A handkerchief dress is basically made up of two pieces of square fabrics held together by two thin straps. The bigger the square, the longer the dress. You may have to do a bit of experimenting, depending on your preferred length. I wanted a long version of this dress and for my height (5’3”) I needed a 36-inch square. Remember, you need to cut two squares for the dress body and two 2-inch wide, 25-inch long rectangles for the straps so make sure you have enough fabric on hand. I would recommend serging (if you have a serger) or hemming all four edges of the squares before continuing on to the next step.
Steps 2 and 3.
Next, put the two pieces right sides together. I would do this on a flat surface (I always do mine on the floor) so the edges match up. Pin two perpendicular sides in place, as indicated by the arrows.
Now, from the upper left corner, measure 7 inches to the right and mark. This is where you will start sewing, all the way to the upper right corner. This side will be the front of the dress and the 7” opening represents the ‘V’ neck on the front bodice. Next, go back to the upper left corner, measure 13 inches down and mark. Start sewing at this point all the way down to the bottom left corner. This side will be the back of the dress. Note: Adjust these measurements depending on how low you want the necklines and the back. A broader back needs a bigger opening, between 15-16 inches.
Next, make the straps. The length of the straps depends on your own measurements and preferences. I wanted mine thin (1 cm) and to criss-cross at the back so I made them longer. Fold one of the rectangle pieces along the middle, right sides together (Fig. A). Stitch along the direction of the arrows as shown in Fig B. Use a rouleau loop turner to turn your strap right side out. Do the same to the other rectangle.
Next, open up the square pieces you have sewn together in steps 2 and 3. When opened up, it should resemble the figure below. On the left is how it should look from the front, on the right is how it should look from the back. Neatly attach the straps to the pointy ends on top, front to back. The straps can be straight or can cross at the back, up to you. That’s it! You’re done! Wear and flaunt!