Monday, September 7, 2015

Easy Tunic Toddler Dress (with mini tutorial)

We just celebrated having A home with us for one whole year!  I (finally!) got around to making her a new dress for her Gotcha Day.

 I used a fuchsia and orange version of Garden Party by Pillow and Maxfield for Michael Miller for the fabric.  I picked this up at my local quilt store several years ago, so it would be hard to find now.  I was looking for fabric that was bright and Indian-ish for my daughter who was still living in India at the time.  I used some of this for her blocks and her quilt, but since I had several yards I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it. 
Step 1: Cut out the fabric.  I used a couple of dresses she is currently wearing as pattern guides.  This is the back of the tunic so the straps are longer to come up over the shoulders.  I didn't want to have to finish the lining on the upper part of the dress so I cut it to use the selvage edge.  The lining on this side is crooked, but you can't see that on the finished dress so I left it like this.

The front panel of the tunic, again using the selvage edge for the lining.  Lining the top gives a little body to the neck and arm holes.

Step two: Sew linings to the pieces.

Make sure to cut your edges to ease the seams around curves like the neck and arm openings.

The following steps don't have pictures... I was trying to rush and finish the entire dress while A was napping!
Step 3: Turn the pieces right side out and press with iron.
Step 4: Sew the front and back pieces together along the sides.  I used French seams so I didn't have to finish anything on the inside of the dress.  I love French seams and on something like this they are so easy!
Step 5: Hem bottom of dress.  Press with iron to finish.
Step 6: Add buttons to top of dress.  I sewed buttons on the front piece and added button holes to the straps, but you could do it the other way around for a slightly different look.

Finished product!  My machine was very cooperative for this project so I was able to finish quickly, about two hours start to finish.  I think this is a record for me- sewing projects, even easy ones like this, tend to drag on for me as I am constantly ripping out seams and re-sewing. 

A loves her Gotcha Day dress!  Having the most beautiful model makes my sewing look good!!!

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