You will need...About 1.5m of fabric. I used some vintage printed silk (sorry to sound pretentious) I've had for ages so it's not too translucent / doesn't have too much drape but is still really lightweight and airy. You could use virtually anything, actually.
You will also need some matching thread, scissors and a sewing machine. Provided you make this the right size, you shouldn't need any zippers or buttons or whatever.
What you must do!
Lay your fabric flat, folded in half. Either straight on the fabric or on a very large piece of paper (tracing paper, butcher paper, whatever), draw this shape (the black line):
Now I'm not going to tell you what size this is because it's supposed to be... you-sized! Because this doesn't have a zip, unless you're using stretchy fabric, this can't be skin tight. You can use an existing dress or top to work out generally how large to make it. Is this horribly vague? I shall update tomorrow with the measurement of my dress, actually.
Because you're cutting through two layers of fabric (you have folded your fabric in half) you might want to pin them together. On one piece, cut along the broken line around the neck. This is, surprise surprise, the front!
On the front piece, sew your darts! NOW. The dart on the left is approximately where you would usually put your darts (the point is generally the outermost point of your chest) but on the right is where I put mine. I have only put darts in this dress because otherwise you would have a gaping effect, but I don't really want it to be fitted. Does that make sense? Just do whichever you prefer. You could use a really wide stitch to begin with (or hand stitch) so you can take out the stitching and redo it according to what you like.
To give you a really basic idea of how to sew darts, take the edge along the dotted line, and bring it to meet the edge of the solid line, creating a fold. The folded should be on the wrong side of the fabric (what will be the inside of the dress). Sew it in place, coming to the point. Here's a photo of a dart to show you generally what it should look like:
Do it on the other side (make sure they are even), iron, and move on to the next step!
With the right sides together (the sides that will face outwards when the dress is finished) and the wrong sides facing outwards, sew along the shoulders and the sides (not the arm holes!). As you can probably tell, you are almost finished at this point.
Now you have to finish off the armholes, neck and bottom of the skirt. I usually do a really simple hem where I fold over a few mm to the inside, fold over again, and stitch over the top. You could also use bias binding if you find it easier / if you like the look.
Now you should be done. Sorry if I have explained this terribly. I will be working on improving my tutorials in future! I will also definitely take more photos next time. I have a tutorial in the works with a photo for every step, although the whole thing is more complicated.
Here is a little preview!
I haven't finished it partly because I had to go to sleep and partly because I haven't decided what I'm going to do on the bottom half yet haha. It should be nice though, whatever it is.