I put off making the outfits all summer. I finally got them done in time for a back to school photo session.
I'm so glad I got these pictures done. I have a feeling this will be one of the last times I'll be able to get them in matching outfits. (My 8 year old announced that this is "embarrassing"... ) You can see a couple more posts featuring brother/sister outfits here.
The final fit of the dress is absolutely perfect. I will say, I had a bit of trouble making the pattern. If my heart hadn't been set on using this fabric, I would probably have scrapped the first dress and just started another. The dress is lined, so there was a ton of seam ripping going on.
The first error was just carelessness. I was working too fast and not really paying attention. I had serged all four side seams of the dress before I realized I was supposed to flip the dress right side out before sewing the sides seams. I'm sure yo know, it's no fun ripping out serged seams.
The second issue was a problem with the fit of the arm holes. (They were too small and there was too much fabric across her chest.) I had finished the dress and top-stitched everything. (Now that they are back in school, my little fit model has reduced availability :). I had to take apart the entire dress and re-cut the armholes.
The dress is a really nice fit now and I know she will still be able to wear it next summer.
What I love about this style dress is that it's such a great wardrobe piece to help transition into fall. It's still so hot here, (I just checked out 8 day forecast , we will be over 100 for several days next week, but lucky us, they are predicting a cool down by next Sunday, it will only be 97.)
If and when the weather ever cools off, she will be able to add a cardi for the cool mornings and just take it off when the day warms up. (I have a gathered cardigan tutorial here.)
For this tutorial, I have included a pattern in sizes 3/4, 5/6 and 7. (See link to pattern below under items needed.)
To make your own lined A-line dress, you will need:
- Size 5 and up: about a yard for the outer dress and about a yard for the lining
- Size 4 and down: about 3/4 yard of each.
- 6 to 8 buttons
- iron/spray starch
- Ruler/measuring tape and other basic sewing supplies
- When printing the pattern, make sure to download the pattern to your computer, open it in adobe reader and print from there, turning off all scaling.
- Keep in mind, our kids all range in height, so I recommend comparing a dress you have or taking a measurement to ensure your dress in the right length.
- If you need a pattern size I did not include, it's super simple to create your own pattern. I included the instructions for making a pattern.(Click this link to see the picture below much larger and in a new window.)
A-line Sheath Dress Instructions:
(Seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise specified.)
Step 1: Printing and assembling the pattern.
Create or print your pattern. Assemble and tape together. If printing, I recommend printing twice and cutting out a separate front and back pattern piece.
Step 2. Cut out the pattern pieces.
Fold the fabric so the selvages meet in the middle. (For the larger sizes, you will probably need to adjust the placement of the pattern based on the width of the bottom of the skirt.
- cut 2 front pattern pieces (on the fold.) One from the lining fabric and one in the main dress fabric.
- cut 4 back pattern pieces (not on the fold.) Two from the lining fabric and two in the main dress fabric.
Step 3. Assembling the dress.
Line up the shoulder seams of main dress fabric (right sides together) and sew at the shoulders. Repeat for the lining.
Line up the main dress fabric and lining right sides together and sew around the neck line, stopping 3/4 inch from the center back seam. Sew around the arm holes, leaving a 2 inch opening on both arms to turn the dress.
Cut notches around the curves of the neckline and arm holes. (Just be careful not to cut in to the seam line.)
Flip dress right side out by pushing the pattern through one only one of the arm holes. (picture shows two, sorry...)
Pull the lining away from the dress and line up the side seams right sides together and sew along the edge.
Fold in the extra seam allowance at the opening in the armhole.
Pin the opening in place and press all the seams flat.
Step 4: Finishing the seams and top stitching.
Fold/tuck the center back seams (lining and main dress fabric) 1/4 inch in towards the inside of the dress. Press using spray starch, taking care to line up the edges so the lining does not show. Do both sides and pin in in place.
Do the same thing at the bottom, folding about 1/2 inch. Press, use spray starch and pin in place.
Top stitch around the entire dress: both back seams, bottom, neckline and both arm holes.
Lay out the dress, overlapping the back pieces by about 1/2 inch. Using a fabric marker, mark the placement of the buttons.
Create the button holes, sew on the buttons and you are done!
If you end up making one of these, please let me know and share your finished dress in my flickr group or facebook page!
Do you like this tutorial? Don't forget to pin it!
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