Monday, 11 February 2013

Blue & White Baby Dress

It's great having friends who produce children that I can sew for because today I made another baby dress. The time the little girls' name is Laura. I designed this dress specially for her, even drawing up the pattern myself. The dress has a simple bodice with tie off shoulder straps. The skirt features two large box pleat at both the front and the back. As well as a border of patterned fabric at the bottom, I ran two rows of pin tucks around the lower skirt to add some interest to the white skirt section. The bodice is finished off with two small bow and rose ribbons in blue. This dress should fit a baby   1-4 months.

Materials I used:
- 1 metre fabric (I used white and a blue flower print)
- 2 blue bows
- sewing machine and all the usual sewing equipment
- Pattern pieces

Process I followed: 
1. Draw up the pattern. I used the base of the previous baby dress I wrote about and changed it to suit my new design.
1. Pattern pieces for Laura's dress.

2. Cut out the bodice, straps, skirt and bordering fabric.

3. Turn the shoulder straps right side together and sew down the length and one end. Turn the strap through and press flat. I then cut the length of the shoulder ties to 10 inches as they were a bit long.

3. Press the shoulder ties flat.

4. Place bodice pieces right sides together and stitch the side seams. Press seams open and turn the right way. Follow the same process with the bodice lining fabric.

4. Sew side seams and press open.

5. Pin the shoulder ties in place on the bodice. Stitch them down with a narrow seam allowance. Place bodice lining over bodice and stitch right sides together around the neckline and armholes. Make sure that the ties don't get caught in any seam except the shoulder seam. Clip corners and turn the right way, pressing the bodice flat.

5. Pin shoulder ties in place.
5. Detail of shoulder tie attachment.

6. Fold skirt border in half and press flat. Stitch right sides together to the bottom of the skirt section. Fold the bottom up and stitch over the seam to hide away any loose edges. Sew centre back skirt seam.

6. Stitch to skirt bottom.
6. Finished skirt bottom.

7. Sew pin tucks into the skirt now. I chose to make mine large (about 0.5 cm wide) and about 2 cm apart.

7. Sew pin tucks.

8. Form pleats in the front and back sections of the skirt. Make sure they are evenly placed across the bodice. Pin and sew skirt to bodice section, right sides together. Make sure lining is not caught up in the waist seam. Top stitch the waist seam with seams facing towards bodice.

8. Stitch skirt to bodice.

9. Hand sew ribbon bows and roses to the bodice front. I placed mine at the point where the pleats began. Hand sew the bodice lining down inside the dress, making sure to use hidden stitches.

9. Hand stitch lining in place.
9. Hand stitch bow and rose in place.

 10. Give the dress a final press and enjoy the finished product. This dress could be changed in many simple ways such as; adding a frill around the bottom, adding a ribbon around the waist and using gathers instead of box pleats. Be creative with your sewing!!

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