Needed: Scissors, measuring tape, 22" zipper, pins, a bed sheet, matching thread, hook and eye, embroidery floss or yarn, and patience
First, I cut away all elastic and opened up the corner seems. I've used the strapless Simplicity 2176 for the bodice and added 1 1/2" straps. You'll see in the last picture that I scrunched it up where the strap meets the bodice.
Next, I folded what was left of the sheet (which was A TON!) in half. I think it was somewhere around 30-45" wide and cut it the length of my skirt. Normally this would be about 20-25" for me but because I wanted a banded bottom without having to sew it on separately I cut the skirt 30" long. I then went ahead and hemmed the skirt before attaching to the bodice just to get it out of the way. I folded the bottom edge (unfinished) up the full 5 extra inches, ironed, pinned, and sewed straight across. It was very easy to keep the hem even because of the fact that the skirt was just one long piece instead of two or three.
I never knew how to do a gathered skirt until recently. It's kinda hard to explain but I'll do my best because it's actually really really simple to do! I set my zig-zag stitch and width to the longest settings, even though my machine clearly disagreed with me. About an inch from the edge of the top of my skirt, I placed embroidery floss in the center of my zig-zag stitch. Idk what this particular foot I used is called but it has a slit in the center and the floss fit snuggly without moving. Just make sure you don't move around and accidentally catch the floss in the actual zig-zag stitch. Otherwise this method will not work! As you can see, it acts as a channel for the floss. Similar to an elastic casing... actually it's more or less the same thing.
- I wrapped one end of the embroidery thread around a pin in the fabric just to secure it while I gather.
- Then I simply pulled the blue string (to the right) while pushing the fabric in the opposite direction (to the left). It's almost impossible to break the string so you can be as aggressive as you'd like.
- I kept going until I got my desired length. My waist is actually 23" but I stopped at 25" to allow for seam allowance when I added the zipper later on. I placed another pin on the opposite end and wrapped the tail of the thread around it to secure it until after the bodice was attached.
- I matched up the center front of the bodice with the center front of the skirt (right sides together!) and pinned all the way around. I sewed directly on top of the zig-zag stitch. You can sew right underneath it, but I prefer to use it as my guideline. Plus this way I won't need to pull out the blue thread afterwards.
Snip off the excess fabric and any extra threads hanging off, put in your zipper, add whatever straps you'd like and voila!! All done!
I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Lemme know if you use it or if you have any questions!