Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breezy Sundress Tutorial

I love shopping for cute clothes for my daughter but I hate paying so much money for something I can easily make my self! Here's a simple tutorial for a sweet dress you can finish during nap time! Just make sure you get your measurements first! 
Don't forget to make a matching diaper cover!! download my free pattern/tutorial under the tutorials tab!

4 Straps- 1.5” x 12”
1 Chest Piece-8” x chest measurement, plus 1”
1 Main Dress - ON FOLD measure from armpit to 1” above knee for the length x chest measurement
1 Trim- ON FOLD 4” x chest measurement 
*Seam allowances = 1/2" unless stated otherwise.
Fold strap pieces in half lengthwise. Unfold and press sides to center. Fold sides in again and press. (you are basically making bias tape. You could buy premade bias tape if you want to skip this step!) Fold in ends of straps and sew down the side. Do this to all 4 straps.

Fold chest piece in half so the shorter ends are together, right sides together and pin. Sew together and press the seam open.
Take the top edge of your chest piece and fold down to the bottom edge with wrong sides together.
Open back up and press edges to center crease. Now fold in half (the opposite way you pressed) Position the seam in the middle and flatten (don’t press). Make a mark on each side and then turn chest piece so one of the marks you just made is centered in front. Measure 1/2" in where you marked and make another mark. Take a regular size mug and place the edge 1/2" in where you marked, making sure it is centered. Trace mug and cut out. Do this to both sides. Now sew 1/8" around arm holes. Turn right side out, push out corners and press.

Pin trim piece to bottom of main dress piece right sides together. Sew together and press seam towards main dress. Top stitch just above trim. Make sure you are catching the seam allowance as you top stitch. I like to do another row of top stitching, just because.

Fold dress in half, right sides together, pin raw edges and sew . Zigzag in seam allowance to secure and press to the side. This seam will actually be the back of the dress.

Position chest piece so the seam is centered in the back and mark the center and sides with safety pins. Do the same with the main dress piece so you can line them up and make sure you have gathered the dress evenly. You don't need to pin the back, just line up the seams on the dress and chest piece.

Set your stitch length to the longest setting and stitch all around top of main dress piece starting and ending at the back seam, without overlapping the stitches. Pull the bobbin thread and adjust gathers until the dress is the same size around as the chest piece and the safety pins are aligned. Make sure all the gathers are even all around and pin inside the chest piece. Using lots of pins for this step makes sewing it together much easier. If you lightly press the gathers right before you sew they stay put better.

Now is a good time to try the dress on your child to determine where you want your straps. I like place the back straps a little closer together than the front. Pin straps 1/4" down on the inside of chest piece and top stitch all the way around the top of the dress, back stitch over the straps to make sure they stay secure.

These are the measurements I used for my daughter who is 15 months:
-Chest measurement-19" (chest piece was 20")
-Main dress portion- 13" from armpit to 1" above knee.
-Strap placement- 2.5" from center in the front and 2" in the back.
The fabrics used for this dress were bought at Joann's from the Legacy Studio line.


  1. Adorable! Wanna make one for me now? Jk. You make it look easy. I might have to try this now.

  2. Very cute!! I am visiting from Sassy Sites. Come on by and say HI! I love your blog! So many great ideas! I'm a new follower... :)

  3. Thanks for blogging!
    Love this dress! I just bought a pattern from your etsy site. I can't wait to make them both.


Related Posts with Thumbnails