In case you missed my guest post earlier this week.
I want to show you guys how to make an easy easy summer dress for yourself or a little girl in your life. Once you get the hang of it you might be able to pump them out in an hour or so! Lets get started on the Dress
To make this dress you will need:
1. Sewing Machine and sewing supplies
2. Elastic thread ( you will wrap around bobbin by hand)
3. One Yard Fabric for child 2 or more yards for an adult
1.Measure the chest of the person you are making for and double that number.
She was a 24 so my chest number is 48. ( This is because when you start to shirr the dress it will shrink)
Chest x 2 = Width of fabric
Measure the length you want the dress to be and add 2 inches.The length I wanted for her was 12 so the total is 14. ( This gives your room to Hem the top and the bottom of the dress)
Length you want + 2 = Length of fabric
2. Then you will cut your fabric. To those measurements. Remember measure twice cut once.You will end up with a big piece of fabric.
You can do one of two things at this point.
Keep it big- Less steps but dress shape might be a tiny bit odd wont be noticeable on a child's dress, and the dress will only have one seam.
Cut it half -creating a front and back piece, it is an extra step but the dress will fall a little better and the dress will have two side seams.
It is a preference thing. Your dress can be amazing either way.
If you decide to keep it big set it aside and let's prepare the rest of our supplies.
If you cut it half all you have to do is sew it back together again along the side. Seems weird but when you are done with the dress you will sew the other side, creating two side seams. (make sense?)
Take the bobbin and gently wrap the elastic thread around it. Do not pull to tight. and do not do it with the machine it must be done by hand. Just wrap slowly, going round and round. You can do it!
Lets get the straps ready.
The straps can be really easy. You can find some grosgrain ribbon that matches the dress. and just put some fray check or fabric glue at the ends and you are done with the straps and ready to sew.
I did not have ribbon so I made straps with the remainder of my fabric.
Decide how wide you want your straps to be and double that number.
The length of the straps will depend on the model. I just kind eye balled it.
First you take your strip and fold it in half and press.
Open it. and fold the sides into that center line and press.(middle picture)
Then sew down both sides of the strap. When you get the the ends of the strap fold it over twice and sew.
Prepare the main part of your dress by hemming the top and the bottom of the dress. If you have a serger just serge the ends fold it over about one inch, press and sew. If you do not have a serger fold over the edge 1/4 inch and press, fold over 1/2 inch and press, pin and sew.
Now we are ready to sew your dress. Put your bobbin with the elastic thread into the machine. and start sewing straight lines across the width of the fabric. For children's dress this is how I figure out how many lines to sew. AGE + 2 . My four year old I did 6 lines. For adults sew about 20 -30 lines or till it will cover the entire bust area. Use the edge of your fabric as a line guide for the first line you sew. For the next line use the previous line as your guide. Line up the line with the edge of your sewing foot.
You will notice the fabric start the gather. Yippie!
If you run out of elastic thread in the middle of a line. Just put a new bobbin in with elastic thread and start about 2cm before the place where the elastic ended, backtack and then keep sewing. Backtack means sew forward a few stitches then back a few stitches and forward to continue.
When you are done with all the rows it will look like this but the fabric will still be big.
Stay with me for the BIG shrink!
Fold the fabric in half with the party side to party side, (right sides) face to face. So it is wrong side out facing you like this
Pin,sew down the side then press.
Zig or serge to finish the edges.
Turn the dress right side out and you are almost done!
To shrink the top you can do one to two things... put it in the wash and dry it. or Spray it with some water till Damp (you will notice it shrinking) then press it with your iron.
Once you have done that decide where you want your straps to be sewn, pin them, sew them on, the best way to sew them securely is to sew a square with an X in the middle. It's neat and secure. Or just sew it on with a zig-zag stitch but make sure you have matching thread so it is not noticeable.
Enjoy making your fun and easy spring/summer breezy dress!!