you need: pattern paper, pencil, ruler (yardstick is good) scissors, measuring tape, scrap paper to write down measurements and do figuring (math warning)
center front (from front neck where collarbones meet down to waist)
shoulder width (across top of bust from one armpit crease to the other. does not go around back)
armpit to waist (from armpit – about where bra top edge is – down to waist. makes side seam.)
front neck width ( put necklace on, measure from where one side hangs down across to the other side)
front bust (measure across the bust from side seam under arm across fullest part to other side seam)
on the right side of the paper, draw a vertical line the length of Center Front.
At the bottom of this line, at a right angle and going left, draw a line that is 1″+half your Front Bust measurement.
should look like this: _|
on the left side of the bottom line, draw a line up (at a right angle) that is your Armpit to Waist measurement.
From the Center Front line, go over left 1/2 Neck Width and draw a dotted line straight up, the same length as Center Front.
From the Center Front line, go over left 1/2 Shoulder Width and draw a dotted line same as above.
From the top of the Center Front line, go down 4″ and make a mark. Now we are drawing the neck curve. Draw a freehand curve from this point to halfway between those two dotted lines we just drew, ending right at the top. (we’re putting in some strap here)
At the top of the Armpit to Waist line, go straight out to the right until you almost get to the first dotted line (1/2 shoulder width) and start curving up, crossing the line and joining up with the neck curve line. (man, you’ll really need a picture for that one)
Add seam allowances to all edges EXCEPT the center front line. that is to be placed on the fold. Go ahead and cut it out now.
For the back piece, you need your waist measurement.
Draw a vertical line on the right that is armpit to waist.
Draw a line going left at the bottom (and at a right angle) that is 1″+ 1/4 Wiast measurement. (looks like this: _| )
Draw on the left edge another Armpit to Waist line, then draw another line connecting the top so you have a rectangle.
Add seam allowances to all edges. This open on center back.
FIT: (you need a mirror, some pins, a pencil, and maybe a friend)
Pin the back to the front at the side. Line up the Center front on your center front. Pin to your shirt if you like. Get your friend to line up the center back (not the cut edge after you added the seam allowance, but the line you drew) Check the fit. This is snugly fit, I’m not crazy how it fits over the bust, because I got rid of the dart. That’s hard to explain.
The waist may need to be taken in about a 1/2″, making that side line on your pattern a leaning one rather than straight up. making any adjustments on the pattern is easier.
To make this up into a really simple dress, all you need is a rectangle of fabric for the skirt, as wide as you want and as long as you need. Gather or pleat it to fit the waist of the halter after it is sewn together. insert zipper at back and sew up rest of back seam. Add straps to shoulder bits of halter.
(this will be edited for clarity later)