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:
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!