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With the fabulous addition of Baby Hannah into our family, I knew I just must whip up a cheery cherry spring dress. The funny thing is, now with three nieces, once I begin a girly sewing project, I just keep going and make three of a kind (don’t you think that sewing projects get so much easier once you’ve made the first one? I think that the first dress took twice as long as the other two combined…). So my cheery cherry dress turned into three cheery cherry dresses… thrice the fun, right?
Anyhow, if you’re wanting to make a little dress with a tie waist as well, you’ll need:
-about a yard of fabric per dress, cherries optional (mine was flannel-esque)
-a sewing machine
-dress in the size you’re wanting to make (for measuring)
1. Grab a dress that’s the size you’re wanting to make and measure the length. Add 2″ to that measurement. Cut your fabric to match the measurement you just calculated. Leave the width alone (the finished product is bunchy, so the standard 44″ length from the fabric store will work great- a little bigger and smaller is also fine… I think I trimmed the NB size a bit).
3. Serge and stitch (or double-roll-and-iron and then stitch) the bottom hem.
4. Serge (or double-roll-and-iron) the top edge. Fold down about an inch and a half and iron in place (this’ll be your casing that you’ll thread the ‘sleeves’ through later). Don’t stitch down yet- you need to make your armholes first.
5. Cut your arm holes. For a smaller dress, measure 2″ in from each side (if your looking at the dress, measure in horizontally) and 3″ down (vertically). Connect the two measurements and cut. Serge (or double-roll-and-iron) your armhole edges. Fold under, iron down and stitch in place.
6. Stitch your casing in place.
7. To make your sleeves (and belt loops, actually), cut a 4″ wide strip of coordinating fabric (I just used the same cherry fabric). Press with an iron at the center of the strip of fabric, then fold both edges in again towards the center crease and press. You should be left with a ‘sleeve’ that is about an inch wide and four layers thick. Topstitch down on both sides.
8. With right sides facing each other, matching up your bottom hem and your arm holes, sew the front and back of the dress together. Pin 2″-3″ ‘belt loops’ right beneath the arm holes, with the loop facing into the dress (you won’t see the loop, just the edges. This will ensure that, as your dress is sewn together, your belt loops are also sewn in place.
9. To make the sash/belt, cut another 4″ish piece of coordinating fabric (again, I just used the cherries). Crease in half with an iron on the wrong side of the fabric. At a diagonal, stitch one end closed. Then, stitch lengthwise along the open edge. You should now have a long tube with one end diagonally stitched close. Iron the other end also at a diagonal (so that when you turn your ‘tube’ right side in, you can topstitch it closed as well). Turn inside out, topstitch the other end closed at a diagonal.
10. Thread your sash through the belt loops. I think the belt is cute when it’s tied on the front, and when it’s tied on the back- your choice!
12. Thread your ‘sleeves’ through the top casing. Measure to fit your little one, cut off the excess, sew the ends together and thread the unfinished part back into the casing.
13. Bunch up the middle of the front and the middle of the back, tie the sash and send your little one off to frolic in the gorgeous spring weather!
ps- Sorry I don’t have any pictures of teeny baby Hannah in her little cherry dress… And seriously, aren’t Kead and Sayla adorable? I promised some girl-y cuteness and they never disappoint!
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