Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bow Pocket Tutorial

I am excited to welcome back Jessica from Cycle 1 for our first guest post! She is our guest judge this week as well and she is ready to share her back to school ideas. :)

Hi there, Project Run and Play readers! It's me, Jess, from
Craftiness is not Optional.
I was lucky enough to participate in the last round (well, for one week, lol), and am so excited to do this guest post for Back to School week, this round! My kiddos aren't school age yet, but I can definitely appreciate the preppy, fall clothing I always picture when I think of school clothes! 

So I went with a simple (anyone who knows me knows I love simple) sheath, with some adorable details. 
I made this dress with some lightweight denim and contrasting cotton for a punch of color. Some custom buttons and a faux placket add some interest to the front, and a little bit of gathering on the sleeve is a sweet touch. And, also...I'm kind of in love with those bow pockets!

Here's how I made it!
You'll need:

1-2 yards of material, depending on the size you're making. I used a lightweight denim and quilting cotton for the accents.
matching thread
buttons, or buttons to cover kit.
1/8" elastic
sewing things...hand needle, cutting mat, etc...

First I created a simple A-line dress pattern, or you could use a store bought pattern also. I made my pattern by tracing a tee and then sketching out the shape I wanted. (you can use a similar dress or measure for the length.) Make sure to cut it on the fold, and cut the front neckline lower than the back.

Then I used my armhole on the dress pattern to sketch out a sleeve pattern like so. Then cut two pieces on the fold. The bottom of the sleeve is as wide as the top, we'll gather it in a little bit later.

 Next I cut out two pieces of fabric-one 2.5x about 7 inches (you can always cut some off), and one piece 3x6".
Then I sewed the first piece on one long side and one short side. I serged all sides of the next piece.

Then turn the first piece (the faux placket) right side out with a chopstick or turning tool, and press well.

Then turn the first piece (the faux placket) right side out with a chopstick or turning tool, and press well.

Then I followed my own directions here for a button closure, on the back piece.

Then I sewed the faux placket on the front piece, making sure to center it.

Next pin and sew the shoulder seams right sides together, and finish the seams with a serger or zig zag stitch.

Then I made some bias tape with my accent fabric. I cut it narrower than I usually do-1.25" wide.
Press the sides in 1/4", and then in half.

Next, sew a gathering stitch along the bottom of both of the sleeves. Cut two pieces of bias tape to your child's arm measurement, plus wiggle room and seam allowance. I cut mine at 8" long.

Then open the bias tape, and pin and sew one side to the edge of your gathered sleeve, using the ironed crease as your guide.
Then fold the raw edge around and under, then top stitch close to the edge on the tape, catching the underside in your stitches.

Do the same for the neckline, only leave 1/2" extra on each end, and then tuck it in when you topstitch it.

Now for the bow pockets-my favorite part of this dress!

Cut two pieces of your accent fabric-3.5x8" (you will cut some off but it's good to have more than not enough!)
ALso cut two pieces 2"x4".
With all four of these pieces, fold in half lengthwise and sew, then turn them right side out, and press with an iron.

Then I sketched out a simple rounded pocket-make sure to add seam allowance to whatever size you draw! I serged all edges.

Then I sewed a gathering stitch around the sides and bottom. Pull gently (only a little gathering is needed) and gather so that the raw edge pulls under. Press with an iron.

Now for the bows.

1.Take the larger piece you sewed and pinch with your fingers, then hand sew it together.
2. Hand sew one edge of the smaller piece to the middle of the back of the bow.
3. Wrap around the front, trim extra, then tuck the raw edge under.
4. Then tack down that edge.

 1. Using the same continuous piece of thread as before, sew the bow to the top of the pocket, at the middle of the bow. Make sure it's centered on the pocket.
2. This is what it should look like from the front!
3. Then trim the edges 1/2" from the side of the pocket, then serge or zig zag stitch the edges.
4. Tuck underneath, and press.

Then pin to your dress, and sew on. I used two rows of stitches for a fun look!

Then pin the sides and sleeves together, sew, and serge or zig zag stitch to finish the edges.

Hem by pressing the bottom edge up 1/4" and then another 1/2"-1". Sew into place. I did two rows of stitching here also.

Try it on the nearest school-going cutie (or any cutie walking by, really) and enjoy the new dress! 

Thanks for having me, Micalah!

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  1. This is so cute. Thanks for the step by step instructions. I think I'll be trying this for my 8 yr old soon. Love the bow pockets too.

  2. Super sweet! Thanks for sharing! I'd love to make this little dress.

  3. This is gorgeous! I'm pinning this to Pinterest :-)

  4. Very cute, and love those bow pockets

  5. I love simple, too! That is adorable!!

  6. SO cute! Love the bow pockets!!

  7. This dress is super cute! I also love the bow pockets :)

  8. Darling dress---it's so cute and practical. I love it.

  9. totally cute! great tutorial jess!

  10. Those bow pockets! That has to be the cutest detail I've seen in a long time. I love it. :)

  11. Bow Pocket Detail is so cute! My DD loves her pocket! Would like to share the recent Circle Bustle Skirt made for her ( i also have a tutorial on how i made it for those who would like to check out!)

  12. Just stunning, really lovely, thank you for sharing.

  13. I just love it! Especially the pockets and the buttons and the binding and the back. I love the whole thing!

  14. I love this dress. I love the simple style with the pops of color in the trim. And of course, the bow pockets - love, them.
    Great job!
    - Liz

  15. Love it! Just made The Sadie shirt" yesterday! Can't wait to make this too! Thanks for sharing your ideas.


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