Monday, June 27, 2011

The Picnic Dress (Tutorial)

With all my apron sewing,...I needed a break! I was feeling inspired by the warm summer sun and picnics out in the grass. My sister Roslyn is due with my 2nd niece any day now, and as a gift to her, I am planning on making the two "sisters" matching dresses. So I decided to start sharpening my dress making skills. :) So the picnic dress came to be.

Here is what I did!

Step 1: I found a tee-shirt dress at my local department store that would fit my niece Dakota. I traced the outline of both sides of the dress on brown paper. (without the little cuff sleeves) Cut the pattern pieces out and labeled them.

Step 2: I used the pattern to cut out both the front and back of the dress. Making sure to cut a slit in the back for easy access to take on and off. (Later attaching a small button and elastic to keep the back closed)

Step 3: I cut out a dip in the front of the dress because I decided to add a cute little bib style front with added buttons. This was a bit tricky,..but after a bit of measuring and re-cutting, turned out just right! I went ahead and took my pattern piece and cut out the bib. I then used that piece to cut out the white fabric. I made sure to make the bib another 1 inch bigger than the pattern, so that I would have enough fabric to attach it to the dress itself.

You can see that I ironed the front of the dress and made a very close top stitch around the seem to secure the white panel on the dress.

Step 4: Once the bib is finished,..I took white bias tape around the bottom and arms instead of hemming it. I love the red gingham fabric, but it needed something to mute the bright red. I think the white helped with that.

Step 5: I wish I owned a serger,..but I don't, so I went ahead and used my machine to sew the pieces together at the sides and shoulders. I then used my iron to carefully iron the seems open so that it would be comfortable on her (and not scratch at her shoulders).

Step 6: I attached by hand a small red button on the back and a little elastic loop to secure the back of the dress shut.

This is the final product,...Dakota's Picnic Dress! Pretty simple right? If you decide to make one, would love to see it! Go ahead and post a picture on my Face Book page!

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