Thursday, 14 November 2013

Rainy day pillowcase-style dress

Don't you love it when you finally get to cross something off your to-do list? This dress was one of those things for me. I bought the fabric something like four months ago always intending to make up a dress for Abner. Perhaps it's the raindrops on the fabric reminding me of rainy Vancouver, but I think it is just the sweetest fabric. The other day, I wound up chopping into it and using some to make a wee skirt for a little friend's birthday. Luckily there was enough and motivation leftover to whip up this little pillowcase-style dress. Here are some quick instructions if you want to make your own:

DIY Rainy Day Pillowcase Dress

You will need: fabric, thread, 3/4" elastic, double fold bias tape, scissors and a marking tool.

For this dress, you’ll use the full width of fabric from selvedge to selvedge. Determine how long you’d like the finished length to be; then add 2 1/2" to that measurement and cut the fabric that length from selvedge to selvedge.

Side seam
Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides together, and align and pin the selvedge edges. Stitch the pinned edges just outside the fabric's selvedge edges (i.e. you don't want the selvedges to show once the dress is turned right side around). Press the seam.

Fold the bottom edge 1/2" to the wrong side and press all the way around. Fold the edge 1/2" again creating the hem. Press. Edge stitch along the folded edge to secure the hem all the way around. Press.

Place the fabric flat on your cutting table with the wrong side out, the hemmed edge at the bottom nearest you, and the seam running along either the right or left side (it doesn't matter which).

Measure and mark a spot approximately approximately 3" in from each side edge along the top of the fabric. Measure and mark a spot approximately 4-5" down from the top along each side edge (one will be on a fold, the other will be on your stitched side seam). Mark a curved line joining the two marks on each side to make the outline of the armholes. Cut along marked line.

On both the front and back of the dress, fold down the top edge 1/2" to the wrong side. Press. Fold down the top edge 1" to the wrong side once again and press to create a channel for the elastic.

Cut two lengths of elastic slightly shorter than the distance between your child's armpits. You can use one of their t-shirts to measure if your child doesn't want to cooperate.

Thread your elastic through the channel using a safety pin. Make sure the elastic does not get pulled into the channel at either end. Use pins to secure both ends in place even with the edges of the fabric. Stitch them in place staying fairly close to the edge of the fabric.

Cut approximately 30" of double fold bias tape for the each tie. Fold each length in half to establish the middle point.

Align the middle point of the bias tape with the centre of each arm hole (where the side seam is on one side and the fold is on the other). Pin the bias tape in place with the dress fabric simply tucked into the centre fold of the bias tape.

Stitch the bias tape in place using a zig zag stitch. Be sure to keep the dress fabric securely in place within the bias tape, especially at the elastic ends which are a bit harder to sew over. Start and finish your stitches just past either edge of the dress (i.e. don't zig zag the full length of the bias tape, just where it contains the dress fabric).

Finish the dress by tying knots at the ends of the bias tape ties.

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