Monday, June 06, 2011

30 minutes A Day at the Park Dress Tutorial

Hi, everyone! As promised, we will start this week with a tutorial for our



I made this dress as a birthday present for one of my daughter's closest friends.

my princess is modelling it

The dress can be worn as is for the hotter months, layered with a nice top or topped with a nice cardigan for the cooler months. 

The dress came with a matching purse 

and a headband with a multi-purpose brooch.

Let's proceed to the tutorial. This dress was designed for a medium-built 6-year old. Feel free to add or subtract inches to or off the measurements.

You will be needing the following materials:

Two chest pieces with the following dimensions:
* if you print the drawn image below, it will not yield an exact pattern. You should draw your own pattern using the measurements which would suit your needs. The measurements is for a 6-7 year old. Just adjust the measurements according to your needs. 

**I would have shared a printable template but my scanner is broken so I could only give you this drawing with measurements. I also forgot to include the measurement of the folded side - the length should be 5.25" ^^)

This is for a folded pattern so when unfolded, the top part of your chest piece will be 8.5" long, the bottom part will be 13" long. Please take note that the arm hole length is 2.25" and the depth is the same. 

6 Back pieces which consist of:

4 side pieces 3.25" x 7"

2 center pieces 3.25" x 4"

2 Skirt Pieces 15" x 25"(length will depend on your desired dress length and width will depend on your desired fullness of the skirt)

2 pieces for your ruffled hem 6" x 35"
2 strap pieces 2" x 22" (width and length will depend on how wide and how long you want your straps to be)

Now, let's construct our dress!

Get your straps pieces and fold them in half-lengthwise, wrong sides of the fabric together, and sew a straight stitch.

When you are finished sewing straight stitches, move the fabric so you'd have the sewn part on it's center as shown below.

Take on of the ends of each piece and sew a diagonal line using straight stitches as shown below.

Turn yout pieces inside-out and iron them.You could topstitch the straps or not, whichever floats your boat! ^^)

Now, we will make sew together our chest and back pieces. As the chest will be lined, you should have two sets of chest piece + the back pieces (2 sides and center pieces). When each piece for a set is sewn together, we will then have the exterior and interior of our chest piece. (I hope I make sense... I've got this nasty habit of confusing even my own self... ^^)

Get two side pieces and attach them together with the center piece on it's center so you'll have this:

So get one chest piece and attach to one of its side one of the side pieces. With the fabrics facing right sides together, sew a straight stitch leaving about a 1/4" seam from the edge and iron the seam as shown below.

Attach the other side piece to the side of your chest piece so you'll have this:

Do the same to the other set, so you'll have two of them.

Now, take one of your already sewn together chest piece as we will be attaching the elastic to each side. Do leave at least a 1/4" allowance from the top of your piece so you could still sew one chest piece to another chest piece. As you can see, the elastic is not aligned on the very top edge of our side piece but has an allowance from the top edge.

Attach the other end of your elastic to the end of that side piece. You might like to sew zigzag stitches after the straight stitches just to make sure your elastic won't come unsewn or won't get ripped.

Do the same to the other side. Reminder: You will have to attach elastic on one chest+side+center piece only.

Now get one chest piece and attach your straps to it using a basting stitch. Leave a 1/4" seam on each side.

Now, with two pieces (the chest piece with elastic and the chest piece without) right sides together, pin the side seams to align them. Pin together both fabrics as needed.

Now, sew a straight stitch 1/4" away from the edge starting on the piece where you have the elastic sewn on.

You might have to stretch a little your elastic when you do this.

When finished, cut some slits on your armholes so the curve will be crisp when you turn it inside out later. Also, clip the edges for a crisp edge later.

(no slits yet ^^)

Now, let us turn our chest piece inside out. Make sure to push the edges with a blunt object so your fabric won't get ripped. 

Topstitch your chest piece but make sure you leave about 1/8" seam or less from the edge and make sure you won't sew on your elastic bands.

Now, it's time to create the casing for the elastic. We only need to sew straight stitches as shown below, leaving a 1/8" seam from bottom edge of the elastic. You could pin in place your elastic just to make sure it won't get caught. You should also stretch very slightly your elastic so you could make nice straight stitches.

So, we now have the casing!

Now, we need to create two buttonholes on the center piece of the back side of our dress' upper part. Mark with a fabric marker where you want your buttonholes.

Get your special foot for creating buttonholes and sew a buttonhole.

When you're finished sewing it, we now have to create the hole for our buttonhole. You need to get a pin and place it on the upper part of your buttonhole as shown below so when you rip the buttonhole open with the seam ripper, the stitches won't get accidentally ripped.

You might like to treat your buttonholes with some fray check.

If you're not sure if two buttonholes would be enough, you could add two more buttonholes on either side so you could adjust the dress to fit, especially if you do not know the exact body measurement of the person who would be wearing it. the upper part of our dress will look like this:

Now, we need to make the lower part of the dress which is the skirt.

Get your skirt pieces and attach them together using the french hem. You can see a detailed explanation here.

Do the same to the piece which will become your skirt's ruffled hem/band. After that, fold them in half-lengthwise, with fabric wrong sides together and sew gathering stitches then gather the piece to create ruffles. You can see a detailed explanation of gathering a fabric piece here.

Pin it to your skirt piece as shown below. Pin the sides and the center so your ruffles will be more or less evenly distributed. Pin as needed. 

Sew the pieces together by sewing straight stitches. Make sure you are sewing with the right side of the skirt piece facing upwards as shown below.

You could also sew zigzag stitches so the edges won't fray or you can serge it! 

Now, topstitch!

Take out the gathering stitches. You now have pretty ruffles!

Let's repeat the same steps for the skirt piece.

Gathering stitches:

Gather your skirt:

Pin the skirt to your dress' upper part. The pieces should be facing right sides together. The wrong side of your upper part of the dress is the side where the joined and sewn edges of the straps shows (see picture):

Sew them together by sewing straight stitches leaving 1/4" seam allowance from the edge:

Now, let's do some zigzag stitches:

Rip off the gathering stitches:

Then topstitch!

Now, you have a lovely dress!

Make as many dresses as you want! 

I hope you like our tutorial for today! We would like to see your own version. Do share it on Facebook and tag us! Thanks! You're awesome! ^^)

Enjoy and have fun! 

And do not forget to come back next monday for another dress tutorial! Have a fab monday and do not forget to share with us your lovely creations! ^^)

P.S. Don't forget to vote for us at The Picket Fence. Just click the button below to vote. Thanks!


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11 lovely people left a warm message!:

Jill said...

What a great tutorial for an oh-so-pretty dress!

I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

BigBearswife said...

Very very cute dress!! love it!

Jill said...

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Cidinha said...

My dear friend, I love it..very, very beautiful!


Jerri said...

Hi. I'm visiting from Truly Lovely! I love the dress and all the accessories you made!

Little Jo said...

Hey I love this tutorial and definitely want to make one of my own for my little girl who is 2 :)

I also posted one of your badges on my blog which is... new, and probably really bad

anyway, if i do end up making the dress i will link back to this tutorial :)

Little Jo said...

I love this tutorial it's so cute :]

I definitely want to make this for my little girl and if I will put it on my blog and link back to it here.

I also put one of your badges on my blog which is.... new and pretty much empty so yeah shameless plug there if you could have a look and let me know what you think... im new to all this lol!

Waseem said...

I like the tutorial and the dress.I like the idea.

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magnolienrinde said...

Your blog is just amazing!!! I love it!

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