Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Toddler Sun Dress: A Dollar Tree Tutorial

I bought this cheap little dress at The Dollar Tree, size 18 months. I decided to use it as a pattern and make my own Summer dress for my daughter. I chose white fabric with embroidered flowers, and some eyelet trim for the straps and hem. All you need is 1/2 yard of fabric, 1 package of bias tape, up to 2 yards of trim, elastic bobbin thread and regular thread.

You know what to do to follow along the rest of the tutorial....

I first took the skirt of my "pattern" and laid it on my desired fabric, giving an extra inch and a half at the top for gathering. I then cut out my pieces (2) on the folded fabric, but not on the fold; giving extra seam allowance.

You should have 2 pieces for the skirt that look like this.

Then take the bodice of your "pattern" and pin it to your fabric on the fold, giving extra seam allowance. You only need 1 piece.

 After cutting our your piece, it should look like this.

Now to start gathering. You will want to baste stitch along the top of your skirt front piece. A baste stitch is a #4 on your sewing machine. After you stitch it from one end to the other, pull your bobbin thread to give a gathered look along the top of the skirt.

Now to attach the skirt front to the bodice. Pin the bottom of your bodice to the top of the skirt, right sides facing, just below the gathered stitching.

 After you sew your bodice to the skirt, pin on your bias tape to the neckline of the bodice.

Sew on your bias tape. It should look like this.

For the fun part! Take some pins and pine 4 lines along the top back skirt on the right side. Make sure the lines are evenly widths apart.

Take your dressmakers pen and draw lines or dots along the pins so you know where to make your stitches with the elastic bobbin thread.

 At this time you will want to thread your sewing machine with your regular thread for the top stitch, and thread your bobbin with the elastic thread. Stitch right side up, along your pen markings.

It should look like this.

Pin your side seam together and stitch on a normal setting.

Take about 12 inches of the bias tape, cut it in half. Pin one half up one side of the bodice, and pin the other up the other side of the bodice. Let the straps hang loose. Stitch from the bottom of the bodice along the bias tape to the loose end of the bias tape.

Your front should look like this.

We will get back to the loose straps towards the end. Now for your hem and trim. Fold under your hem and pin the trim all the way around the bottom of the skirt.

Stitch in place.

Back to the straps. Take the loose ends and pin them to the back, parallel. If you want to criss-cross, make sure you leave extra inches to the bias tape straps. I hand stitched the straps in place and then I took extra eyelet trim from the hem to make a little cap sleeve. 

Finished project: Toddler Summer Sun Dress


This dress is for our family reunion. All the little girls are to wear white dresses in our family photos. Once Lil' miss M.E. has pictures of her wearing the actual dress, I will post pics. As for now I cannot take the chance of this white dress getting anything on it since she is at the age of being messy and loving it.


Mama Bear said...

Found your tutorial from the Prudent Baby Flickr group. This is a very cute & simple little dress...thanks for posting.

Ticia said...

Very cute. I'm trying to decide if this has enough "twirl" for my twirl loving daughter.....

Sherry fish said...

You are very creative! I have 11 grandkids 7 girls 4 boys all 10-2 I will definantly be using your ideas! Thank you so much! I will make sure you get the credit!!

Sherry fish said...

You are very creative! I have 11 grandkids 7 girls 4 boys all 10-2 I will definantly be using your ideas! Thank you so much! I will make sure you get the credit!!