I am currently in love with anything nautical these days.  There is just something so classic and charming about navy and white stripes.


The nice thing about nautical touches is that you can add them to your home, or your wardrobe.  That is what inspired me to create this piece:

I picked up the striped fabric at the LA Fabric District for only $2 a pound.  I only got about 4 yards of it, and I am kicking myself now for not just buying the whole bolt. 

Lets take a look at how I created it, shall we?

I started off with just a simple white top I snagged from Forever 21 for $3.  T-shirt dresses are my current fav because they are so simple and the best part is that you don't need a zipper (sewing zippers make me throw fits).

I wanted an empire waist on the dress, so I marked where I wanted the waistband, then added on another 1/2" for the seam.

Then I cut my waistband, one piece for the front, one for the back.  I wanted the waistband to be 2" wide,  so I cut my strips 3" wide, allowing for 1/2" seams on the top and bottom.  For the length, I just measured along the bottom of the shirt and added 1/2" for each side.  So I had 2 strips that were 15 1/2" long and 3" wide.

When cutting, keep in mind the direction you want your stripes to go for your waistband and your skirt.  I wanted horizontal stripes on the waistband, and vertical stripes on the skirt.

Now onto the skirt.  I wanted the bottom to flair out just a hair, so I cut out 2 pieces that were 15 1/2" wide at the top (same as the waistband), and 25 1/2" at the bottom (keeping in mind the 1/2" seam on both sides).  

As far as length goes, I always hem my dresses very last, so I just made sure that it was about 5" longer than I wanted it, just to be on the safe side.  The finished product ended up being 25" long, with 1'2" seam at the top, and a 1" hem.

Then I attached the waistband to the skirt, for both the front and back sections.  I simply placed the right sides of the fabric together and sewed a 1/2" seam.

When you lift the waistband, you can see it's starting to come along.  At this point, I ironed out this section so that everything laid nice and flat.  
(please forgive the basting stitch that you can see.  I initially was going to gather it, but decided against it, so I picked the basting stitch out later)

Next I sewed my front and back sections of the skirt together at the sides with a 1/2" seam (again, right sides together).  Then, open up those seams and iron them flat.
(sorry, no picture!)

This next part may be a little tricky. I flipped the skirt and shirt inside out, then I slipped my shirt down into the top section of the skirt. So now, you should have the right side of the waistband touching the right side of the shirt, and you should be looking at the wrong sides of the fabric.
(look closely at the picture)

From there, I pinned it and sewed the shirt to the waistband with 1/2" seam. When you pin, make sure that you line up the side seams of the shirt with the side seams of the waistband so that it turns out nice and clean.

Once you've attached the shirt to the skirt, you're almost there! Just press the top seams both down so that they go into the waistband. Since the shirt is white, I didn't want to see any seams poking up through the top section of the dress.

Then, just hem your skirt to the desired length, and you're all set! I did add a couple pockets with gold buttons to add a little more natuicality (just made up that word).

Now you’re all set for a party at the Hamptons, or a stroll to the beach. Since I am in Utah, I will do neither, and sit in my dress on my couch watching The Bachelorette.

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