I made this adorable dress for Lucy the other day during nap time. She loves it and asks to wear it all the time. We found some fabric at Joann's that was already smocked at the top and just did one seam up the back to make the dress. Julia wanted one too, so I made a tutorial while I did hers.
We found her fabric on clearance at Hobby Lobby for just $4. Field's Fabric also had some in various lengths. I used one yard for each dress - just wrap it around your little one to see how much you need. If you plan to use fabric for the straps, you'll need 8 inches extra. A thick ribbon can also be used for straps.
Just to clarify, for this tutorial, the words refer to the picture above.
You'll need your little model nearby while you sew. Wrap the fabric around her and loosely measure where your seam needs to be. I made Lucy's dress a little bit big so that she'll have room to grow. Fold the fabric over on top of itself with the right sides together. Sew one seam down the full length of the dress. When you get past the smocked part, your seam will jog over to the right just a bit because of the extra gathered fabric. Hold the bottom edges evenly together to help you sew an straight seam.
Cut just to the side of your seam. (You can also cut the fabric first and then sew, I just found it to be easier this way.)
Go back over your seam with a zigzag stitch on the edge to prevent fraying.
Now you'll make the straps:
Take your extra fabric piece and cut the smocking off. Iron this flat, and then cut two 4 inch strips. This will make 1 inch wide straps.
Fold one strip in half and iron it flat.
Open it back up. Take the bottom edge and fold it up to the middle. Iron.
Take the top edge and fold it in toward the middle as well. Iron. Fold the strap in half again, the raw edges will be tucked inside.
Sew down one edge, across the end, and back up the other side. When you get to the end, fold it up and catch it in your seam. The other end of the strap still has a raw edge. Repeat the above steps so that you have two straps.
Try the dress on your little one again and pin the straps where you like them. Be sure you have the seam of the dress in the back. I placed the straps so that they angle out just a bit.
You'll have to convince your model to hold still while you adjust the straps. Good luck with that. ;)
Sew each strap on.
I left the straps long so that I can adjust the dress next year. Tuck the extra under and sew another quick seam just through the strap to hold it together.
I used the full length of the fabric, so there was no need to hem.
There you have it! Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to see pictures if you make one.
linked to Made By You Mondays