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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Speedy Spring Dress

I found some material with shirring at the top and decided to buy some to make dresses for Anna and Lyla.  All you need to do is sew one seam and then add straps. I purchase 3/4 yard of fabric for each dress for my 4 and 2 year olds.
I just placed the fabric around Anna and marked where the seam should be.  I pinned the seam and cut off the extra material.  Then I sewed a 1/4 inch seam and finished the edge using an overlock stitch.  (Serging or zig-zagging would work as well.)
Here we are--almost a dress already!
I squared off my extra fabric and cut to 10 inches, about the length I needed for the straps.
Then I cut the fabric in half.
I overlock-stitched around the edges.  Then I pressed the sides in 1/4 inch and topstitched.  I ended up with 1 3/4 inch straps.
Then I pinned the straps on the dress.  You will want to be at least two inches from the edge, even though this looks like it's too far in.  Sew them on and try the dress on your little girl to make sure it fits.  At first, I put the straps too far toward the outside.  I had to move them, which added time to what should have been a very quick project.  After I tried the dress on, I needed to take the straps up a bit.  I just folded them over at the back where I had already stitched and sewed over it rather than remove the stitches and adjust.
On the second dress, I used ribbon for the straps.  (This was a much simpler option and caused less frustration for me!)  I folded the ribbon under about 1/4 inch, pinned and sewed the strap on.  I overlapped my stitches with the two rows of blue stitching already present on the dress.
For each strap, I used 16 inches of ribbon, which I thought would be plenty.  On my next dress, I think I will use a little more just to make sure I have some excess to work on.  Put the dress on your little girl, tie, and cut off the excess.  Then you are done!  I recommend putting fray check on the ends of the ribbon.

If you had enough leftover material, you could make longer straps from the material and tie them, or use bias tape.  Also, you could just attach straps to the front and tie behind the neck.
All in all, a fun and quick project.  I saw some similar material in longer lengths, so I will probably pick up some and make a dress for Maddie, too.  I think this would be a good first project for someone starting to sew--not a lot of sewing and fast results!
Now go chase the cat!


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