Step 1: Print your pattern pieces and cut them out and tape together.
There are two necklines on the dress pattern piece. To make it easier, you can print it twice and cut out the back neckline on one and the front neckline on the second.
Step 2: Cut pattern pieces from fabric:
Line dress and sleeve pattern pieces up on the fold of fabric.
Cut one front dress piece, one back dress piece, and two sleeves. (Using either the short sleeve or long sleeve pattern.)
If using the long sleeve pattern, there is an optional narrow sleeve for use on a stretch knits only.
You will have: 1 Front piece, 1 back piece and 2 sleeves.
Step 4: Assemble the dress.
Right sides together, line up the sleeve edges with the armhole edges of the dress front. Sew along this seam (marked in blue) using the 1/4 inch seam allowance and finish the edge with a serger, zig zag stitch or Pinking Shears.
Grab the back dress piece and line up the other sleeve edges and sew the arm/sleeve edges the same way.
Next, line up the front and back pieces and sew down the sleeve edge all the way to the bottom of the dress, do both sides and finish the seam edge with your preferred method.
To create the neck casing, fold the edge of the neckline in 1/4 inch and press. Fold the neckline over another half inch and press again. Use pins if needed, but be careful not to melt your pin heads when pressing!
Stitch along the edge of the casing, a scant 1/8 inch from the folded edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end and leave a 1.5 inch opening in the casing to insert the elastic.
Cut your elastic according to this guide. (Keep in mind you may want to cinch up your neck line more or less depending on how the dress is fitting:)
- 12 to 18 months: 15 to 16 inches
- 2t/3t: 17 to 20 inches
- 4/6: 19 to 20 inches
- 7: 20 to 21 inches
- 8: 21 to 22
- 10: 22 to 23
- 12: 23 to 23.5
- 14: 23.5 to 24
Attach a safety pin to the edge of the elastic and thread the elastic through the casing. Have your model try on your dress if possible and make any needed adjustments.
Sew the elastic ends together (Be careful not to twist them) using a wide zigzag stitch and trim any excess elastic. Finish sewing the elastic casing closed.
Step 5: Hemming the bottom of the Dress.
Fold the bottom edge over 1/2 inch, press, fold over another 1/2 inch press again and sew along the folded edge.
Step 6: Sleeve finishing options:
To finish the sleeves of your dress, you have a couple of options: Shirring the Sleeve edge, creating a casing and adding elastic or just hemming.
Here are some examples of the different sleeve options and the instructions to do them:
1. Shirring the sleeve edge:
Fold the sleeve edge over 1/4 inch, press, fold another 1/4 inch press again and sew along the folded edge. With elastic thread on your bobbin, add 3 to 4 rows of shirring, 1/4 inch apart. For a more detailed shirring tutorial, see my shirred sundress tutorial.
2. Adding a casing:
The arm casings are created just like the neck casing. Elastic cutting guide lengths for the arms:
- 12 to 18 months: 7 to 7.5 inches
- 2t/3t: 8 inches
- 4/6: 8.75 inches
- 7: 9 to 9.5 inches
- 8: 9 to 9.5 inches
- 10: 9.75 to 10
- 12: 10.25 to 10.5
- 14: 10.5 to 11
3. Hemming the sleeves:
You can also hem the sleeve w/out adding elastic. This is the easiest option and is still very cute. Just fold the sleeve edge over 1/4 inch, press, fold over another 1/4 inch press again and sew.
That’s it! Your peasant dress is done! Go have your little one try it on and pose for a few pictures to share!