July 10, 2012

Red White and Blue Dress Tutorial and a Possessed Sewing Machine

Sooo... this was supposed to be part 1 of a 2 part tutorial with both parts posted at the same time. Well, that isn't going to happen. My sewing machine was possessed again (would that be repossessed???) and I had to do an impromptu exorcism. I am happy to say that the holy water bath seems to have helped somewhat... It's isn't totally fixed but it is MUCH BETTER!!!

Anyway, tonight's tutorial will be for the Red, White and Blue Dress. I know, I know. I'm about a week late for the 4th. I am always a day late and a dollar short. ;) But seriously, red, white and blue are simply summer colors to me. You HAVE to HAVE some red, white and blue in your summer wardrobe. ;)

Tomorrow I will be posting the uber super secret part 2! But if you were paying attention to yesterday's post you might figure out where I'm going. Didn't know there was going to be a quiz did ya?? Gotta keep y'all on your toes! ;)

You will need-

2 1/2 yards of fabric (I used plisse.)

1  7-9" zipper

A shirt that fits your child well

Step 1 - Remove cat from fabric.

Step 2 - Fold your child's shirt in half and place on the fold of the fabric. Cut around it with space to spare.

If you want the dress to sit at the natural waist, cut the fabric a little bit shorter than the shirt. You can have your child put the shirt on and mark the spot on the shirt with pins. I wanted it to sit a little lower than a natural waist.

Step 3 - Take your front bodice piece (that you just cut) and flip it over. Place it on the fold and cut around it to make your back bodice piece.

You should have 2 pieces that look like this while folded. At this point I also cut a 1/2" off the top of the back bodice straps.

Step 4 -  Cut the back bodice piece into 2 pieces, down the middle.

Step 5 - Cut your skirt piece 2 yards wide by however long you want your dress to be +2".  I cut mine 2 yards by 20".

That would be 2 yards this way ________________ and

20" this way





Step 6 - Cut your sleeves. Line one of the your bodice pieces up against the folded fabric with the fabric sticking up about 2" past. Cut using the armhole as a guide and curving the other side as well. Cut 2.

Now you have all the pieces cut! :)

Step 7 - Pin one of the back bodice pieces to one side of the front, right sides together and matching up the bottoms and the bottom of the armhole. Sew together. Do the other side the same way. Press your seams toward the back.

Step 8 - Pin the top of the arms, right sides together and sew. Press your seams.

Step 9 -  Fold and press about a 1/4" around the armholes and neckline. Pin and sew.

Step 10 - Remove the cat. AGAIN!!!

Step 11- Fold over and press about 1/2" on the sleeves. Pin and sew.

Step 12 - Sew a gathering stitch on the other side of the sleeve (where it will attach to the armhole).  Do that to both sleeves. To sew a gathering stitch on my machine I set it for a straight stitch and then set the stitch length and distance to the highest numbers.

Step 13 - Pin sleeve into armhole, right sides together and sew. Do both sleeves. Press. (You should press every time you stitch, I just forget to say it sometimes.)

This is what you should have so far!

Gratuitous cat pic.

Step 14 - Take your 2 yards and sew a gathering stitch across the top.

Step 15 - Pin skirt top to bodice bottom with right sides together, adjusting gathers as you go. I find that it's easiest to pin both ends and the middle and then adjust the gathers in between.

Step 16 - We are going to make some darts in the front bodice. This is very simple. Gather the fabric between your fingers, pinning and getting smaller as you go from the bottom to the top.  Try the dress on your child to be sure of fit before you sew. You can make the dart wider or narrower accordingly. Then sew the pinned fabric together. It creates a little ridge.

Step 17 - Press the darts in toward each other.

Step 18 - Open zipper and pin one side at the top of the back bodice. Sew that side. Then pin and sew the other. This isn't as scary as you might think. I don't even have a zipper foot and I can  manage it without messing up TOO much. ;)

Step 19 -  Turn inside out and pin up the back of the skirt. Sew your back seam!

Step 20 - Roll up 1" at the bottom and press. Roll another 1" over and press. Pin it and sew your hem!!

You are ALLLLLL done!! :)

You can see some of c1's sunburn in this pic. :(

With the front darts and rolled hem, this dress is very adjustable for when the child grows! :) They should be able to wear it all this summer and next! ;)

As always, let me know if this was easy to follow.

I apologize for getting it posted so late. I have been interrupted at least 1,001 times! LOL

And here's another gratuitous cat pic! ;) (Just for you, Carol!)

Don't forget about tomorrow's tutorial!! I am almost done with the...... ummm.....article of clothing. Thought I was just going to spill it, didn't ya?? ;)


  1. I love that you make your own children´s clothes!! And thanks for always sharing how!! this fabric is very cute!

  2. Adorable!!! (the model is cute, too:)

  3. Love this dress! And let c2 know that I saw him hiding in those photos! Lol!

  4. Thank you VERY much!!! :) I love making them and sharing!! :)

  5. ROFLOL!!! Thank you!!! I will. ;) He had to get in on the action... LOL

  6. Way cute, and very patriotic :-) Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  7. So adorable. Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party!

  8. I don't blame the cat for loving that fabric so much! LOVE the dress!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  9. LOL!! Thank you very much, Christine!! :)

  10. This is awesome! I'm going to pin it--I can't wait to try it!!

  11. YAY!!!! Thank you SO much!!! Let me know when you do! :)

  12. I love this dress and you're right the red white & blue fit so well together, it has helped me decide what colours to get for other projects. Off to get started on this now! Love your cat btw xxx

  13. THANK YOU, Sarah!!! :) I would love to hear what your project is going to be!

  14. Very adorable... the dress and your daughter...
    Thanks for sharing at the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY!!!


  15. I love the cat-steps in the tutorial. :)
    Of course, the dress is so nice, even though I prefer empire-waist.

  16. Thank you!!!! :)
    That cat is ALWAYS in the way! LOL

  17. Fabulous tutorial, thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

  18. The dress looks great and the instructions are so detailed! Thank you for posting on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back this week.

  19. Thank you so VERY much!!! I certainly will be. :)

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