Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Daughter's Easter Dress - Whew!

I am so glad this is done and ready, and it fits! Woo hoo! I found a beautiful pink and brown print fabric, which had bunnies printed on it, and knew instantly it had to be an Easter dress.

I intended to make the whole dress from the fabric but, I ended up wanting some contrast (and didn't feel like making sleeves). I pulled out of my closet a brown t-shirt I had that was the same shade brown as the brown in the bunny fabric - I had intended to toss the t-shirt because it had a small hole in it, but I was glad to find a reuse for it!

I measured one of my daughter's current dresses, and used those measurements to create the pattern for her new dress. If you want the pattern, I can email it to you. I wanted the skirt to look like petals, to represent the spring that's coming. Plus I love how fairy-like and princess-y it looks ;)

I cut out the petals first, and utilized 14 of them to make the skirt. Then I cut out the brown shirt and made a tank-like top. I will post pictures below, along with steps to create the dress.

You need:
Elastic (measure around your child's high waist, and add an inch to that. Cut off a piece of elastic that big.
Fabric (depending on child's size. My daughter is 24months/2T clothing, so I needed about 1 yard).
Thread color of your choice

1) Use pattern to measure top and cut out two pieces.
2) Cut out 10-20 petals for the skirt, depending on how full you want it. You can even make the petals different sizes if you would like a more whimsical look.

3) First, sew the edges of the petals. I found it easiest to use fabric glue to hold the edges of the petal down so that I could sew around the edges. It worked wonderfully.
4) Stretch the elastic out (I used the leg of the couch to hold one end, my workout weights to hold the other - lol, I know, I've got such a great setup ;)!!)
5) Once the elastic is stretched out, place some fabric glue down the length of the elastic, and lay one layer of the petals down on the elastic. Once done, put another layer of glue on the top edges of those petals, and stagger another row. Keep going until you've utilized all of your petals.
6) Let those dry while moving on to sewing the top.

7) Place the two top pieces back to back. Using a thread color you'd like (I chose white because I like the stitching to stand out), sew up both sides from bottom to armpit.
8) Sew the tops of the straps together so that they are connected.
9) Using the fabric glue, turn down the edges of the arms/armpit/neck.
10) Sew the edges down for a clean look.

11) Go back and get the elastic and petals. The glue does not need to be 100% dry, but should be mostly dry.
12) Keeping it stretched out with your hands (it is a difficult task I know, but can be done!) feed the elastic through the machine while stitching the petals to the elastic.
13) Sew up the sides so the skirt is connected together. You will need to overlap the side so that there is no gap in petals.
14) Put the skirt inside out, and put the shirt right side out into the skirt so that the bottom of the shirt and the top of the skirt meet.
15) Again, pulling the elastic to match up with the fabric, pin around the length so that you can sew around it.
16) Sew around the length of the pieces, pulling the elastic so that it matches the fabric. This will leave you with a slightly puckered/gathered look later on - very cute.

17) Flip all the pieces so the dress is rightside out. Now, here's the fun part - adding a rose to the center!

18) Cut a length of material - I usually make mine 15-20 inches long, and 4-8 inches wide.
19) Fold the material in half so the outside is showing. Sew up along the open edge. Sew one end closed.
20) Thread the top back out the open end so the fabric is right side out. Fold in the open edges and sew the open end closed.
21) Now, begin wrapping it up in a circular motion (keep it messy so it looks real) like the pictures here:
22) Once done, thread with a needle all the way through near the bottom, crisscrossing until the rose is closed and stable.

23) Using thread and needle, attach the rose to the dress.

24) If you want, you can tie some material up near the shoulders for a little tied top look.

I am unsure whether I'm going to have her wear this hand-knit cap with a bow that I purchased, or with a headband with a matching flower (that I made from the brown fabric and then the center is a bunched up piece of the pink fabric).

It was a very fun project, and I love how it looks! It did fit her perfectly (but of course she was not happy to have to put on another outfit that day!) so I'll get pictures of her on Easter and post it.

Yay! I feel so proud for having accomplished this!



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