For Easter I made pretty spring dresses for my daughters. I used this free pattern by The Cottage Home for my two oldest girls, but I couldn't find any free pattern online that I wanted to use for my twin baby girls. And since I am a weird sort of thrifty that will allow me to spend 100 bucks on fabric in one shopping spree but not 7 bucks on a pattern, I decided to make my own.
Size: 6 months, give or take.
My 9 month old twins are 13 and 15 pounds and this dress fits them perfectly. Make it for a baby smaller than that and it may fit her all summer!
- about 3/4 of a yard of cotton fabric.
- A spool of tulle
- 1 inch wide elastic
For one dress, cut:
- Bodice front pieces. Cut 2 on fold. Print the pattern here. Make sure to set your printer to remove any margins and scaling from your page so that the document can print at 100%.
- Bodice back pieces. Cut 2 strips of fabric that are 2.25" x 10.5".
- Straps. Cut 2 strips of fabric that are 2.25" x 10"
- Skirt. Cut one piece that is 10" long and 44" wide.
- Elastic. Cut a 6" strip of elastic.
Place a bodice back piece and a bodice front piece together, with the right-sides together. Stitch the short ends of the back piece to the sides of the front piece. Repeat with the other front piece and back piece. You now have two dress tops because one will be the lining.
Next, you will sew your elastic to one of the backs. Stretch it over the length of the back piece, just inside your side stitches, and pin it in place.
Stretch it out as you sew it in place so that the back of the dress stretches nicely.
Press the bottoms of both dress tops up a half inch.
Top stitch an 1/8 of an inch in from the edge of the fold you just made on the back of the dress top that has the elastic in it.
So far, your creation should look something like this:
Next you will turn these two parts into one lined dress top by sewing them together with the right-sides together and then turning it. Start by pining the two parts together with right sides together.
Stitch around the arm holes and back, and around the neck. Leave the shoulder straps and bottom open.
Turn the bodice right side out. Press the edges nice and flat.
Top stitch an 1/8" from the top edge of the bodice back, stretching the elastic as you sew.
Next you will make your straps. Fold the straps in half lengthwise with right-sides together and sew along the edge. 1/8" seam allowance.
Turn the straps right-side-out. I find the easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to one end and push it through the tube of fabric and out the other end. You can also use a crochet hook by sticking it up the tube, hooking one end and pulling gently to turn the tube right-side-out.
Press flat. Fold the tops down into triangles and stitch closed.
Fold the tops of the shoulders on the bodice in a bit by poking it in with your finger. Place the bottom end of one of the straps in and sew the shoulder opening closed with the strap secured inside. Do this for the other strap as well.
Congrats! You now have a teensy-weensy, fully-lined, halter-style bodice!
To make the skirt we must first gather the tulle. Fold the tulle in half lengthwise and, by hand, make large gathering stitches. Keep gathering tulle until you have 44 inches of ruffled tulle.
Stitch the ruffle to the good side of the skirt bottom.
Iron the seams up so that they cannot be seen through the tulle.
Top stitch 1/8" from the edge of the skirt fabric to keep the fabric from fraying and to give the skirt bottom a finished look.
Hang in there. You're almost done!
Sew the sides of the skirt together with the right sides together. Press the seam open. A tight zig-zag stitch along the fabric edges will keep them from fraying.
Sew another gathering stitch along the top of your skirt.
Pull your gathering thread until your skirt fits nicely into the bottom of the bodice. The skirt will go between the bottom edges of the bodice and lining that you folded up earlier. Pin it in place.
Top stitch 1/8" from the bottom of the bodice to hold the skirt in place. Be careful not to get the straps stuck in your stitching. I'm only saying this because I got my straps stuck in the stitching. You're probably smart enough not to make that mistake....
You're done! Congratulations! You made a fab little dress for your fab little girl! Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy.
The fabric I used is Kumari Garden Sacha Pink and the pink tulle is Tulle Spool Paris Pink.
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