Not that Natalie really needed another dress…
Okay she did, because a girl can never have too many dresses. Especially when her mama can sew them for her.
When Melissa from Melly Sews asked me to participate in 30 days of Sundresses, I may or may not have yes, so I could have an excuse to add to Natalie’s dress wardrobe… ;) (Don’t worry, Color Your Summer 3 is still going on. Just think of this as a bonus red post ;))
By the way if you haven’t ‘met’ Melissa yet, then you have to check out her blog! She is the designer for the Blank Slate Patterns shop, her blog is full of amazing tutorials and free patterns, and she is a really great sewing teacher (which is not surprising since she is a former school teacher).
The dress I have come up with for her today has a simple silhouette with flouncy drama at the top.
With no buttons, zippers or closures, this dress is a great project for a beginner seamstress and a fun, easy nap time sew for the more experienced sewist.
Let’s make one, shall we?
1 yard of a lightweight woven material (shirting, chambray, quilter’s cotton is okay but not preferred)
1/2 yard of 1/4 inch elastic
fabric marker or pencil
And really that’s it! The materials are fairly inexpensive and easy to find.
*The amounts and measurements included in this tutorial are for a size 12 month dress.
CUT THE COLLAR
– After you have washed and dried your fabric, fold it in half perpendicular to the selvage. Fold the selvage end over parallel to the selvage about 8 inches. Then fold it in half perpendicular to the selvage again. (Basically, one quarter of the fabric should be 8 x 8 inches.) This should ensure it is cut on grain and lays right.
– Using a fabric marker or pencil, draw two parallel curved lines. Make sure that you draw the lines straight on at each folded edges. If you curve them at all at the folded edges then you will end up with divots and bumps in your collar pieces.
– Cut out your collar pieces at the lines you just marked.
-Ta da! Two identical collar pieces.
CUT YOUR DRESS PIECES
– Keeping your fabric folded as you had it with the collar, minus the 8 inches you folded over, cut your dress pieces.
– Measure out 5 inches for the top of the dress, create an arm hole curve and then slant the dress out to the width of the fabric. The dress should be about 17 inches long (I cut 16 inches and had to use a narrow hem). – If you are worried about the arm hole curve, just wing it. The shape of it is not super crucial. You can do it! :)
– While you have your iron out, press the raw edges of the two collar pieces under to the wrong side. Do this twice to create a narrow double rolled hem.
– This process can be a little tricky to keep even. Just keep in mind that any small imperfections will get lost in the ruffles. Taking your time during the ironing step will help reduce imperfections.
– Following the ironed lines, top stitch around both collar pieces to complete the double rolled hems.
– As you can see, I had a couple spots that puckered, but you can’t see it in the final product. The collar will also be a little curly because you can’t clip the double hem to get it to lay flat. Again, not to worry. It will be ruffled and gathered.
– Top-stitch around the armhole curve. Because you pressed the arm hole seam in earlier, there should be no need to pin it first.
ATTACH YOUR COLLAR PIECES
– With both collar pieces facing right side up, slide them over the top of the dress.
– Pin one collar piece right side up around the outside of the top of the dress. (Make sure the collar piece is right side up and not right side facing in!) Pin it evenly across the front and back and leave the sides to curve up for the shoulders. Make sure the shoulders curve up equally in height.
– Turn the the dress inside out and pin the second collar piece right side facing in to the match the first collar.
– Sew around the inside of the collar pieces with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
– Cut slits around the whole curved seam allowance, being careful not to cut through any stitches. Trim down the seam allowance to 1/8 of an inch.
A simple, sweet sun dress perfect for playing and running..
But cute enough for church!
The dress almost has a vintage flair to it. I couldn’t help but pair my vintage baby bonnet with it. Tutorial and free pattern found HERE.
And Natalie couldn’t help but carry this car everywhere while we took pictures. She is definitely a little sister to two older brothers. She loves cars as much as she loves dolls! She only gave it up when I took off her bonnet.
And she could feel the wind blow through her hair. She loved that. :) My kind of girl.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are enjoying your summer!
UPDATE: If you choose a cotton fabric be prepared to re-iron that collar after every wash… as I just found out this week. It’s not too bad to iron up, but it’s also not a dress you can leave a little wrinkly now and then. Just an FYI. :)
And check out all the other great sundresses apart of Melly Sew’s Sundress series: