30 Days of Sundresses for Melly Sews

June 8, 2014

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

I’m really excited to be participating in the 30 Days of Sundresses series for Melly Sews!

sundressgraphic copy

I participated the first year she did the series and I shared a quick and simple short sleeve peasant dress tutorial I made for Sofia’s 4th birthday.

Sew Like My Mom | Short Sleeve Peasant Dress Tutorial

I can’t believe it’s TWO years later and my girl is days away from turning 6!!

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

This dress literally came to me in a dream. I’d been brainstorming simple knit dress ideas as I fell asleep and I sat straight up in my bed in the middle of the night with this idea burned into my mind. It was one of my goals this year to get over my hesitation to sew with knits and I’d say even though we’re half-way through the year, I’m doing well if I’m making tutorials with them! Next up, conquer a knit pattern (!!).

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

I love the inverted pleats on this dress! I added the topstitching details because I liked the way it looked. And the little ties were the perfect way to finish it off.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

The whole thing took me about an hour to make, start to finish. I started by getting a knit dress that fit her in the chest and tracing the bodice width and armsyce to create a pattern.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

You can make the width and length anything you want. I knew this dress was way too short for Sofie, so I added about 5″ to the length, keeping in mind I’d need an extra inch for the hem.

I only traced part way up the side, about mid-armsyce where the top of the dress is, then stopped.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Then I drew a line straight over to the edge of my pattern paper. I added 1/2″ to turn down later as the top edge, and I cut the arm out a little deeper.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

I laid my pattern piece on the fold and cut one out exactly. This is the back piece.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Next I folded the fabric over again, but this time I measured in 3″ and placed my pattern down. To create the inverted pleats, I needed 2″ per pleat, for an additional 6″ in fabric. Since it’s on the fold, this translates into 3″.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

To start creating the pleats, I folded the front piece of fabric in half, with right sides together. Using a pin drew a line 1″ in from the fold and 4″ long. I pinned it to keep the fabric from shifting and stitched on my line.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Then I took the excess fabric from the pleat and centered it and pinned on either side of the seam.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

To create the two side pleats, fold the edge of the top to the middle stitch line and create the same mark and sew.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Again, pin the pleats as you go and soon you’ll have 3 little inverted pleats!

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

I carefully made sure my fabric was a centered along the seam and pinned it in place farther down the pleat.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Then using the stitch line as a guide, I topstitched 1/4″ from the edge down one side, straight across the bottom, then back up the other side.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

This seam serves 2 purposes. One, it’s cute! But it also keeps the fabric inside laying flat so it’s not bulging or lumpy.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Repeat for all 3 pleats. Then fold the top edge down 1/2″ and stitch.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Repeat for the back piece as well.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Now lay the dress right sides together and sew down the side seams from the bottom of the armsyce to the hem. (not pictured).

Cut 2 pieces of fabric 2″ wide by about 40″ long for the straps.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Iron them into bias tape.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Find the middle of your strap and pin it to the middle seam of the dress. Pin up the sides of the arm to keep in place.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Sew 1/4″ from the open edge starting at one end of the strap all the way to the other end. Repeat for the other strap on the other side of the dress.

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

Fold the bottom hem up 1″ and sew and you’re finished!

Thanks so much for having me again, Melissa! I hope you all check out the great giveaway and all the other wonderful sundress creations!

Sew Like My Mom | Pleated Sundress

8 Responses to “30 Days of Sundresses for Melly Sews”

  1. jennifer said:

    what knit fabric is this? I love it!
    Love the dress.

  2. Melissa said:

    Thanks! I love it all, too. I got the fabric a few weeks ago at JoAnn’s! My store always has this hidden stash of cute knits with the juvenile fabrics. Same aisle as all the bright seersuckers.

  3. Emily said:

    gorgeous!!! This is so cute, I love pleated. Pinned to my sewing for kids board!!! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  4. Melissa said:

    Love it Melissa! Thanks so much for sewing along.

  5. rachael {imagine gnats} said:

    oooh, this is so cute! i just might be whipping up a pair of these for my girls to wear to the beach next week!! let’s see if i have enough time 😉

  6. sewing: jungle ave meets mini golf - imagine gnats said:

    […] dress is self-drafted, inspired by this super cute sundress tutorial from Sew Like My Mom. I love sewing with knits, and I love taking advantage of the way they curl up at the edges and […]

  7. Nicole said:

    Too cute! Think this would work with woven fabric? Should I make any adjustments?

  8. Melissa said:

    I do! As long as you have enough ease in it, there shouldn’t be a problem. The dip of the armhole will allow her to get it on. Cute idea, I may do it, too!

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