Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday & Linky Party - Easy Gathered Dress

***Sorry about the linky party issue... it is now resolved, so feel free to link up!!***

Good morning bloggy buds! I am coming to you this morning with a brand spankin' new tutorial! Yay! While I was on hiatus, and in preparation for Baby A's first birthday, I tried my hand at making clothing. Yes... an actual, wearable garment! {Are you getting the sense that I was pretty dang proud of myself? I was. Am. haha!} Check it out...
Baby A's 1st Birthday Dress

This was pretty easy overall, just a little time consuming with all the gathering. Luckily, there's a little something that makes the whole ruched top easier... elastic thread! It looks like this, and can be found with all the notions at your local fabric shop/Hobby Lobby.

Otherwise, all you need are these things:

2, 21" square pieces of fabric (this fits my 1 year old larely)
elastic thread
regular thread
fabric scraps or foldover elastic for straps (optional)

Now, before you get started you'll have to wind your bobbin. Yes, by hand. :) Elastic thread is tricky and won't work with your machine's bobbin winder. So wind your bobbin, not too tight, but not too loose either. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect, mine sure wasn't! haha!

First, take your fabric squares and hem 2 opposite sides 1/2" each. This will make your ruffle-y top look better, and of course give you a nice hemline at the bottom of the dress.

Next, we'll be ruffling each square separately. You want to bring your stitch length out as far as it will go  on your running stitch setting to help your fabric ruffle on it's own. Sew 12 lines, 1/2" apart, starting 1/2" from the hem of the fabric. Be sure to sew with the patterned side of the fabric UP, so you will only see the elastic thread from the back side.

You can see here I was about 6 rows in and the fabric is already pretty scrunched up. My lines aren't all that straight, but in the end, it doesn't really matter since it's all scrunched up anyway. So sew 12 rows on each square of hemmed fabric.

Then, put your 2 squares together print side in and pin together leaving a 1/2" allowance for your seams. Sew along each edge in a straight line all the way to the bottom. Trim any loose threads or excess fabric, turn right side out and you're done!! Easy peasy!!

To finish it off, I added some fold over elastic to the inside of the front panel to make it a little halter dress. That part is totally optional, but my kiddo would just pull it down without the straps, haha!

I also whipped up a little matching headband for her to wear using the same brown fold over elastic as I used for the straps. I just made a little white felt flower and hot glued it right on there. Also easy peasy. :)

Now it's time to show off what you've been working on! Add your links below, just please remember to link directly to the post you're showcasing and go visit some of the other links too! If you'd like, grab yourself a button so others know where to find you!



PeaceBabyBatiks said...

That is totally adorable, Rachael! Awesome work. Baby looks so cute in it.

Pam's Baby Bakery said...

Totally cute! I have a very similar dress I made for my older daughter and now fits the little one and she still managed to pull it off the other day. Silly Baby!

Tori said...

You did amazing! That dress is super duper cute! I may have to try that!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you figure the measurements for different sizes. I have a 3 year old and I make pillow case dresses, but I would love to try this. I would need to make it in a size 3.

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

Thank you ladies! :)

@Anonymous- Probably the easiest thing to do would be to take a dress that you have on hand that you know fits, and take the measurements (length/width). I did that with the length of one of A's dresses and just made a square. Since you're cinching up the top part, you have to make sure you have lots of extra fabric so it's not too tight. Making a square using the length measurement seems to work pretty well for that. :) Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, I will try it!!

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