Friday, August 31, 2012
Triple Tiered Little Girl Dress
This past week I've been busy attending linky parties for the first time. Seeing so many cute projects inspired me to not only spend more time on my own blogs, especially in the photography department but to sew, sew, sew! This particular project comes from a dress my neighbor pinned on Pinterest, and it's perfect for the last two hot months of Texas summers. I liked the idea so much that I bought enough fabric for my daughter and two of my friends' daughters as well. I'm sure some day they will refuse to wear matching clothes, but until then, this is a fun way to get the most out of our fabric and patterns.
This blog has some seriously adorable sewing projects, so I urge you to visit it at Happy Together Creates. While her dress is a super-cute patriotic one for the Fourth of July, mine is a sweet alternative for the rest of summer.
For this particular dress, you'll need the following:
1. one tank top or t-shirt
2. less than a quarter yard of three coordinating fabrics
3. a high-waisted dress that currently fits your girl to get measurements
4. a tape measure
5. sewing scissors
6. sewing machine
7. coordinating thread
Aside from a few pointers, I won't go into detailed instructions because you can simply find great ones here: let-freedom-ring-dress-tutorial. I always recommend pre-washing your fabric and ironing it before you start on your project.
In Jessica's instructions, she chose a less twirly dress than what I was going for. Her dress worked for a four-year-old while my measurements are comparable to a 3T. Yes, this 5'4" momma has some tall children, and I'm proud of it (though I know their height doesn't come from me or my husband. Strange, huh?)
To determine the size of my dress, I measured a high-waisted dress by first measuring the top portion and then the skirt portion. The top portion of my daughter's dress was 6.5 inches, so I added an additional inch for seem allowance. The skirt portion of her dress measured 13 inches, and I added an inch to this one.
To figure out how much to cut off the tank, I measured from the shoulder down on both sides 7.5". Then I cut across. (I didn't throw away the bottom half of the shirt. I'm sure we'll find a project for it down the road.)
Next, I measured and cut my three fabric pieces. Here is the formula I used to determine the length of the fabric:
L=(altered length of skirt/3)+1
My skirt: L= (14/3)+1 = 5.67
Each fabric piece had to be this long.
Then I measured the width of each of the three fabric pieces, starting with the top tier. I began by measuring the bottom of the shirt as it was laying flat, so I really only measured one side of it. I multiplied that number by 1.5 and added an extra inch. Here are the formulas I used to determine the width of each fabric piece:
W1= (A x 1.5)+1
W2= (W1 x 1.5) + 1
W3= (W2 x 1.5) +1
My dress: W1= (8.5 x 1.5) + 1= 13.75
W2= (13.75 x 1.5) + 1= 21.625
W3= (21.65 x 1.5) + 1= 33.44
This will only be enough fabric for one side, so I had to cut out two rectangles for each of the three pieces of fabric.
After cutting my fabric pieces to suite my needs, I followed the rest of Jessica's instructions to create my triple layer little girl dress. And here it is...!
To review, you will need to do the following with each tier:
1. Sew a zig-zag stitch (or use a surger) along all four sides of each of the six rectangles.
2. Take the two matching rectangles and lay them with the good sides facing each other and sew a straight stitch along the short sides.
3. Sew a basting stitch along the top and pull to create a ruffle.
4. Lay the two tiers on top of each other with good sides facing each other (bottom of one tier to the top of the other tier). Then match up side seems with the next tier and pin... a lot.
6. Sew a straight stitch to connect the tiers.
7. Pull out the pins and basting stitch, then cut off loose threads to clean up.
Once you've followed these steps for each teir, you will want to fold under your bottom hem 1/4", iron, fold again another 1/4" and sew a straight stitch to finish the dress.
Yes, it's a lot of sewing, but it's not complicated sewing at least, and the end result is worth it! In fact, to test out my blog post, my best friend came over, and we made two more of these dresses. following these steps. They were easy peasy, and we now have three adorable dresses for three precious girls!
You can find me at these parties!