My daughter's friend, M, (an aspiring fashion designer) came to visit us this last weekend. M had some very carefully crafted fashion designs that she was hoping I could help her make into reality. These are her carefully crafted skirts:
|I would totally wear the scalloped hem skirt. So cute!|
It's not exactly like her picture, but it turned out really cute and she loves it! We even decided to add some tie sleeves with a funky bead to make it extra tropical feeling:
Now I know that I am in no way the first person to write up a tutorial for making a dress out of pre-smocked fabric, or that experienced sewists will need a tutorial. But I think that sometimes it's nice to have some instruction for even the most basic of craft projects, so I decided to write one up.
You will need about a yard of pre-smocked fabric, four beads, a sewing machine and matching thread. I had my friend buy more fabric then I needed so that I could also make the ties from the extra few inches.
Before you begin, measure your child's chest. M's chest was 21 inches around, and I cut my fabric down to exactly 21 inches, so that it would stretch a little and stay up. Then I cute two, three inch wide strips of fabric from the leftover ends, like this:
Then take each of your three inch strips and cut them down the middle (hot dog style!) so that you have four pieces. These will be your four straps.
Next, if you're using unhemmed fabric like me, fold the bottom of your big piece of fabric over 1/4 inch, the again another 1/4 inch.
Pin it down, then sew.
Take your big piece of smocked fabric and fold it into a tube with the rights sides together. Pin:
Sew it together. I sewed it first with a zig zag stitch to keep it from fraying, then again with a straight stitch like this:
Once you've sewn your smocked fabric into a tube (your dress!) get your four long skinny strips of fabric. Fold both edges together, iron, and fold them together to create your strap:
Do this with all four pieces, and pin them down, then sew.
Next you'll add the beads to the straps. Slide a bead onto each strap and tie a knot to keep it on:
Place your straps where you want them on your dress, and pin in place. I find that it helps to place the straps on the back of the dress a little bit closer together then the front, it helps the straps not to fall off your child's shoulders while they're wearing the dress.
Sew down the straps, I sewed them twice on each strap for extra sturdiness:
Now your dress is done! It actually takes longer to explain it then it does to make, I promise! And when it's done you get this:
And of course, one very happy and proud little girl!
I am linking up at these parties here!