***Before we go too far and while you are thinking about supplies, fabric featured is Jennifer Paganelli's Super Fly. I won it and quite a few other prints in her photo contest(I TOLD YOU TO ENTER THAT CONTEST!) Thank you Jennifer and Madeline! MWAH! Go get your Fly on guys and gals!***
- 1.5 yards of fabric should work with most dresses size 6 and under. If you add a ruffle at the bottom make it 2 yards just to be safe.
- I made a size 6ish dress for my daughter in both of these pictures and 1.5 yards was plenty.
- 1 package of 3/4 wide elastic
- basic sewing supplies
- Measure your little girl's chest. Multiply this number by 2 and you have your width for everything but the straps. I will call this width of dress in the cutting instructions.
- Measure from under your little girl's arm to where you want the hem of your dress to fall. I will call this length of dress in the cutting instructions.
- 2 straps - 2 inches x 10 inches
- 1 ruffle - 4 or 6 inches x width of dress
- 1 casing -1.5 inches x width of dress
- 1 dress - length of dress x width of dress
- 1 elastic - piece 2 inches smaller than your little girl's chest.
- Iron the raw edges of both straps in 1/4 of an inch.
- Fold the straps in half, wrong sides together, line up the ironed edges and iron the straps in half.
- Iron ONE raw edge of the casing in 1/4 of an inch.
- If you do not have the ability to roll a hem then iron the edge of the ruffle and dress hem under 1/4 of an inch once and then iron it under 1/4 of an inch again to cover the raw edges.
- One long edge of the ruffle.
- The bottom edge of the dress.
- I rolled my edges with my sewing machine but you can also roll it using your serger.
- The straps together down each long side.(yes my table is always strewn with embellishments and thread!)
- If you have all your pieces cut in pairs; two dress panels, two ruffle panels, two casing strips sew all of them together down one side. I left the fold of the fabric on all my pieces as my daughter's measurements basically work with the entire width of the fabric. So I only have one raw edge.
- Layer the ruffle face up on your dress panel. My ruffle is matched up all the way around but I have the whole thing folded so you just see the front dress panel.
- Find the center of the front dress panel mark it with a pin.
- Meaure out 4 inches from the center of the front dress panel on both sides of the center pin.
- Pin the straps at these positions 4 inches from the center pin.
- Tack down the straps to the front dress panel using a scant 1/4 seam allowance on your sewing machine.
- Repeat measuring, pinning and tacking down the straps for the back of the dress. Make sure you do not twist the straps when pinning. Also before tacking, eyeball the dress against another dress of your girlie or if you girlie is nearby hold it up to her and make sure the straps are the right length. Adjust as needed, then tack down the back straps.
- Pin down the raw edge of the casing to the raw edge of the dress and ruffle layer. It's a little fiddley going around the straps since they are connected to the front and the back of the dress but it works out, just take it a section at a time.
Whew I need to do something about that thing!
- Sew down the casing along the raw edge.
- Iron the sewn edge open.
- Iron the sewn edge under.
- Pin the casing down to the wrong side of the dress as pictured above.
- Sew the casing down a scant 1/8 of an inch or less along the folded edge. Don't sew too far in or you will have trouble with the elastic.
- Thread/pull the elastic you cut 2 inches smaller than your girl's chest measurement through the casing. Use a safety pin attached to one of the ends of the elastic to 'thread' it through the casing. Once the long end of the casing reaches the opening and is about to disappear forever into the casing and make you say some really not so nice words, PIN IT! Don't let it disappear! When your safety pinned end comes through the case opening pin it down too so when you let go of the safety pin it doesn't disappear back in the casing. You will thank me. =D
- Flip the dress so that the ruffle is inside out.(see above)
- Pin the ruffle at the hemmed edge and at the point where it meets up with the casing edge. (see above).
- Sew down the edge 1/4 of an inch or whatever seam allowance you want to used. A quarter or half inch is not going to make or break the fit of this dress. It's loose and comfy. Just be consistent with whatever you choose.
- Be sure when sewing the ruffle down you use a tacking stitch at the beginning and end so your stitches do not come undo over time. To put simple go backward and forward over the stitch a the beginning and end of your sewn edge.
- Flip the dress inside out.
- Pin along the raw edges of the dress.
- Start sewing at the top of the band where it meets the ruffle and sew down the edge of the dress. Make sure the ruffle is out of the way. Be sure to use a tacking stitch at the beginning and end.
- Zigzag, serge, or pink your raw edges so the will not be a mess after you wash the dress.