If you have a girl and do not own the Leila and Ben "Sweet Little Dress" than you need to solve that problem. Soon. It's only 6 bucks and totally worth it. It comes in baby and toddler size. You can buy it here.
Why is it worth it?
1. It helped me (as a beginner) figure out how dresses are put together so that I can now draft my own patterns.
2. It is EXTREMELY versatile. You will know what i'm talking about if you check out week 2 of Project Run and Play.
Honestly, I have loved making this dress. Not only because it is super easy to construct, but because I love changing it up. I've made 3 versions in the last 2 months. Here is my latest, perfect for V-Day:
1. Lining. I added a lining to the dress because the heart fabric you see on the outside is thin and see through. Plus, an extra layer in the winter can never hurt. Right?
To add the lining, I simply cut the lining material to the same size as the rest of my dress. I left the sleeves unlined. When I ironed over my casing, I ironed both fabrics together and secured them with the top stitch like in the pattern.
The only somewhat tricky part was sewing up the side seams. I didn't want the inner layers to be connected at the side seams, so I pulled the outer layer away and flipped the dress so that the lining layers were right sides together and pinned.
Sew up the side seams and the sleeves as you normally would. Just be sure that you don't catch any of the outer fabric when you sew the bottom corner where the sleeve meets the lining. You can see this in the picture below.
Once you've sewn the lining and the sleeves, turn the dress right sides out and sew the main dress pieces as it shows in the pattern.
2. Sleeves. All I did to change the sleeves was leave out the elastic. Simple, but I love how it makes the sleeves puff out a bit.
3. Waistband. Once the dress was constructed, I added a waistband. I used the lining and the outer fabric to make the casing for the elastic. I sewed 3 lines about 1/2 inch apart where I wanted the waist to be through both layers of fabric. I left a small opening at the end of each line to insert the elastic. Then I used a safety pin to insert 3/8 inch elastic into each of the 2 casings and sewed the elastic together before sewing each of the casings closed. The length of my elastic was my daughters waist measurement.
4. Length. Last, I chopped off a few inches of the original pattern to make the dress into a shirt. My almost 8 month old still fits into the 3-6 month pattern and I still had to crop a few inches. We are a little vertically challenged around here.
So there you go. Get the pattern and try some variations of your own.
Oh and don't you just LOVE the fabric...vintage from my grandparents old stash. So great.