30 Days of Sundresses for Melly Sews June 8, 2014 – Posted in: Sewing, Tutorials
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.
I can’t believe it’s TWO years later and my girl is days away from turning 6!!
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 (!!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
I laid my pattern piece on the fold and cut one out exactly. This is the back piece.
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″.
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.
Then I took the excess fabric from the pleat and centered it and pinned on either side of the seam.
To create the two side pleats, fold the edge of the top to the middle stitch line and create the same mark and sew.
Again, pin the pleats as you go and soon you’ll have 3 little inverted pleats!
I carefully made sure my fabric was a centered along the seam and pinned it in place farther down the pleat.
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.
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.
Repeat for all 3 pleats. Then fold the top edge down 1/2″ and stitch.
Repeat for the back piece as well.
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.
Iron them into bias tape.
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 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.
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!