Dress Tutorial?

First of all, I would like to thank Jenny for the goodies that I received in the mail. How fun to have "new" goodies to sew with. I love matching the fabrics and notions for these little dresses. Not only did this box hold all kinds of possibilities, but many of the fabrics went with ones that I already had also. Thank-you, Thank-you! Thank-you Jenny!!! Jenny's Blog is Jenny Matlock. I have not figured out how to make that a link, but her blog is listed on my sidebar, please check her out, she writes on the greatest topics. Always interesting! Speaking of my computer illiteracy, if anyone can tell me how to make this a nice little link on the side as a tutorial, please email me, I would be very grateful!

First step is to pick out a main color and the "decorations" to go with it.

The main part of the dress should end of being at least 20 inches long, but can be much longer if you have enough fabric. I used a pillowcase as a guide and did not make any of them longer than a pillowcase. Fold your fabric in half along the regular fold in the fabric, cut to length. Fold the fabric in half again lengthwise with the cut edge out the width of your seam allowance and cut the armholes. These don't have to be precise. You can see here that they are about 4 inches long and about 3 inches deep.

I have been using a contrasting fabric for the hem of some of them. I think that it makes them look nice and it makes them hang better. You will need piece of fabric a 45 inch long and about 5 inches wide. Fold it in half lengthwise and press.

Then you can sew trim on that if you want. Lace, ric-rac, even a more narrow fold of fabric will work there.

Pin that to the bottom of your dress with the trim side to the right side of your dress and sew right on the seam that you made to sew the trim on.
Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 of an inch and zig-zag over the raw edges.

Press the casing in the top neck edge of the front and back neck edge. Make sure that you make it wide enough for the elastic that you are using.

Cut bias strips of fabric 2 1/2 inches wide. You will need about 73 inches of this. You can also make it more narrow for the smaller dresses.

Sew the strips together to make one long piece of bias.

You could also use bought bias tape also and it would be a lot easier, but I have all this fabric and I like the idea of using up what I have.

This might be a little out of order, but sew the casing in for the elastic.
(It was hard for me to get the pics in the right order. )

Add any trims, pockets, embellishments, etc, before you put the elastic in and before you sew the side seam. It is much easier, trust me.

Press in 1/4 inch on both sides of your bias edging and then press it again in half.

Cut your bias in half, two 36 inch pieces and mark the centers of those with a pin.

String the elastic through the casings on the front and back. I use 6 inches for the bigger dresses and 5 for the smaller ones. Zig-zag the ends.

Sew up the side seam and zig-zag the raw edges.

Open the bias trim and matching the marked middle with the side seam on one side and the fold on the other side, pin it to the wrong side of the dress. Stitch it around the armhole.

Fold it back over and top-stitch it the length of the bias.

Press, tie and hang your completed dress.

I went on a yellow kick with some dresses. So bright and cheery!

And some grape material that I loved. Recognize this, Kim?

And some black and beige...always elegant!

Please let me know if my directions are not clear in any way.
Also, any help on how you post this on your sidebar would be greatly appreciated.


They are all adorable...you sew so well:)

Jenny said…
Oh wow, what a wonderful job you are doing? And I love seeing those fabrics being put to good use! I'm so glad you can use them...and use them so well, I might add! Hugs for all you do!