I got this fabric this spring, but it spoke "Fall" to me. I've had an idea in my head for a dress for my girls and I finally made it. I call it the Fall Pheasant Dress. I love the bright colors of the print, the ric rac, and the neck opening with the ribbon. However, my favorite part just might be the bottom of the sleeves. It's such a fun, comfy dress that a little girl can't seem to help but twirl while wearing it.
Here's how you can make one.
- 1 1/2 yds fabric (mine was size 4T, you may need more/less depending on size)
- 2 1/2 yds ric rac one color
- 1 1/4 yd ric rac second color
- 1 yd 1/4" ribbon
- 1/2 yd 1/4" elastic
- Coordinating thread(s)
- 1 1/2 yd double-fold bias tape (optional see step 2).
* All seams 1/2" unless otherwise stated.
1. I used one of my daughter's dresses as a pattern. Shove the sleeves inside and fold it in half with the back facing out. Place on the fold of the fabric (in my picture it's not on the fold because I wanted you to see the fabric underneath). Cut around the dress about 1/2". Mine is a little wider through the middle because I wanted this dress to be baggier than the one I'm using as the pattern. Now fold your dress in half with the front facing out and cut two pieces, again using the same dimensions as the back (sorry about the bad picture). Pull the sleeve out and use it as your pattern. Cut two sleeves. I made mine quite a bit wider at the bottom so I could gather it to create the ruffly cuff. Here are my two sleeve pieces. One is folded in half, and the other is laying flat. Notice on the flat piece the little notch of fabric in the center of the top edge. I do that to help me with setting the sleeves later on - you don't have to.
2. You can just buy bias tape, but I didn't have any on hand so I made my own. If you would like to make your own as well, you need to cut your fabric along the bias. See that 45 degree line - that's the bias. Cut two 1" strips. Place RST (right sides together) at a 90 degree angle, then sew corner to corner as seen below. Trim excess. Press seam, then with wrong side facing up, fold long sides in 1/4" and press. It doesn't have to look pretty. See? It just has to create 1/2" bias tape on the other side.
3. Take your front pieces and measure down from the neck 4" and mark with a dot.
Fold under 1/4" from the neckline to that dot and stitch in place, so you end up with this. Place your front pieces RST and sew together starting at the dot, all along that edge. Finish the seam by using a serger or a zig zag stitch.
SERGER TIP: When changing thread on a serger, you DO NOT need to rethread your machine. Instead cut all the strings of the current thread, then using square knots, tie those strings to the new thread you want and you should be set. Nice, huh?!
4. Grab your front and back piece and sew RST along the shoulder edges. Serge or zig zag to finish seams.
5. Now fold the neckline 1/2" towards the inside of the dress, and press. You'll probably have to clip a little to get the fabric to lay flat. Just make sure you don't clip past the fold. Take your bias tape and pin it along the inside of the neckline, folding the ends under.
Stitch in place with an edgestitch along both long edges. This is our casing for our ribbon that we'll add later on.
6. Stitch sides of dress together and finish seams. Hem the bottom of the dress with a 1/4" hem (fold under 1/4" and press, then fold another 1/4" and press, then stitch down). Set dress aside.
7. Let's work on the sleeves. Change your sewing machine foot to the rolled hem foot. We are going to feed the bottom edge of the sleeve through like so. So we get a nice pretty rolled hem. Repeat on the other sleeve piece. Measure 2" up from the hem and pin bias tape in place. Don't worry about the ends of the bias tape. Edgestitch just like we did before in the neckline. Cut two pieces of elastic 2" longer than the child's wrist measurement. Using a safety pin, feed it through the bias tape casing on the sleeves. Stitch the ends down. Repeat on the other sleeve. Sew a basting stitch along the top curvy edges of the sleeves. Fold the sleeves in half RST and stitch along the long raw edge. Finish seam. Turn sleeves inside out.
8. Slightly gather your sleeves and place them inside the armhole opening in the dress with RST. Be sure to line up the sleeve seam and the dress side seam. If you made the notch in your sleeve, you can line that up with the dress shoulder seam. Pin in place. Stitch and finish seams. Turn dress inside out.
9. Lay flat and measure 7" up from the bottom hem and draw a line across the dress.
Measure down from that line 1 1/4" and draw another line, then measure down from that second line 1 1/4" and draw a third line. Repeat on the back of the dress, then stitch the desired colors of ric rac to the dress over those lines. Make sure you start at a side seam and when you get to the end, roll the edge of the ric rac under.
10. Using a safety pin, feed your ribbon through the neckline casing. Tie a pretty bow. TADA!!! All done!
Well there's your hint for Round 3. Voting for Round 2 is still open. Go here to vote. You have until Tuesday, November 2nd @ 7 am MST to cast your vote for your favorite 3.
If you've already seen the AMAZING Round 2 projects, let's see what you made that had to do with paint. Remember, these linky parties will stay open until November 16th so you can always come back and link up later. Link up to Round 1: Brand Inspired/Knock-Offs here. I'll showcase projects from each linky party after November 16.