We'll call this a guide rather than a tutorial. Almost everything about it will depend on your size and can use various sized of squares/rectangles, depending on how long you would like your dress to be.
Since I was using Anna Marie Horner's Square Dance fabric, which is naturally divided into 12" x 14" rectangular sections, that is the size of rectangles I used (however, I will refer to them as squares from here on out). For a longer dress, use larger squares.
For the first panel, take two squares and sew together, right sides together. Unfold & Press. Repeat with two more squares.
Next, take the two sections you just sewed, and sew those together along one side, right sides together. Unfold & Press, creating a larger square.
Repeat this 3 more times for a total of 4 Large squares.
Take 2 of the Large Squares and sew together along one side, right sides together, stopping approximately 6" from edge (adjust distance from edge based on your own height - you are creating the V in the neckline for the front & back here). Repeat with Remaining 2 Large squares. Unfold & Press, creating the front & back of the dress.
Sew Front & Back together along sides, right sides together, stopping approximately 6" from edge (adjust distance from edge based on your own height/measurements - you are creating the V underneath your arms here).
Finish the inside edges by continuing the fold from the sewn seams & then edge stitch 1/8" from the fold.
To make the straps, cut 2 strips 2" wide x 10" long — unless you're taller than 5' 2" — then you may want to make them longer. ;) Fold & iron the strips in half, then fold the raw edges into the center fold & sew close to the edge on both sides of each strip. Attach the strips to the back 2 top corners.
Try the dress on & pin the straps in place on the front 2 corners. Sew in place.
At this point, you may be finished.
Try on the dress, add/make a belt if you wish. If it lays right & you're satisfied, you're done!
However, when I tried mine on, it wasn't fitting right — I think if it had been longer ( ie., I had used larger squares) I would have liked it without any further adjustments. But as it was, it hung oddly at my sides when I added the belt — actually, it poofed out, rather than hung!
Thus, while I had it on, I pinned & adjusted it until I like it, then sewed along that line. (See the dotted line below.) I really liked the idea of the points along the bottom, but they just felt awkward & unfinished at that hem length, so I cut them off and then turned up & hemmed the bottom edge.
Add that belt once more & enjoy!
xoxo Lori Danelle