Jun 19, 2014

Simple Summer Dress Tutorial #1

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This dress can be made with measurements for baby to young child (like 6 years old or so)!

As my 3-year-old daughter Olivia only wants to wear dresses lately I decided to whip a couple of dresses up for her benefit (and my benefit because of price (with coupons) and your benefit because I have another fun project tutorial)! This project will work for babies through young child (like I'd say even 6 or maybe 7 years old...you'll just have to measure the length of the skirt and make sure you can get that in the circle skirt)! This dress involves a circle skirt and an elastic gathered bodice (somewhat like smocking). You just need some measurements to start. There may or may not be a lot of math to start with...it's good for you right?! :D


When you're done please pretty please post a picture in our Totally Stitchin' Facebook page! I love to see what you do with this tutorial!!!


  • Measurement A (shown below): About armpit level to the bottom of the sternum (this is how long you want the bodice to be)
  • Measurement B (shown below): From bottom of the sternum to the length that you would like the dress (this will be the length of the skirt)
  • Measurement C: Around-the-chest measurement
  • Measurement D: Around-the-waist (or belly) measurement

Illustration of the girl is from Twistynoodle.com


SUPPLIES: To figure out how much fabric you'll need to buy DOUBLE Measurement B plus DOUBLE the RADIUS OF WAIST MEASUREMENT (see step 2 or just add 15 to be safe) because it's a circle skirt (no side seams) a larger quantity of fabric is needed for the skirt plus 6 for the straps plus DOUBLE Measurement A (for the bodice) plus 2 for seam allowances. That should be exactly how much fabric you need...you might get a couple inches extra just to be safe :) (I needed about 1 3/4 yd for my 3-year-old).

You'll also need a package of 1/4 elastic and thread sewing machine and a serger can be helpful (but if you don't have one I will give alternate methods)! REMEMBER I did this for a 3-year-old and used 45 fabric if you are doing this for an older child like 6-8 years old you may need to take fabric width into consideration and may need to use a 60 fabric (or if you can't get a full circle skirt with the length that you want (with a 45 fabric) you will need to cut 2 halves to the circle and sew side seams but you'll also need more fabric...sorry this tutorial doesn't go over making the circle skirt with side seams). Make sure to get a soft fabric...mine was kind of stiff and it worked but soft is better (especially for 3-year-olds)! :)

Here we go! Since the tutorial is on the longer side (with lots of pictures!) I made it into a PDF. Click here to download the Simple Summer Dress Tutorial!!

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