Monday, 9 January 2012

Summer Dress


This dress is to fit a 4 year old - chest 21", waist 21 1/2" and hips 21"
If you want to adjust, make the bodice pieces approximately 1/2" smaller or larger per year....  because there is no zip in the bodice it needs to be around 3" bigger than their chest measurement so they can get it on!

Finished skirt is a circle of material approximately 54" x 14".  I used two different materials, so cut 6 rectangles in each material 5"x14" and sewed them together alternating materials (1/4" seams) to make a circle.  I overlocked all seams and then topstitched each seam.  Attach hem trim as below and then stitch a long gather stitch 1/8" in from top edge.

Dark Polka Dot Trim:
I used 1 fat quarter for all trim as follows:

Cut 3 strips 19" x 3", sew together with seams pressed open to make a long strip at least 55" long.  Attach one edge to bottom of skirt circle stopping a few inches from either end of strip, then sew up open ends of strip so they fit the bottom of the skirt exactly, press seam open.  Then fold hem up so it's in half and iron.  Sew all around this seam again and overlock edge.  I pressed the seam towards the top and topstitched on the top side of this seam.

Cut 2 strips 19" x 2 1/2".  I folded it in half right sides together sewed along long edge and one end trimmed corners, then turned - you could also fold each side in 1/4", then fold in half and then top stitch - which ever you prefer....
Shoulder Straps:
Cut 2 strips 11" x 2 1/2" and create straps same as ties.

Front Waistband:
Cut 1 strip 12 1/2" x 2" or the same length as the bodice is wide.

Cut 2 rectangles 12 1/2" x 6"

Outside material:
Cut 1 rectangle 12 1/2" x 6" (this will be the back ) and 1 rectangle 12 1/2" x 4 1/2" (this one will be the front).  Attach waistband strip to the bottom of the front piece so it becomes the same size as the other 3.

To make armholes:  
Put front outside and front lining wrong sides together (as they will be when finished) and fold in half.  Measure 3" down and 3" in from the top corner and draw a curved line connecting these points.
Repeat for the back.

Now sew the side seams together of front and back outside material (right sides together) with the open end of the ties between the layers so they line up with the top of the waistband strip and edges of all three pieces of material are level.  Sew side seams together on the lining and press open all these seams.  The ends of the ties sit better if they are pressed towards the front of the dress.

Put the lining inside the outside with right sides together and put the open ends of the shoulder straps in between the top of the back pieces so the edges are level and about 1/4" in from side.  Stitch all around the top (1/4" seam) leaving the bottom edge open so you can turn.  Cut notches into all curves (so they sit flat when turned) and turn, iron well then topstitch all around the top.
Attach skirt to bodice:
Gather skirt so it fits the bottom of the bodice, pin heavily and stitch all around.  Overlock/zig zag edge.  Iron seam up towards the top of dress.  I topstitched both the top and bottom of the waistband trim and also around the top edge of this seam on the back of the dress.

Put button holes in bodice, sew buttons onto straps  (I put buttons around 2" from ends of straps this way they can be adjusted if required).  Before sewing on buttons it's a good idea if you can try it on then you can put them in just the right place.

Attach an embellishment to the waistband if desired and you're done!  Enjoy!

I also made a couple of these cute flowers and attached them to hair bands.... Little girls love flowers!!  If you want to know how to make these youtube fabric flower tutuorials there are hundreds and hundreds of them!