Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple Sew Summer Girls Dress

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I saw a few simple summer dresses with one ruffle at the bottom and I knew I had to give it a try and make a few for Baby Bear to wear.  

Here was our inspiration


Cach Cach Dress from Neiman Marcus                                             Sweet Ivy 'April' Dress from Nordstrom

If you have a little one, this can be done with a fat quarter.  You can also use an old adult T-Shirt for the bottom ruffle.  

Tank top/t-shirt at least 3 sizes larger then your child's normal size
Fabric strip 3 times the length of the shirt width and 6 inches wide or more
optional but very useful-
Rotary Cutters I use Friskars
Cutting Mat
Quilting Pins

First, put the shirt on your child and figure out what you want the length to be.  Cut it 1/2 inch longer then that length.  

 Now measure the length of your shirt.  You will to cut 3 times the length of the bottom for your skirt ruffle.  You can also cut them into 2 equal length strips so that when you are finished the seam will be on the sides.  If you want it very ruffly, then use 4 times the length.  You will want to make this 6 inches in width.   

If you are using an adult t-shirt for the ruffle, you get to skip this step! I am using a piece of old thin and stretchy jeans. 

Measure 1/2 inch and iron the edge over and pin with quilting pins.  

Sew your hem using either a matching color thread, or a color thread that you don't mind showing.  I chose a golden color thread since that is what jeans usually have on the hem. 

You can use the right side of the pressure foot to keep your hem line straight.  You will want to make sure the the outer edge of the fabric stays in line with the edge of the pressure foot.  It is much more accurate then watching the needle. 

 Next you want to create your ruffle. (If you are really lucky, you may have a ruffle foot.) Put your tension on the highest number setting so your stitches are very loose.  You will want to make 2 passes close together (but not overlapping-see above image) with your sewing machine leaving 2 inches extra thread on each end.  Now pull both of the back threads to the width of your shirt with either 1/2 inch or 1 inch extra depending on where you will make the side seams.  

Now sew the side seam(s) with the right sides together as you sew. 

Next, line the skirt with the side shirt seams and pin with right sides together.  Line the skirt top line up with the cut that you made on the shirt and pin with quilting pins.  Now sew, pull out the threads you sewed to create a ruffle and you are done!

Finished dress

Get creative and add another layer under with tulle or lace. 

Here is a double Upcycled Dress Version 

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