Thursday, February 16, 2012

Smitten Lovebirds Dress Tutorial



With so many wonderful comments & features about my Smitten Lovebirds Dress recently, a tutorial was definitely in order.  So here's how to make a little dress you can be smitten with too!

My dress was made for a 2 year old, so the main patterns used were toddler sized, but the details could be applied to smaller or larger sizes.  For the basic shape I used the bodice and skirt sections from New Look 6087, which had an empire style.  I added an extra inch of length to the bodice pieces and assembled according to the pattern, except for not sewing up the side seams yet.  I then sewed in long sleeves from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Toddlers at the shoulders.  Leaving the sleeve and side seams open until the very end makes it easier to do all the details up next:


I also used the collar pattern from the same Kwik Sew book, with woven, fusible stabilizer as a middle layer in the collar so it would hold it's shape nicely.  After turning right side out & ironing smooth, I topstitched around the seam.


I made the placket from muslin by making a U-shape that was 5 inches long by 4 inches wide (basically wide enough to be 1/3 of the front and about 2 inches below the front seam).  I sewed two layers together, leaving the top open, clipped around the curves and turned right side out.


I pinned the placket to the front:


For the front ruffle I cut a strip of coordinating fabric that was 2 and 1/2 inches by 44 inches, folded it lengthwise with the right sides together and stitched a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I turned it inside out and it pressed flat:


I basted along the length 1/4 inch from one side and then pulled the bottom threads to gather it into an even ruffle:


Then I pinned the ruffle around the placket so the edges would overlap, then pinned and topstitched all the layers together.


I lined up the collar along the front center of the dress and attached them together with a narrow bias tape.  


Then I folded the bias tape under on the inside and topstitched it down.  This meant not having to wrestle with lining or facing, but still have a nice finished collar.  The gathered pockets were half ovals that were  6 inches wide at the top and 5 inches high.  The tops were folded down to make a casing:


I inserted 1/4 inch wide elastic that was 5 inches long and sewed down the ends for a nice gathered shape.  I did a baste stitch around the curve, 1/4 inch from the raw edge:


Pulling up the bottom threads helped curve the raw edge under and then pressed it into place:


I pinned them onto the front and topstitched around the curved edge:


To make the coordinating sleeved casings,  I cut strips from the contrasting fabric that were as wide as the sleeve edge and 2 and 1/2 inches high.  I folded them in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together and lined up their raw edges with the raw edge on the right side of the sleeve and sewed them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

I topstitched the raw edge down and inserted some 1 inch wide elastic that was 1 inch smaller than the casing length and stitched the ends down.  Then I sewed up the side seams of the sleeves and dress.


The last steps were to hand sew heart shaped buttons onto the front:


And to press in my plastic heart snaps on the back using my snap press.  Using a nail & a hammer makes the holes to press the snaps through.  More details on how to use snap press/pliers can be found here.


I didn't have photos of every step along the way so I hope I've been clear on how to put this together:)  Thanks for being smitten with my Smitten Lovebirds Dress!


Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!

34 comments:

  1. OMG how cute. I absolutely love this dress. Will probably be making it for my daughter for Easter.

    Thanks :)

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  2. Oh my that's a helpful tutorial! Thank you for providing the links to the source materials you drew your inspiration from! If my printer could be trusted not to vomit toner all over the place, I would print this tutorial out. I'll have to settle for bookmarking it, thank you so much OMGLOLs!

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  3. This is great Cheryl!! Thanks for the tutorial - definitely pinning this!! The dress is so so cute. :)

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  4. Thanks Cheryl, that neckline totally makes this dress and it's nice to see how on earth it was put together. I'd have never figured that out on my own. Pinned it :)

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  5. Cheryl is just DARLING!! I just love love it!

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  6. That is just sooo precious! I adore the colors you picked!

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  7. adorable!Hugs P.S. thank you for linking to Thursday Favorite Things linky party

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  8. Stopping by from the Friday Favorites Blog Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

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  9. This is so adorable! Love it! Dropping by from the Check Me Out Saturday Linky Party.

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  10. This is so cute!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. Visiting from Lolly Jane Boutique Link party.

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  11. This is so adorable & I'm so impressed by your skills! If you'd like, I would love for you to share this with my readers over at my Sharing Time Linky Party! http://www.raisingmemories.com/search/label/sharing%20time
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    ~Heather

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  12. Smitten---indeed! I am SOOO smitten over that dress! ADORABLE! I'd love to have you share this with our readers for our Fun Stuff Fridays link up! http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/02/fun-stuff-fridays-11.html

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  13. SOOOO incredible! I love the collor and pocket details!
    Jenny
    Seamingly Smitten

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  14. Your dress is just lovely. Im inspired to try that bib detail.thanks!

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  15. This dress is awesome! I love the red and light blue together! I am your newest follower and I would love it if you stopped by sometime to say, "Hi"! http://www.nstitchesdesigns.blogspot.com

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  16. darling! thanks for linking up to Make it Monday! I've shared it on the Brassy Apple FB page!

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  17. This is super cute! I enjoyed my visit on your pretty blog today! I'm over on DearCreatives.com stop by anytime & link up too.

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  18. The dress is so cute! Thanks for joining us on our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope you come back next Saturday. We would love to have you share more wonderful ideas! -The Sisters

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  19. That is just plain gorgeous! Any little girl would love to have that!!

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  20. This is so stinkin' cute! It gives me hope that I might be able to recreate it. :)

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  21. Could this be any more adorable??? Oh my gosh! So cute! Thanks so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

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  22. Thanks for sharing this cute dress at Dwell on Fridays! I love your sewing projects!

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  23. Great tutorial for your gorgeous, GORGEOUS dress!!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  24. Cheryl!! LOVE this gorgeous dress - I think you did a fabulous job on it! Thanks for linking up - I featured you today http://www.flamingotoes.com/2012/02/crush-of-the-week-think-pink-features-40/

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  25. Cheryl, this is so gorgeous!! love the fabric and the aqua blue trim!!

    I've featured it on this weeks Serenity Saturday link party! free free to grab an 'I've been featured' button

    Natasha xxx

    www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

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  26. Seriously.. this is sooo stinking adorable.. I just adore all the sweet little ruffles and little blue accents! Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party... can't wait to see what you share next!

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  27. Thanks for linking up to last week's Tuesday Confessional. You've been featured so stop by and grab a brag button!
    http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2012/02/incredible-tuesday-confessional.html
    ~Macy
    www.craftyconfessions.com

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity and talent on “A Little Birdie Told Me…” Tuesday at Rook No. 17! This week’s party is already in full swing. Hope you’ll join us!
    Your friend,
    Jenn

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  29. A wonderful dress! Thank you for the master class, be sure to sew my little girl something like that.

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  30. I JUST LOVE THIS DRESS HOPE I CAN MAKE ONE JUST AS CUTE.THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE INFO

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Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)

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