Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dress Tutorial

This is a tutorial for "The Holly dress"-years ago this was the only style of dress my oldest DD would wear--my mom sees it and calls it her "farm dress". Pockets can be added on the front so that children can carry their treasures easily. You don't need to have a serger to make it-you can use french seams and one turned raw edge to complete the dress. From start to finish it takes about one hour to make one dress.
First you need to cut out 2 of each of the pattern pieces- all on a fold. The top is fully self lined --here's how. Sew the front to the back at the shoulders. Press seams open.
The put the pretty sides together and sew around the neckline of the two pieces (front to back). Turn and press the neckline. The armholes and sides are not sewn.
Lay the top flat in front of you on a table.
Roll the top starting at one of the armholes toward the opposite armhole.
When you get to just about the neckline--you can stop--invert the armhole so that the rolled portion of the top is inside the tube and you have one armhole to sew together. Sew the arm hole only--don't sew down the sideseam.

Then you pull out (turn) the one armhole--it will come out:) Repeat with the other armhole.
At this point--you have the neckline and both armholes sewn--the sides are still unsewn. Turn the top so that the pretty sides are out --press the armholes and neckline.
Fold top so that the front is on top and the back of the dress is on the table top. Side seams are still not sewn.
To sew side seams: Put the pretty sides to pretty sides on the sides--by turning up the side seam to the armhole on both the front and back pieces--it will make a straight line--you sew down to the armhole seam-make sure you match the seams and then continue so that the side is sewn.
Turn down and the side seam is now sewn-repeat for other side. Now the top is fully lined.
The only open edges are the bottom where you attach the skirt.
To make the skirt--First make sure you mark it so that you know where the top of the skirt is. Serge or use french seams to sew both sides together. Serge around the bottom of the skirt. Turn up and stitch for a hem or just sew lace over the serged end. Do a running stitch around the top of the skirt. Put skirt on table with pretty sides together and seams facing out (inside out). Insert finished top inside the skirt (it doesn't matter which way because it is fully lined). Pin the seams on the side of the skirt to the seams on the sides of the top. Pull up gathering threads so that the skirt fits the top--Serge all around. If you don't have a serger then sew around outside layer of top (the one to the back) to attach skirt to top. Then fold under raw edge on bottom of top and hand stitch or sew down over the seam to enclose the raw edges.
That's it. This dress is very forgiving of growing children--it's wide and had a nice neck opening so that young kids can dress themselves easily by just pulling on the dress. In general, my girls outgrew the dress in length before they even came close to outgrowing it in width. The hemline finishes at about midcalf length.