Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tutorial: Sunny Little Miss Dress

This little drop of sunshine for Round Six on SYTYC was inspired by a JCrew little girl dress (which, of course, is no longer available so I can’t show it to you) that cost $168. The triple layer skirt was too cute not to make! I used a yellow seersucker (which I just love!), but any woven cotton would be a great choice.
Cut three circle skirts of graduating lengths (Dana at Made has a great tutorial for how to figure out the measurements).
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Cut your bodice piece. I chose to make mine lined, so I cut two. I used a pattern for a dress with an empire waist as a guideline for sizing. (If you do the same and don’t have a full length bodice piece to use, angle the cuts under the arms out so it looks somewhat A-line. I did not do this and the dress ended up only fitting a much smaller child because the waist was too tight for the child I originally intended it for.)
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Cut out two strips for your straps.
Hem each of the layers of the circle skirts. I like the way a rolled hem works with this style since it allows it to flow without being weighed down by the hem. It also is quick and easy to do and doesn’t require any measuring! For instructions on how to do a rolled hem, I have a tutorial on my blog HERE.
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Sew the lining and outer layers of the bodice together at the neck, arm holes and sides with the right sides of the fabric together. An opening will be left where the straps will attach.
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Cut small slices into the curve at the neck line and arm holes almost up to the stitching so when you turn it right side out everything will lay nicely. Turn right side out and press seams.
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Sew your straps right sides together and then turn right side out. I love using this hook turner for turning a tube like strip right side out. Then press your straps.
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Insert the straps in the openings, fold the openings under and pin in place.
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Do a 1/8” seam allowance top stitch around all the edges of the bodice. I love the way top stitching gives a piece a more polished look. Also be sure and go across where the straps go in the openings to make sure they are well secured. (Excuse the messy house in the background!)
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Set your stitch length to a longer setting and baste stitch around the bottom of the bodice, sewing one side of the back a half inch over the other side so there is some overlapping.
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Pin your layers of the circle skirt together.
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Baste stitch the three layers together. Turn your bodice inside out and put it over the skirt so they are right sides together.
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Sew together. Depending on the size of your skirt and the size of your bodice, you may need to gather the skirt fabric a bit. At this point, your dress is actually finished! But if you want to have a sash…
Cut 2 strips of contrasting fabric long enough to wrap around and tie (I cut 2 strips 3.5 inches wide but you could also just do a double width strip and fold in half). Sew with right sides together so it makes a long tube. turn right side out and press.
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I originally put three button holes in the back but then later chose to put a zipper in instead and cut it into the skirt a bit just to make the dress a little easier to put on. I also trimmed the zipper slit in the blue and white stripe. You can choose whatever type of fastening you like for the back. If you like, stitch the sash to the dress at the side seams so it won’t slip and slide while being worn.
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And there you have it, an adorable little dress! The shoes were made with the blue seersucker, and yellow flowers were topped off with blue buttons. I’ve made so many shoes now I can freehand them, but I’d suggest purchasing a pattern off Etsy to start with.
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Parties I’ll be linking up with:

Hoo’s Got Talent, The Sunday Scoop, The Sunday Showcase Party, Made By You Monday, Market Yourself Monday, Making the World Cuter Monday, Weekend Wrap Up, Motivate Me Monday, Frugalicious Friday, Feature Yourself Friday, Just Something I Whipped Up, Mad Skills Party, Get Your Craft On, Anything Related, Make it Yours Day, The Shabby Nest, Kojo Designs, Tea Rose Home, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Real Momma, Real Style, Idea Sharing Wednesday, Creative-ly U, Tutorials and Tips Tuesday


  1. This is adorable! Great job!

    Kelli @ loveoursimplelife.blogspot.com

  2. This is adorable! Thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial!

  3. 2 comments and I'm the second Kelli...funny! Anyway, I loved this and voted for it right off! You're on a roll. So cute!

  4. jill for the win! great job!! i couldn't believe it when i looked last monday and saw your dress--the name, the fabric, the triple layers of the skirt!!! too funny! great minds and all that...;o)
    great tutorial too!

  5. wow! love this! I so want to try it, not sure tho, I have never done a zipper (gasp!) and have only done button holes once... kinda scared.. ha ha

  6. So cute! I had no idea someone else had already recreated this dress. I love that we both did it in yellow, though, and I LOVE the blue sash on yours. I'll be swapping out the sashes for different colors from here on out, but had to stick to the yellow for the wedding. :) Thanks for commenting on my post. I love the feedback.


I appreciate comments so much! I'll do my best to reply to you here in the comments section, especially if there is a question so future readers can see the answer.