Making a Dress from a Tablecloth

I made a dress from a tablecloth. Really!

I’m inspired by a variety of sewing YouTubers like Rachel Maksy and Micarah Tewers who do things like this and I wanted to try it.

It’s crazy what you can learn from the internet these days!

I got a red and white tablecloth made of a heavy cotton fabric from our local Arc store.

This was just the sort of project my cat enjoys

I traced a dress from my closet onto the folded fabric so I got two pieces of everything I traced and cut.

I love this dress. I wish I had five of them.
The original dress is just folded here so I could trace the top. I didn’t have to take it apart.

Once I had all the pieces cut I started by pinning the skirt together and sewing the long seams. I don’t really have a functioning sewing machine so I did this entire project by hand.

I was kind of surprised how easily this worked out.

I did run into one problem with this method. The tablecloth wasn’t quite wide enough to trace the whole skirt and it came out a bit narrower than I wanted. Once all the pieces were cut out I found I had a triangle the exact length of the skirt left over so I cut the front piece in half and sewed the triangle in there to give it more fullness.

The triangle added two diagonal seams to the front of the skirt, making it a little more interesting.

In the middle of this project a friend gave me a dress form. The Best Gift Ever! It’s much easier to pin sleeves and darts on the form than on myself.

I added darts in the front that worked and darts in the back that didn’t.

I didn’t have enough fabric left to make long sleeves; there was just enough to make square draping cap sleeves.

I like how airy and unique they are.

It took a little studying to figure out how to finish it. It needed neck facing and the seams needed to be finished. I did all that and then realized that my back darts didn’t work at all!

How did I solve the problem? Thanks to YouTube, I learned to do a “swayback adjustment”, which is basically a horizontal dart. It worked, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get into the otherwise-finished dress if I really fitted it, so I took the last bit of tablecloth and made a belt.

It worked and I was actually able to wear the dress to work!

The back fits pretty well. I’m happy with it.
It’s comfortable and easy to wear, which is nice for a dress made of such stiff material.
And it’s good for dancing!
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