Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Button Tunic/Dress Pattern

I've decided to include some more detailed instructions for this pattern, along with my own commentaries and photos.

I will be making the dress for my little one, Kate.  I measured her chest and she is about 21 inches.  I will cut out the 3T size for her.

Pattern pieces taped together
Since I'm make the dress instead of the tunic, I need to extend the hem of the skirt.  I extended it to 16" - right around her knees.

What project is ever completed without any helpers?
And cut out all the pieces:
I used a yellow gingham.  I cut the bodice on the bias, just to make the pattern go crosswise instead of all up and down stripes.  It's fairly straightforward from here.  Sew the shoulder seams of the bodice and the seams of the lining.  Then sew the lining to the bodice at the neck.

The bodice with shoulder seams pressed.  The pins are to let me know that this is the bodice and not the lining (since I used the same fabric for both!).
While I'm pressing all the seams, I also turn under and press 1/4" of the lining bottom.  That will let me sew on the skirt piece, then turn the lining down to cover the skirt seam.  The skirt has a slight gather (if you wanted a lot of gathers, you can extend the top line of the skirt pattern and cut it wider).  After attaching the skirt pieces, you simply sew down the lining to hide the skirt seam.

Slight gathers on the skirt

The skirt pieces attached to the bodice
Sewing the lining down over the skirt seam
After this, just sew the side seams of the skirt together, then finish the seam (either zigzag, serge, or overlock). 

Next, we apply the bias binding.  I used single-fold for this project.  You can use either single-fold or double-fold.  I didn't want the checks going a different way at the edges, so by using single-fold, I simply folded it under the edges, hiding it.  If you have your bodice in one color and the skirt in another, it's cute to use double-fold in the bodice color.  I make my own binding, but you can use whatever you want!

Attach the binding to the armholes first.  Remember to turn up the starting end so that you have a nice clean end when you fold it under.  Next, put the binding on the hem of the tunic or dress.  There's no need to fold under the edges here.  Finally, attach the binding to the vertical back side of the dress.  Here, you will fold both ends of the binding.

Attaching the binding to the hem
Last, you will make buttonholes of one side of the vertical back edge.  If you dread making buttonholes, you can sew snaps on either side of the back, then sew the buttons over the snaps.  Whichever is easiest for you!  Et voila!  It's finished!

Have fun sewing!  If you have any questions, contact me!

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