Project Pretty Little Peplum Flower Girl Dress

By Stephanie Struckmann

Skill Level: Advanced  

Pretty-Little-Peplum-Flower-Girl-Dress.jpg
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Between the ruffles, lace and intricate peplums, a serger’s the perfect machine to use for making a flower girl dress. Follow this serger tutorial to make a cute dress for the adorable little flower girl in your life. It will be a day and a dress she’ll always remember. Download printable instructions.

Materials:

  • 4 cones Madeira® Aerolock Serger Thread to match fabrics
  • 1 spool Madeira® Decora 6 Decorative Thread (coordinating)
  • Madeira® Aerofil Polyester Sewing Thread to match fabrics
  • Free downloadable pattern from The Cottage Mama
  • 12” to 16” invisible zipper to match (depending on child size)
  • Fabric - amounts will vary with child's size

Tools:

Steps:

  1. For fabric, 3T: 3 to 4 yards for bodice, skirt, and peplums, 22” for sash, 1.25 to 1.5 yards of tulle, 1.5 to 2.5 yards of (OPTIONAL) lace overlay. Lining is optional.

    1. Use pattern for assistance, but account for the added fabric of the peplums and the added skirt length.

    2. I used an ivory silk dupioni for the bodice, skirt, and peplums and a coordinating champagne color for the satin sash, lace overlay, and decorative stitching.

    3. I did not line the skirt and I used my gown fabric as a bodice lining, but if you desire a different skirt lining, purchase the same amount as the lace.

  2. Using the bodice pattern and instructions from the selected pattern, find your skirt dimensions.

    1. Measure around the belly and multiply that by 2, 3, or 4 (depending on your fabric weight; I multiplied by 4 with silk dupioni).

    2. Divide this by 2 and that is your FRONT SKIRT and BACK SKIRT WIDTH each.

    3. To find skirt length, you might construct the bodice first and measure from the bodice waist seam to desired length and add 1” for seam and hem allowances.

  3. Cut bodice and lace overlay. To cut your skirt front and back, cut two rectangles the same size with your desired skirt length by desired gather width.

    1. Cut skirt back into two equal pieces (center back seam needed for zipper insertion).

    2. Repeat for lining and lace overlay (scalloped lace will not need hemming).

  4. The peplums are semi-circles. To cut both at the same time, fold two layers each of fabric and tulle in half.

    1. Measure from a central point to the desired skirt length measurement. Mark and cut along the curve and top edge (don’t cut the fold).

  5. To cut the sash, use a rotary cutter and cut two strips 8” wide by approx. 58” long and cut one 5” strip for the front sash.

    1. Iron in half pretty sides out, line up and cut the front sash down to the same width as the front bodice.

  6. Assemble BODICE according to the pattern instructions. If you are adding lace overlay, baste the lace to the fabric first with a ¼” allowance around the front and back pieces then assemble.

    1. After bodice has been sewn to lining, press, and serge each center back seam (outer to lining) and the lower edge of the bodice.

  7. To assemble the SKIRT, serge the side seams of your skirt layers and serge the center back seam leaving a 4” to 6” opening at the top.

    1. Compare the zipper length to center back of bodice and skirt to determine how much to leave open on the skirt.

    2. Make a clip at the end of the zipper seam opening on the skirt, serge each side of the zipper opening separately. Hem layers that are in need of one.

    3. Pin all skirt layers together. Using a 4-thread overcasting stitch with a stitch length of 4, serge the top edge of the skirt.

    4. Gather your skirt up by pulling the 2 needle or short threads in your serger thread tail.

  8. Let’s work on the PEPLUMS. For each peplum, pin one tulle semi-circle to one fabric semi-circle, pretty sides together.

    1. Serge the entire curved edge (not the straight, top edge). Turn right sides out and understitch your seam allowance to the tulle layer. Press fabric side.

    2. Serge the upper two layers together on each peplum. Baste lines where you’ll be placing your decorative serging.

    3. Baste your first line an inch from the curved edge of the peplum and 9. stitch a second line an inch above the first line.

    4. Don’t stitch on your serger stitching along the top edge of the peplum. That will be our gathering line.

  9. Set your serger to a cover stitch with the Decora 6 thread in the Cover Looper. Adjust stitch length as desired.

    1. Make sure the underside of your project is facing up while serging because the decorative stitch will serge underneath.

    2. Stitch along your basting lines making sure to take your first stitch just after the serger stitch along your top edge.

    3. Gather the top edge of each peplum with those two serger needle threads as you did before.

  10. To create the SASH, fold and pin your 8” strips down the long edge, pretty sides together. Cut an angle on the end of each strip.

    1. Sew the long edge and the angled end with a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam open (don’t crease edges). Turn right sides out and press.

  11. Open your pressed front sash, and mark a small line about ¾” up from the lower edge.

  12. Shorten the sash ties at the raw edge, according to the length needed for the child wearing the dress. Serge those short ends and gather.

    1. Pin the gathered end of the sash (seam facing down) between your marks and pressed crease on the front sash.

  13. After pinning both, baste the gathered edge down to hold in place.

  14. Fold the front sash in on itself, pretty sides together. Stitch both side seams of the front sash (with the gathered sash ties sandwiched in between).

  15. Pull right sides out and press. Compare the front sash to the front bodice and take in if necessary so that the side seams are even.

  16. Serge the lower edges of the front sash together. Baste the front sash to the bodice front.

  17. Let’s sew this dress together, shall we?! Pin peplums to the skirt, matching peplums at the center front of the skirt and at the back.

    1. Leave a 5/8” seam allowance for the zipper (you may need to adjust your gathers). Baste the peplums to the skirt.

  18. Pin the bodice to the skirt, pretty sides together (making sure that the back sash ties don’t get in the seam).

    1. Stitch the waistline seam; it may be a little thick, so take your time.

  19. ZIPPER time! Press your invisible zipper teeth open. Line your invisible zipper up with your seam line. Stitch zipper in place using your invisible zipper foot.

    1. The top end of the zipper gets tucked back behind the zipper allowance lining and stitched down. Add a hook and eye, if necessary.

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