As I mentioned in THIS POST my brother got married this past weekend. We had ordered THIS dress (which I LOVE) from Carters for Reese to wear to the wedding, but I figured we should be smart and have a back up dress just incase there was an accident.
Before deciding to buy the Carter’s dress, I had envisioned making something like THIS. And even after finding all the stripey goodness of the actual wedding dress, I had to appease my white lace over colored fabric dream when making the back up dress. I made it similarly to my Sunny Little Miss dress, only this time I perfected the bodice pattern and did one less skirt layer.
The outer layer is a white eyelit I found at Joann’s (I couldn’t find it online, but it runs about $19/yard, so my coupon came in handy!) and the lining is a navy lining material. I used navy bias tape to finish the arms and neck and grosgrain ribbon for the sash. The lining skirt is 1.5” longer than the outer skirt and I love the way it peeks through.
I originally planned to secure the back using buttons, but then didn’t want to bother with button holes and sewing buttons on, so I used snaps instead. I love that change since it makes it much faster to get this dress on my very busy 8 month old!
The skirt is a circle skirt, so there is a wonderful fullness and movement to it without bulkiness where it attaches to the bodice. I went ahead and made a pattern for size 6-9 months and you can download it HERE. Otherwise, if you need a different size, I’ll tell you how you can make a pattern of your own. As far as materials go, I bought a yard of each fabric (and had lots of leftover, but wanted to be sure there was plenty to work with since the skirt needs to be a full circle’s worth), a pack of double fold bias tape, grosgrain ribbon, snaps, and coordinating thread. You could easily just do this in one solid layer and not worry about the double skirt, but I love the contrast.
I made my bodice pattern by tracing an existing 6-9 month size dress that I liked the shape of (actually, Reese’s real dress for the wedding). The back is the same as the front only I added an extra inch to the center so there will be the overlap for the snaps.
1. Cut out your front and back bodice pieces in both layers of fabric.
2. (If you are doing a different size of dress, or wanting detailed instructions for making a circle skirt, check out Dana’s tutorial HERE.) Cut out your circle skirt layers. My pattern is for 1/8 of the circle, so you’ll want to fold your section of material in half 3 times. The pattern is for the length of the outer layer. Just add an inch and a half on to the lining layer.
3. Using a rolled hem foot, hem both layers of the skirt. (I have a tutorial for using a rolled hem foot, my favorite foot of all time, HERE.) Unfortunately, my rolled hem foot is missing in the chaos that is my craft closet, so I had to do a regular small hem, which gets so tedious on the length of a circle skirt!
4. Because I was finishing off the arms and neck with bias tape, it made assembly of the bodice really simple. Just sew, right sides together, the shoulders and straps of each layer using a half inch seam allowance. Then turn the lining layer wrong side out and the outer layer right side out. Slide the lining into the outer layer and baste stitch the two layers together around all the raw edges. Because I was using 1/4” bias tape, I had to stitch very close to the edge.
5. Pin bias tape around the arm and neck holes, continuing it down either side of the back opening where the snaps will go. Top stitch the bias tape onto the bodice. I did two rows of stitching to make sure it was fully attached.
6. Baste stitch your two skirt layers together. I very slightly gathered my skirt at this point as well. With right sides together, sew your skirt to the bodice. Baste stitch the waistband of the bodice. When doing this, overlap the back two pieces by one inch. I finished the final seam off with my serger, but if you want all raw edges hidden, just skip the earlier step of basting the waist band of the bodice, with right sides together stitch the two layers of the skirt to the lining layer. Then fold the outer layer under, pin it to the skirt and top stitch around.
7. Attach your snaps or buttons.
8. Cut a length of ribbon to your desired length and stitch it to the front of the dress in one vertical line at the center, and in a vertical line under each arm.
Try it on your baby, love it and feel so proud whenever she wears it! I paired Reese’s dress with a Big Bow Headband that I made out of matching wider ribbon. I love the way this dress turned out and I’m excited to make more of them for Reese!
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