Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday's Tute: Stars and Stripes Dress

I know 4th of July is done for another year, but this dress can be done in any type of fabric and is so quick. You could easily make one in under an hour with a pattern you already have, a peasant dress pattern. Don't have one...get one in our shop (right hand column, scroll down).
Using the body portion of this pattern and a piece of ribbon you'll have the perfect sundress or jumper for any occassion or simply because. Hey, make this shorter and have a top instead.


Fabric: Enough for the length of dress x 2 (front and back)
Ribbon: (grossgrain for us) Enough to go over both shoulders, through the front and back casing, and tie a bow. We used about a yard. It's better to buy a little more than not have enough.
Pattern: The body piece of a peasant dress/top pattern If you need one, you can get it in our shop in the right hand column.
Trim: Optional


1. Make sure you have a 1 1/4" casing allowance at the top of the dress piece. If not add it. Lay your pattern piece onto your fabric and cut it the length you'd like the dress to be. Cut another for the back.

2. Apply your trim. I like to use a sewing glue and glue my trim down at the ironing table to make sure I get it straight and it won't move while stitching it on. Make sure you use a glue for sewing so it doesn't gum up your machine.

3. Sew side seams.
4. Hem the arm hole edge. You can do this by turning the edge under twice and top stitching or use your serger on the rolled hem feature (we did). Or apply a bias trim.

5. Press down the top edge of the dress piece 1/4" and then another 1" to form the casing for the ribbon. Repeat for the back piece. We use our pressing board to press straight lines.

6. Stitch down casings: sew along the bottom edge of the casings.

7. Hem dress.

8. Thread ribbon through casings: attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon. Thread it through the front and back casings.

9. Fit the dress to your child/self adjust the ribbon and tie the bow. Cut off any extra you have, then treat the ribbon ends so they don't fray. If using grossgrain, heat (candle) will do the job, as will fray check or a quick zigzag stitch.
You can stitch the bow together to keep it from untieing. The dress should fit over the head, but you may want to test it first.
If you want to make a dress without the bow, fit it to the child and pin the ribbon together. Make sure it will slip over the head, then sew the ribbon ends together and zigzag the edge. Slide that seam into a casing to hide it and stitch it in to keep it hidden.

This fun and easy dress can be made from any fabric for all seasons and purposes. Make it fancy by choosing a fancy fabric and ribbon, or make it for fall with a twill or corduroy. You can even make your own ribbon and matching headband or flower clip.

PS... Think sewing is hard, takes too much time, or costs too much money, let us show you otherwise.... I'll be your sewing coach online.
Happy Sewing!

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