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Girly Dress by Jennifer Casa A sweet little dress every newborn girly needs in her wardrobe. This is the perfect little number for days when a onesie just won’t do.

This tutorial teaches you how to make a Girly Dress using an existing dress or other piece of clothing to draft your template. If you do not have something on hand sized for the intended wearer (perhaps you are making this as a gift), check out thrift shops or garage sales to find a basic dress. In this tutorial, I used an infant sleeping gown to slope my pattern, ultimately creating a dress suitable for a newborn. Time needed: about an hour, depending on your skill level + how many little ones are “helping” you. MAKE YOUR CUSTOM PATTERN PIECES: Lay your template piece on top of some plain paper, and use the form of the garment to draft a basic dress shape. Now take that basic dress shape and draw your pattern. For the Girly Dress, you will need both FRONT and BACK bodice/top pieces, as well as a BOTTOM (skirt) piece. ** Add 1” to the neck + sides to accommodate seams. The difference between the FRONT and BACK bodice/top pieces is slight, but very important. Note that the length under the armholes is the same, but the opening is longer, as is the tab. In the finished piece, the tab extends from the back over the shoulder to secure with a button on the front. MATERIALS: (for newborn size—additional materials may be needed for larger sizes) 1/2 yd. bodice (main top) fabric custom pattern pieces (made by you—great job!) 1/2 yd. facing (top lining) fabric 1 yd. decorative trim such as eyelet, rickrack, piping 1/2 yd. skirt (bottom) fabric 2 buttons (or snaps) --------------------------------------------------------------------------This tutorial is intended FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. Do not sell items made using this tutorial. Make them for your little ones, give them as gifts, and please feel free to donate a few to charity! ********* Girly Dress © 2009 Jennifer Casa. All rights reserved. No portion of this tutorial may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the author. JChandmade.typepad.com - thanks for visiting!


Let’s get to it then, shall we? NOTE : Pattern pieces are halved with arrows indicating the fold. When preparing to cut, press fabrics on the desired folds (centering any motif you may wish to highlight) and lay the pattern pieces up against the fold. Step 1 : Cut out your pattern pieces ON THE FOLD:  1 FRONT + 1 BACK piece in the bodice fabric  2 BOTTOM pieces in the skirt fabric 

1 FRONT + 1 BACK piece in the facing fabric**

** this is very important!!! When cutting out the facing pieces, lengthen the bottom of the pattern by 1” to accommodate the hem—if you don’t, then the lining will be too short and may not provide appropriate coverage. Step 2 : Put the facing pieces right sides (RS) together and sew the sides (just the part below the armholes) together using a 1/4” seam allowance. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the line of stitches. Step 3 : Serge or overlock this line of stitches on the WS. I do not own a serger, but most sewing machines have an overlock function which quite effectively secures the fabric at the seams to prevent fraying in the wash. On my machine, this is stitch #8 — it folds over the fabric edges and locks them in place with a series of stitches. Press the wrong side (WS) of this seam toward the back. Step 4 : Fold the bottom edge of the entire facing piece 1/2” toward the WS, then fold it over 1/2” again and press. Turn RS out and topstitch the hem (on the RS) using a 3/8” seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end. You can set aside the facing piece until later. Step 5 : Now get your BOTTOM pieces. Sew the decorative trim to the RS of each of the bottom fabrics—for the eyelet shown here, I am using a 1/8” seam allowance, but you may have to adjust that slightly for the trim you choose. **Just make note of the seam allowance you use in this step, because you will need the seam allowance in the next step to be 1/8” larger. Step 6 : Now get the FRONT and BACK bodice pieces. Sew the FRONT (TOP) piece to one of the BOTTOM pieces using a 1/4” seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Serge or overlock on the WS. Press the WS and then the RS. Repeat this step with the BACK (TOP) piece and the other BOTTOM piece.


Guess what? You’re halfway done! Let’s keep moving... Step 7 : Put the front and back of the dress RS together. Line up and pin the intersection of the top and bottom. Sew the sides together (from the very bottom edge to just below the armholes) using a 1/4” seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Serge or overlock on the WS. Press the WS and then the RS.

Step 8 : Fold the bottom edge of the dress 1/2” toward the WS, then fold it over 1/2” again and press. Turn RS out and topstitch the hem (on the RS) using a 3/8” seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Make sure the dress is RS out for the next step. Step 9 : This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a really cool trick. Get the facing piece and turn it WS out. Put the facing piece on top of the dress so that they are RS together. Line up the edges and pin around the armholes, tabs, and neckline. Sew all the way around that front and back top edge using a 1/4” seam allowance. Backstitch. Trim the corners and clip/notch the curves. Turn the whole thing RS out with the dress on the outside and the RS of the facing on the inside (the RS of the facing will be against the body when worn). Gently press into the corners of the tabs with a bonefolder (or chopstick). Press the WS, then the RS. Step 10 : Topstitch on the RS all the way around that front and back top edge using a 1/8” seam allowance. Backstitch. Step 11 : Determine placement of the buttons or snaps. Make buttonholes and stitch on the buttons.

Press the entire dress one more time, add a personalized tag if you like and present to the lucky little girly.

Enjoy! xoxo

********* Girly Dress © 2009 Jennifer Casa. All rights reserved. FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. No portion of this pattern may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the author. JChandmade.typepad.com - thanks for visiting!

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