Step One: Drawing. Plan out your creation. It doesn’t matter what you use to draw it on – your sketchbook, watercolour paper or the back of your math notes. And you don’t need to be Rene Gruau – just get your idea onto paper so you can work out the ever-so-important little details (like where the zipper is going to go/how much fabric you’ll need).
Step Two: Cutting. Cutting can be deceptively simple. While it lacks the creativity of drawing and designing, it can also be an art keeping all of your pattern pieces on the grainline, planning your layout carefully so that there is enough fabric and making sure that asymmetrical pattern pieces are cut right side up (RSU should be marked on asymmetrical pattern pieces so that the cutter knows which side goes up. This becomes even more complicated when you’re tracing pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, and the RSU side now goes face down)
Step Three: Sewing. Now it’s starting to look like something amazing! Once your pieces are cut out and fused, hold the dress up to yourself as you go to make sure everything is fitting. Leave some extra fabric at the bottom of the dress just in case it’s too short – remember, you can always make it shorter but you can never make it longer! If you’ve cut the skirt on the bias, expect some stretch on one side or the other. Let the fabric hang overnight and then hem it while it’s on the dress form or on a person. Mark it slowly and carefully with white chalk so that you can brush it off afterwards with a toothbrush. This is Clark, waiting patiently while I hemmed her dress for her. She wanted to have the front of the dress shorter than the back so that she could show off her awesome shoes. Bias cut chiffon is notorious for being difficult to work with – but it looks awesome when it’s finished!