Tattered Tank Dress


This is another fairly easy one. I originally made this dress for summer, as it is nice and light if you use the right fabric. You can make the fingerless gloves by getting super thick, opaque little girls tights and cutting them appropriately.

You will need a tight fitting tanktop, and a circle skirt with elastic waistband of some kind. Almost every thrift store seems to have these on a regular basis. The dress can be made of any light fabric, mine is made from a black gauze skirt and a black cotton knit tank top. A lace skirt would work well too.

Take the skirt and rip one of the seams all the way to the waist band. You'll want to rip out or roughly cut a triangle off of each side around the ripped seam {FIG 1}. The size of the triangle will determine how much you have left over for the sleeve flounces {see also Alternate versions below}.

Fig. 1

Now the tricky part! You have to sew the skirt to the bottom of the tank top. You may want to cut the waistband off first {see below} or you might want to attach the skirt just below the waistband so it is already gathered for you. This is what I did, but see what seems easier for you personally. Use a zigzag stitch {FIG 2}. This can be done by hand or machine. Be patient, and pin it first. Make sure the seam will stretch {so you can pull it over your head without the thread breaking}. If you aren't very experienced sewing you may have to do this a few times before it works. If you get frustrated, put it down and come back later.
Fig. 2

Carefully cut the waistband off the skirt, being careful not to clip the seam. If the seam is a little rough or bulky, you might try ironing it flat.

Now, distress the skirt. I usually roll the skirt up and hack at the bottom a bit with scissors or a razor blade. Be sure to tatter the cut away part to so the tatters are consistently tattered with the rest of the skirt. Once you get the basic cuts, use something like pliers with a ridged flat gripping surface to tear at the bottom of the skirt. Take your time with this and get your technique down. you might want to practice on an old t-shirt or something before tackling the actual skirt as this can be a bit tricky. Don't be afraid to rip out big chunks if this looks good to you as they can be reattached to the sleeve area.

Take the triangles you cut from the skirt and distress those. You can attach any smaller pieces left over from distressing the skirt to lengthen the pieces.{FIG 3}

Fig. 3

Sew the nondistressed side to the armhole making sure to line up the center point of the scrap with the top of the armhole. Don't worry if the flounces aren't symmetrical as long as they look good.

Alternate 1
If you are in good shape, and want to show off a belly ring, or just like to go with a bare middriff, you can go for more of a dead belly-dancer look. Leave the elastic waist on the skirt, distress it in the same way and sew the sleeve flounces on a tight croptop or pretty sports bra. This is even more summery!

Alternate 2
Similar to Alt.1 you can attach the skirt to a crop top or sports bra for an empire waist dress.

Alternate 3
Find 2 skirts out of the same fabric, or making the circle skirt for the bottom from scratch? You can make fuller sleeves or angel wing sleeves out of the second skirt by cutting the skirt in half length wise, sewing the seam up each half. Remove the waist band, and sew where the band was around each arm hole. Cut it to the length of your arm, or as you want it and start distressing to match the skirt!