Shelley Made: The One Yard Dress

Tuesday 3 January 2012

The One Yard Dress

I'm nearly at the end of my Christmas sewing.  Yes, I think I overdid it this year!

This is one of my favourites.  For a couple of reasons.  First - I designed the fabric myself.  Second - I had an idea of how I wanted it to look, but no pattern to match, so I made it up as I went along.

I designed a border print fabric.  I wanted a plain bodice, and stripes that increased in distance down the skirt of the dress.  I had my design printed on cotton poplin, and it looked like this (well - a straight, full width of the fabric version of this!):

I used an old, lined bodice pattern I knew fitted my daughter.  It had a zip in the back, but you could use one that buttons up either at the back, or like a pinafore at the shoulders.

I cut the bodice from the top section of the fabric.  Then I measured up 1.5 inches from the first white line - and cut the full width of the fabric off.  This was going to be my skirt piece.  There is only one seam at the centre back of the skirt piece. 

I made a couple of ties about an inch wide from a 2.5 inch strip of the leftover fabric.  I simply sewed a tube and turned through.  Very simple.  I sewed the ties into the bodice seam as I was making the bodice up.

To attach the skirt to the bodice I decided to use shallow pleats.  You could gather it by hand, or use a ruffler foot - use whatever your favourite method of reducing the full skirt width to match the bodice width is.  I liked the idea of little pleats rather than gathers - so went with that.

I sewed a deep hem as the full length of the skirt piece was a little long for my four year old.  I sewed along the bottom white stripe with white thread so you can hardly see the stitching.

Size wise - there was ample fabric for the bodice in the yard - I could have made it for a much bigger girl.  There is about 17 inches of plain fabric at the top - so any bodice that would fit that.  The fullness of the skirt is determined by the width of fabric.  You could use two yards to make a really full skirt.  You get about 19 inches in length of the skirt piece.

Here is the finished dress front

...and the back with the ties...

I nearly put patch pockets on the dress, but decided I could always add them later.  It probably didn't need them.  I did make a couple of ribbons for her hair though.

I think this is my favourite sewing project for her yet :)

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