normally half an inch to a quarter of an inch on both sides And then from that, that’s your circumference So if you use a circle calculator on google and just find out what your radius would be, you can fold up a piece of square paper, so I’ve just used a bit of wrapping paper, and then trace out what your radius would be across here, snip across the end and then you can unfold it out and that would be the same as what your waist is

Now what I tend to do to make it easier to cut the fabric is I then fold that circle in half and then fold the fabric on it’s widest length so that you have half of your circle lined up with the fold on your fabric So that you’ve got the most amount of space around it And then you can measure out to whatever your desired skirt length is going to be and then from there mark it with pins as you go around and then snip around and through Now you want to cut this circle out really carefully because your going to want that later for your sleeves And as you can see you’ll end up with a giant piece of fabric with a big round hole in the middle

Now if you’ve cut your hole a little bit too big, don’t stress too much, what we can do is we can either gather it slightly or as your sewing it out you can always stretch the top a little bit to go with it, and then that will pull up the slack And that’s the beauty of sewing with knits Is that if your not 100% accurate, it’s going to be an awful lot more forgiving So this is going to be a lovely quick one to sew up because I’m using this scuba fabric, but this goes for any knit fabric, it doesn’t fray and so it’s up to you whether you choose to hem it or not Because scuba’s a little bit more structured and a little bit stiffer and a little bit like ponte then it will hold it’s shape a lot better than a jersey will which might roll a little bit so you might want to finish a jersey if your going to use that to make this kind of dress instead but for the scuba we just don’t have to so it’s really quick to sew up

On my sewing machine I’ve got a double needle here and I’ve also got a knit foot here It’s not necessary for scuba because it holds it’s shape better but I think it gives you a better movement and better stretch before you tend to break any stitches So this is how I prefer to sew it All I’m going to do is just sew a straight stitch I’ve got my 2 bodice pieces patterned side together and I’m just going to sew down the side seams

And then I’m just going to do exactly the same on the other side So at this point you should have a bit of a tube shape I would try that on and see if there are any fine adjustments you want to make whether you want to tailor any little bits in or whether you want to leave it as it is I wouldn’t make it too tight Bare in mind that you’re going to have straps later on as well to be able to hold things in place so it doesn’t need to be boob tube like and too tight

Now what you’re going to do is just to fold your tube in half like this, and just use a clip, just to mark roughly on those points Now with your skirt section, you’re going to mark the middle circle into quarters, so it doesn’t matter you fold because obviously it’s a full circle but you want to fold in half and then again Just mark where with a couple of clips Then your folding again in half again, and then where you’ve got that bit, you’re going to want to line up with these clips here We’re putting it on so that the pattern sides face together and you effectively want your skirt inside your tube

So we’re just going to pop this one lined up here And the we’re going to skoot the skirt inside the tube and then from the other section, you’re going to want that to line up with the other one that’s on your bodice So that’s just going to line up right here Now your side seams are going to line up with the other parts that you’ve already clipped to the skirt so we’re going to try and find those in the middle So we’ve got one here that’s just going to clip onto here and exactly the same on this side

This one we’re going to clip to here So now we know we’ve got our circle spread into exact quarters and it doesn’t matter if it gets stretched a little bit as your sewing because you’re still going to have overall the same amount of fabric per quarter of the dress You’re not going to accidentally find that you’ve stretched all of it and all of a sudden you’ve got a big bit of fabric at the end that you don’t rally know what to do So now we’re going to sew that bit on It’s going to be just as easy as it was to sew the bodice together

We’re literally just going to sew a straight line around to fix those 2 pieces together Just watch out that you haven’t got any pieces getting lost at the back because obviously you’ve got 2 different shapes You’ve got a circle and a flat So again, we’re just going to do a straight stitch all the way around And just take out your pieces as you go

But obviously if you feel that you need more clips than this to be able to hold everything in a better position then that’s absolutely fine too And then we just have the straps left So to make your sleeves, all you’re going to want to do is to take your central circle and cut it in half If you are particularly large or particularly small or you are very tall for your frame you might find that you need to make your circle slightly larger or bigger (or smaller) so you might need to cut another circle, but on the whole a circle between 15-20 ish centimetres is going to fit the majority of people But you might just want to start off bigger and you can always bring it down smaller if you find that it’s too much if you’re having to cut a second circle

So for me, my centre circle works out absolutely fine All I’m going to do is to fold it in half like this Now normally if you were drafting a top that had full sleeves, when you go to draw the top of the sleeves, you wouldn’t draw it as a complete flat You would draw it at a slight angle so that’s the angle that we want to create for our sleeve here What we are looking at trying to do is to pop that between the layers of your bodice on that slight angle and then your looking to pin it into position here

So we’re going to be looking at a position similar to that Pinning it in place, so that across the 2 you should come into this kind of a position What I would suggest is then try it on, double check that you’ve pinned it into a good place so it covers your bra straps and that your happy with it If you wanted to do a sleeve that was an awful lot more upright all that will happen is that because of the structure of the fabric, it’s going to go into more of a flutter sleeve shape and that sticks up from the sleeve a little bit away from your shoulder if your going to use something like ponte or scuba On a knit fabric like jersey it would be absolutely fine

But for something with a bit more structure, I find that it tends to make my shoulders look a lot broader than they need to look So I prefer to have it on a slight slant and then it sits a little bit more naturally So to sew the sleeves on, I prefer to take the front off so I’ve got my free arm so I’ve got more space to be able to move the sleeves around it but you do whatever you feel is more easy You might find that your just as easy to move the sleeves around on your normal sewing machine set up So again, all I’m doing is just a very quick running stitch all the way down to the other side and then I’ll repeat that all 4 times

And again just repeat that on all 4 and then it’s finished And here it is, all finished So if you enjoyed that, don’t forget to hit like and subscribe and we’ll bring you more sewing tutorials soon