Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Girls Halter Dress Sewing Tutorial

Hi everyone! I'm Tara from true, pure, lovely. Thank you so much Liz and Elizabeth for inviting me to be part of the fun! I am so excited to be a part of this guest post series for Project Run & Play. My sewing to-do list gets longer with every new post! I had so much fun sewing along this past season. I must admit I think I was almost going through withdrawals after the the final challenge!

 My favorite challenge this season was the very first one, the pattern remix of Dana at Made's circle skirt.  I made a pink halter dress and my tutorial today is a variation on that dress. The amount of material needed will vary by size. For my skinny 4T daughter I used:
 1 1/2 yards of fabric 
2 packages of premade bias tape (only one if you finish the hem of the skirt in another way)
elastic thread

The first step is to cut out a circle skirt using this tutorial from Made. You can put it aside until later.
 The front of the dress is cut like the top of an apron. For the front bodice use a tank top that fits your child well as a guide for the width and for the curve of the arm opening. The back of the dress is a rectangle. The width is the width of the front + 3"( for the elastic shirring) and the length is the measurement from the bottom of the arm opening to bottom edge + 1" (for finishing the top edge).

Attach the bias tap to the neckline first. Then to each of the arm openings, make sure to add enough to each side to make the straps, mine were 25" each. To make the straps simply edge stitch the bias tape closed after sewing it into the arm openings

  Now let's work on the back. Fold your rectangle in half and press to find the middle. From the middle measure 3" on either side and mark with tailor's chalk or a fabric marker. make your marks on the right side of the fabric. These lines will be the guide for your elastic thread shirring. Before you switch out your bobbin to the elastic thread finish the top edge of the back piece but pressing 1/2" to the wrong side, then another 1/2" and then edge stitch.  Now it's time for the elastic thread!

  After winding your bobbin by hand with the elastic thread, it's time to start sewing! Place the back piece right side up on your machine so that your normal thread shows up on the right side and your elastic thread on the wrong side. Using the lines you drew as a starting and stopping point, begin sewing row after row of shirring lines. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each row to secure your thread( the middle picture shows what it looks like on the wrong side). I used my presser foot as a guide for spacing. Continue until you are about a 1/2 " from the bottom of your fabric. Then spray with water and a steamy iron and watch the fabric scrunch up (it's the best part!).
The back piece that was once 3" width than the front piece will now be just about the same size. Put the right sides together and sew up the sides. Before finishing the seams take a second to have your little one try on the top and make sure it fits. Also this is a good time to double check where the waist will fall. Make any adjustments.  Then finish your seams, turn the top right side out and press.

Now time to attach the skirt! Sew a gathering stitch about 1/4" from the top of the skirt. Pull the thread and gather the skirt until it fits in with the bottom of the bodice. Sew the skirt to the top with right sides together. Finish the seams, turn to the right side and press. Finally add bias tape to the bottom hem of the dress. And you are finished! You have sweet little dress perfect for twirling on hot summer days!

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  1. I really like the shirring detail in the back, such a clever idea !

  2. Cute & easy! I've got some fabric to make a dress for my daughter but I wasn't sure what I was going to make. I am now!

  3. So so cute! Someday I'll have to try making this.

  4. What a fun and twirly dress!!!

  5. No way! This is so cute and perfect! I can't wait to make one. :)

  6. What an adorable dress! I love it's simplicity.


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