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Off The Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey

DIY off-the-shoulder summer dress

Okay, yes. I know it’s been a solid minute since my last DIY and blog post, but I have a good reason, promise! I’ve been super busy moving. Hubby and I bought our first home and we’re currently in DIY mode.

I’m in the middle of setting up my new sewing/creative/diy/filming studio – whatever you want to call it – and I’ve finally gotten to a point where I’m able to get back into the swing of things again. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m totally loving the experience and the journey of owning a home and renovating, and decorating. What fun!

Off The Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey

White Dress – Made By Me // Booties – Bronx Woman // Wrap Choker – Made By Me // Bracelet – Gift from Zando

With that said, you can see a bit of a change of location in my photos and video… these were taken in front of our new home and the lighting was simply perfect!


I needed an outfit for the Men’s Health Menswear Spring/Summer 2016 Showcase at Shimmy Beach Club and I came up with this insanely cute off the shoulder dress. So many girls came up to me that night complimenting me on my dress. I even had well-known media influencers ask me to make them one! One day fabulous people, one day. Spring time is already in full swing here in the Mother City and I can totally see myself rocking these dresses in the coming warmer months. In this DIY I also show you my favourite method of inserting elastic into a garment… one that will never twist! Yes, it’s easier to do the elastic-casing-safety-pin method, but the technique I demonstrate in this video is a skill you want to acquire, because there is nothing more satisfying than climbing into a garment and NOT having the elastic twisting on you… that can be pretty frustrating! If you’d like me to post more DIY tutorials, do hit the like button on the video and subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more if you haven’t already. It gives me motivation to post more DIYs, so I do appreciate your feedback. Speaking about my channel… I just hit the half a million views mark! I am so grateful for your support on my Youtube journey so far. Here’s to the next 500K! Scroll further to enjoy the photos taken by my handsome hubby and then watch my video below.

Off The Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey
Off The Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey
Off The Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey
Off The Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey

Photo Credit: Ricardo Harvey

DIY OFF THE SHOULDER DRESS

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Basic Sewing Skills
  • Thick, stretch, knit fabric (I used Ponte)
  • 1″ wide elastic
  • Co-ordinating thread
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Overlocker (optional)

When working with stretch fabric, it is important to use a thread and a needle for stretch/knit fabrics – you want to be able to get into your dress without snapping any of the threads! If you don’t have an overlocker or serger, you can use a zig zag stitch, and since a standard sewing machine doesn’t come with a cutter, you can carefully cut the excess fabric on the seams and edges after sewing the zig zag stitch in place. The only place you won’t be doing any cutting if when you’re sewing the elastic in place.

MEASUREMENTS

DIY Off the Shoulder Dress | Raylene Harvey

Right-click the above diagram and click Save image as… to download the bigger version. Please note that the diagrams are not to scale and should be used as a reference guide only.

Do also note that the seam and hem allowances have already been included as indicated on the diagram. I’m a size Medium, but this dress is meant to be pretty loose fitting. The only areas that need to fit you comfortably and snugly are the elastic pieces that fit around just above your chest area as well as your upper arms. You could easily add or subtract inches in the above measurement diagram to fit your own measurements.

The diagram above is only meant to be a guide as to figure out the shapes of pattern pieces you need and more or less how much fabric you might need. A rule of thumb – the wider the width of your fabric for your sleeves and dress/bodice, the more ruffled or gathered it will appear to be. I personally prefer my sleeves to be a lot more ruffled than my dress/bodice piece, but again, it’s up to you! Feel free to play around with different lengths too – you could make this a simple dress like I did, or you could have it as a longer top or even a shorter cropped top! The possibilities are endless.

I’m a self-taught sewist and DIYer, so the techniques I show you in my video are things that work for me at the time the video has been recorded. It may not necessarily be the “industry” way, but it’s certainly an easy way, and I’m happy to share my learnings with you as I embark on this creative journey!

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