I had 2 different pieces of fabric a got from Jo-Ann Fabrics a while ago, when I had discount coupons. So I decided to be adventurous and try something simple, without too many parts to cut or pieces to fit. Meaning less chance to mess up the dress. I saw this lady wearing a nice dress the other day, and I decided that would be the one I should be making. I opened my 1 yard of fabric. Cut the part that would be the band in the chest area. About 10 inches. I turned the band part around, so it would show the "right" side up (or prettier side), while the other side of the fabric show the "wrong" side up. Then the two parts are sewn together again. Next I sewed a elastic on right underneath the seam of the two fabrics, on the bigger piece of fabric. I found a good tutorial here on how to sew elastic, on RaechelMyers.com Them finally closing the sides, and finishing the edges. To wear it, turn the band down to make the ruffle.
I had a belt I got from Old Navy on sale. It came out pretty handy.
If my explanation was hard to understand, there is a good step by step tutorial here on SharonSews.
It was fairly quick to make this dress, besides the fact my machine kept breaking every five minutes.
Then I decided to make a second one. This time shorter.
The pattern was pretty easy, and the same for front and back.
You just have to make a casing on the top part, so you can pass the string, then close the sides and seam the edges. On this website you can see more detailed description: SewLikeMyMom. Note: they describe children's dresses, but I took the same steps.
It was pretty much stress free, inexpensive and fast to make.
I had leftover fabric and made this top, using the same steps as the dress, but shorter.
Two days, two new dresses and a top for the Summer.