Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sweet as a Berry Little Girl Dress {tutorial}

With Valentine's day lurking around the corner it's only natural for a blogger like myself to begin thinking of cute ways to incorporate the holiday. When I came across this strawberry fabric I fell in love with it's sweetness and decided that I would make my daughter a Valentine's day inspired dress. You may remember my Valentine's day inspired onesie from last year...Now if only my daughter would get up and walk in it instead of scoot around on her booty getting the beautiful fabric all dirty! Sigh...someday!



Here's what you'll need:
1/2 yard of fabric for skirt, ruffle sleeves, & ruffle front (for 12-18 months) 
1/2 yard of fabric for bodice and skirt trim
Sewing machine/Serger if you have one
Thread
Scissors
Ruler
Fabric marker
Small amount of lace, ribbon, or elastic
4 buttons

Start by cutting the following:
Outer Bodice: 11"w by 13 1/2" h (Fabric 1)
Inner Bodice: 8 1/2"w by 13 1/2" h (Fabric 1)
Trim: 20"w by 10 1/2" h (Fabric 1)
Arm Ruffle: 13 1/2" w by 3 1/2" h (Fabric 2)
Body: 20"w by 10 1/2" h (Fabric 2)
Front Ruffle: 3"w by 8"h (Fabric 2)

On the WRONG side of the Outer bodice draw a circle for the neck using these measurements. Don't forget the 2" slit in the back. Cut out the circle and cut down the slit. Repeat this step onto the WRONG side of the inner bodice. Trick: Lay finished outer bodice onto the inner bodice piece, make sure it's lined up with the inner bodice centered on the outer bodice. Trace the hole you've already cut from the outer bodice onto the inner bodice and cut. 

Take a small amount of lace, ribbon, or elastic and make a loop for the button hole.

Place the inner bodice on top of the outer bodice RIGHT sides together. Place the loop at the to of the cut line with the loop on the inside.
Sew an 1/8" seam completely around the hole and line.

Flip right side out and iron around the seams. 
Machine baste or serge the top and bottom edges of the bodice. 


Taking the Arm Ruffle pieces fold in half short sides together, use something round to round off the edge. Cut along the line.

Use your first piece to help you make the lines on the second ruffle piece, cut along the lines.

I serged the edges to keep from fraying. If you don't have a serger you'll want to fold the edge under twice and then stitch in place. Use the iron to help fold the fabric under. 

Here you can see that I only folded it once.

Next you're going to gather it. Stitch two loose stitches parallel to each other about 1/8" apart. DO NOT back stitch at the ends. Leave some thread on each end to be able to pull. 

Grab one of the threads and push the fabric the opposite directions from the string you're pulling.

Repeat for the other arm piece.

Notice that I serged the edges on both side of the outer bodice and on the inner bodice. If you can't serge the edges then fold them under twice and stitch in place. 

Pin the ruffle arm piece centered on the hole for the neck. Stitch in place.


Take one of the pieces for the body and attach one of the trim pieces by placing them RIGHT sides together and stitch in place.

I serged both edges to keep them from fraying.

Next you're going to attach the body to the bodice.

Place the body on top of the bodice (open as shown above) and pin RIGHT side together. Stitch or serge together.

Repeat for other side. Then fold the dress in half RIGHT sides together lining the body with the body and the bodice with the bodice. Pin and stitch up both sides stopping just past the body.

To make the ruffle on the front take the piece you cut and fold it in half long sides together.

Stitch up one side and across one short side.

Turn it RIGHT side out, iron, and tuck in the opening. Sew opening closed.

 
Now we're going to gather the strip. Same way we gathered the arm ruffles. Once it's gathered stitch it onto the front center of the dress. Make sure you don't accidentally sew it to the back too! Learn from my mistakes!!! 


Add buttons of your choice by following the instructions for your machine or hand sew on. Don't forget to add the button on the back!
That's all she wrote!







Happy Crafting!









12 comments:

  1. Very cute!!! I've added it to my “to sew" list :)!

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  2. What a sweet little dress, I just love it! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  3. Hi, Amy

    This is so beautiful! You make it look so easy, I have to try this one. Thanks for sharing.

    Vanessa

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  4. I love this little dress! I can't wait to make it, i love to sew, and especially when i'm sewing things for my little girl! I just recently bought my girl a bunch of dresses from http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/little-girl-dresses, and now i can't wait to try this one out! My little girl will be so excited!

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  5. This is super sweet! I'd love for you to consider joining our first ever Pattern Party! Only those with free patterns to share are invited to link up! Check it out.
    http://getyourcraptogether.blogspot.com/search/label/Pattern%20Party

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  6. This is adorable! The one thing you don't say is what size the measurements you give are for!! Claire xx

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    1. You're totally right! It's size 12-18 months with my measurements :)

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  7. Do you know what the measurements would be for a size 3 little girls

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    1. Unfortunately I don't know. I measure my daughter and go off of that. If you can measure around the chest and from the neck to the knees and adjust accordingly, it should only be the difference of a couple of inches. The neck hole will be big enough as is. I hope that's somewhat helpful.

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    2. Thank you, I am a beginner and have only used my sewing machine a few times but really want to make a dress for my daughters first day of preschool :) Going to give this a try

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  8. Such a sweet simple dress. Thank you for posting this tutorial, I can't wait to make this for my girls!!!!

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