In order to design a dress, it is imperative to choose the style early in the process. A dress can be long or short, have a halter-top or a sweetheart neckline, or have a sash or embellishments. After that is decided, a fabric must be chosen and a pattern followed.
A dress design is composed of several elements: the style, the pattern and the fabric. There are many style options, such as empire-waist dresses, ball-gowns, halter-top dresses and shift dresses. The dress can be any length, ranging from miniskirt-length to floor-length, and there are many options in between. To sew the dress, a pattern must be used. Patterns are available at most craft stores. They must be carefully followed, as there are many steps necessary to construct the dress.
The addition of sleeves and intricate necklines further complicate the process. The pattern instructs the user to sew various aspects of the dress and then guides the user in sewing them all together. There are many fabric choices available; some are more expensive than others. Cotton is relatively inexpensive and is fairly easy to work with. Other options include rayon, polyester and nylon. Silk is a more expensive product, as are wool, fur, linen and cashmere.