I’ve had this new sundress mostly finished and just sitting on my desk for almost a week now. I’ve been a bit distracted with Spring Break activities and playing with my new Photoshop elements program.
I finally finished the sundress up on Sunday and we went outside to take a few pictures… I love the spring, everything is so green and pretty after a long winter of dormant trees, grass and flowers. We don’t have any bluebonnets, but our wild purple verbena is starting to bloom. So in honor of the beautiful spring days we have been having, I am naming this sundress the Sweet and Simple Spring Sundress.
To help you make a Sweet Spring Sundress for your little one, I have put together this easy sundress tutorial.
- 1 yard +/- of fabric (I used a knit fabric for this project. I love sewing with knits for a couple of reasons: 1.) You don’t have to hem or finish seams if you don’t want to. 2.) They are more comfy than quilting cotton (IMO). 3.) Knits wrinkle less after washing. You can use quilting cotton for this project. There will be only a few tiny adjustments in the pattern if you do and I will point them out to you.
- 112 inches +/- of bias tape (Store bought or homemade. If you want to add trim the bottom ruffle like I did, you will need about 90 inches more)
- Shirt that fits well (not too loose, not too tight) to trace for the bodice pattern. (Click here: bodice pattern for the link to my printable pattern )
- measuring tape/ruler
- fabric marker
- paper and pen to make bodice pattern (I use freezer paper)
Step 1. Making your own pattern and cutting the pattern pieces: (I recommend you make your own for a custom fit, but you can print my size 4/6 version here.)
*** Important pattern printing tip*** When printing the patterns, do not print directly from Google docs. Download the pattern to your computer and open it in your adobe acrobat reader. Choose actual size and the landscape option. (I just printed a pattern directly off Google docs and notice it printed slightly smaller.)
Lay out the t-shirt onto the paper. Trace out the neckline, sleeve edges and sides of the shirt. For the length of the bodice, mine is a 5t and I measured down 3 inches from the bottom of the arm hole. (For a 2t/3t, you might only go down 2 inches and for a 7+ add an inch or two. This project is so forgiving, no matter what you do it will look cute.) Add 1/4 inch to the sides and bottom of the pattern for the seam allowance. We are binding the top and arm holes, so we don’t need to add any extra fabric here.
Next, draw a line through the neckline for the top edge. My original neckline was more curved, but I decided it looked better more straight. (So draw your bodice top line like the red line.) If you are using a cotton fabric, add an additional 1/4 inch on both sides of your pattern. This will give you an extra inch of room to compensate for the lack of stretch. (Of course use your judgement based on how loose your original tee is.)
Fold your pattern in half down the middle to cut it out. This will help keep both sides symmetrical.
Next, hold up your pattern piece to the child. With a marker, draw lines where you want the shoulder ties to be. (This is very important and will make sure the ties are in the right place and will stay on her shoulders.)
Fold the pattern piece in half again and cut along these new armhole lines.
Lay out your bodice pattern piece onto your fabric. Make sure the stretch is going side to side and cut 2. (front and back)
If you are making a 4t, 5t or size 6, just use my skirt and ruffle measurements. To make a larger or smaller size follow these instructions to get a custom fit. To determine the fabric measurements for the skirt, hold up the bodice piece to your child and measure down how far you want the skirt to go.
For the skirt length, take that measurement, add 1/2 inch for the top and bottom seam allowances and subtract 3 inches for the ruffle.
Step 2. Assembling the bodice:Grab your 2 bodice pieces, put them right sides together and sew both side seams.
Step 3. Gathering and attaching the skirt:Fold your skirt panel in half, right sides together and sew up the side seam.. If you are sewing with quilting cotton, be sure to finish all of your seams with pinking shears, a zig zag stitch with your sewing machine or a serger.
Place the pinned edge in your sewing machine and sew right over the gathering stitch. If you choose to sew over your pins, go slowly and be careful, I have broken a few needles this way.
Step 4: Gathering and attaching the top ruffle strip.Grab the ruffle strip and gather the strip the same way as you gathered the skirt. If you are sewing with cottons, hem the bottom first by folding 1/4 inch, press, then fold another 1/4 inch press and stitch the hem.
Line up the raw edges as shown below and pin.
Cut 2 pieces of bias tape about 1 inch longer than the top of the bodice. Open up the 1st piece and “sandwich” the top of the bodice and ruffle. Move your pins to the outside of the bias tape as you go.
Trim off any excess bias tape and ruffle.
Sew right along the bottom edge of the bias tape.
Attach the bias strip to the back bodice piece the same way, but without the ruffle. The front bodice will look like this when you’re done:
Start sewing at the end of one tie. Sew all the way down the tie, around the arm hole and to the other end of the tie. Finish the end of the tie with a little knot. Repeat on the other side.
Step 6: Attaching the bottom ruffle.Almost done… Grab the bottom ruffle strip. Sew the short edges together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance to make one big circle. (If you are sewing with cottons hem the bottom now.) Sew a gathering stitch along the top edge of the ruffle 1/4 inch from the top.
Gather the ruffle strip the same way you gathered the skirt. Right sides together, line up the raw edges of the bottom of the skirt and the top of the ruffle. Pin securely and sew right over the gathering strip. I can’t find my picture of this step, but it is done the exact same way we attached the skirt to the bodice.
|Isn’t this picture gorgeous? It is definitely going in a frame!|