Thursday, August 9, 2012

Baby Sundress

About 2 months ago I won a pattern pack from Violette Field Threads, one of the cutest pattern companies out there. I was dying to get my hands on this particular pattern, Emmaline. They used a pink Riley Blake chevron print and I wanted that same look so I used a red one.

Here is my cutie Amelia doing her best at being a model in her maxi dress, she was sooooooooo ready for bed at this point (I think I was ready for her to be in bed too!). There was not one thing I would change about this pattern, I loved it, so much in fact we are having family pictures done with her in this outfit. You have to excuse my rudimentary photo skills.... I am just not gifted with a camera!

My next pattern from my prize pack that I wanted to delve into was the Vivienne skirt, I wanted to make it into a sundress for family pictures so here is a little how-to on added a bib style front to your favorite FLAT FRONT skirt pattern. (I also shrunk the pattern to fit a 0-3 month size but that is a tutorial for another day)

Because it isn't completely my design I won't give you a full tutorial on the dress, just a little how-to on making any flat-front skirt into a simple sundress. The most important thing when making a pattern is getting correct measurements from your baby. Once you have these you can begin your drafting. (Note: Try your pattern out on muslin or other cheap fabric before cutting into your quality fabric. This way you won't be wasting any of your good fabric... Like I did ;-p)

Supplies needed: Sewing Machine/Serger, Fabric per pattern suggestion + 1/2 yard, interfacing, thread, iron, scissors, measuring tape, ruler, and 2 sew on snaps. (lining and elastic may also be needed per pattern requirements). If you do not have a serger secure all seams with an overlocking stitch.

  • First, you will want to get your ruler, measuring tape, and some plain white paper. 
  • Start by getting some measurements from your baby.
    • Measurement #1: Measure your baby from armpit to armpit. This will tell you how wide across the top your bib should be. (Depending on your preference you can take this in a little bit, just to be sure to leave it wide enough to cover baby's nipple area).
    • Measurement #2: Measure on the chest where you want the bib to start down to the belly button. This is length of the bib.
    • Measurement #3: Measure from the side of the baby's body to the other side. This will be the bottom width of the bib.
  • Add 1 inch to each of your measurements to allow for 1/2" seam allowances.
  • Now take your ruler and white paper and draw a vertical line equal to the length of measurement #2. Draw another line equal to measurement #1 centered horizontally over your first line (makes a T shape), repeat the same process at the bottom of the first line with measurement #3.
  • You now have your top and bottom lines. You will now need to connect the top horizontal line to the bottom one. Make the connecting line slightly curved. (You only have to do this on one side because you will be cutting on the fold.)
  • Now you can cut your pattern out. Cut on the vertical line (i.e. measurement #2) and around the top and bottom and your curved connecting line. Mark your pattern as Bib front and mark alongside the vertical line as the fold cutting line. (I once again didn't have the camera out for the pattern tracing process but I recreated it digitally so you can get the idea of what your pattern piece should look like)

  • Now we need to make a pattern from that pattern for interfacing and lining. Take your cut pattern and trace along the top edge and the curved connecting line (or side line). Trace the pattern in about 2 inches on the bottom line and the vertical line. Remove the pattern and connect the two open points following the shape of the pattern at about a 2 inch distance. Cut the pattern out and mark pattern piece as lining bib front. Mark the vertical line as the fold cutting line.
  • Pin your patterns to your fabric. You will need 1 bib front of fabric, 1 bib lining of fabric, and 1 bib lining of interfacing.
  • Also cut 2-3.5x15 strips of fabric for the straps.
  • At this point you are going to iron your interfacing onto the wrong side of your bib front. (Follow guidelines given on the interfacing)
  • Take your 1 of your straps and fold in half lengthwise with right sides together using a 1/2" seam allowance stitch them together. Repeat for the other strap. Turn the strap right side out and press with seam centered in the back.
  • Next pin your straps each 1/2 inch in from each side to the top of the bib front with right sides together. Stay stitch in place. (Stay-stitching is a stitch that doesn't show but holds the piece in place until the permanent stitch is made.)
  • Next pin the bib lining and bib front to each other with right sides together. Using a 1/2" seam allowance stitch along your sides and the top of the bib. Turn right side out and press.
  • Now you will top stitch along the sides and top of the bib.
  • You will now need to make your skirt per the patterns instructions. Stop before attaching the lining and sandwich the bottom of your bib front in between the lining and skirt, with right side of bib touching right side of skirt front. If your skirt pattern does not call for a lining simply stitch the bottom of the bib front to the top of the skirt front right sides together and press seam down. (because every skirt pattern is different you will have to determine the best way for you to attach your skirt front)
  • At this point you will need to try your sundress on your baby. Criss-cross your straps in back (this is completely your preference where you want them to cross) mark with pin the crossing point. 
  • Also mark 1/2" down from the point on each strap where it meets the skirt (each strap should attach about 1/2" from the side seam). This is where you will attach the snaps.
  • Carefully remove your sundress from baby, take care not to get baby with the pins. OUCH!
  • Make a loop about 1/2" wide and the same length as the width of your strap. Attach it at an angle to one strap where you marked your crossing point. Attach it at the sides of the strap so the other strap can be pulled through it.
  • Trim the excess of the bottom of your straps press under about 1 inch beneath your pin mark, stitch over seam. Repeat the process for the other strap. 
  • Hand sew the male end of your snaps at the place you have marked on each strap. And finally hand sew the female ends of your snaps 1/2" in from each side seam, take care not to sew through the elastic.
  • Voila! A sundress using your favorite flat front skirt pattern!

I have to say I love this dress, and the Ella being her smiley self sure makes me fall in love with it a little more! She is so cute, but maybe I am biased ;-)

Once again keep tuned for the Grand Opening post of my girl's room. For just a little taste of it's cuteness here is a sneak peek............ 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness!! Those are beautiful!! Girl you're pretty amazing!!