What you will need:
• Measuring tape
• A printer
• Paper for the pattern, and sticky tape to tape the pattern pieces together.
• 1–2 metres (depending on your child’s size) of 115cm-wide cotton fabric (any pattern)
• 1 metre of 2cm-wide satin ribbon (in a colour that compliments the fabric), cut in half.
• Sewing machine (this dress can be made without a sewing machine, but it’s easier if you have one or can borrow one).
• Cotton thread in a colour suitable for the fabric.
• Any lace or trim if you wish to add a little.
BASIC PATTERN (You only need one pattern piece, as it’s the same for the back and front.)
Download the pattern here
What to do:
1. Enlarge the pattern
• Measure your child’s length from just below her throat to the length you want the dress to be – a good length is to her mid-calf, adding 2cm for the hem.
• Measure the width of the dress by placing your tape measure around the widest part of her chest and around her back. Add 15cm so that the dress can be a little loose, comfortable and cool, with a seam allowance on either side of 2cm each. Then halve the total measurement to get the correct size of the front and back pieces individually.
• Enlarge the pattern to these measurements, print it out, and tape the pieces of paper together.
2. Cut the fabric
• Fold the fabric with right sides together.
• Lay the pattern on top of the fabric, and cut out the front and back sections simultaneously.
• Cut the ribbon in half.
3. Sew the dress
• Sew the front and the back pieces together along the sides, stopping 5cm from the top on each side.
• Sew a small side hem into both sides of the loose flaps of fabric that you left open, and then sew a hem at the top of the flaps as well.
• Iron the seams flat.
• With the wrong side of the fabric still facing you, fold the flap of the front of the dress down in half and stitch across it (about 1cm from the bottom of the hem) to form a casing to thread the ribbon through.
• Repeat this on the back.
• Thread the ribbon through the casings (one each side), and tie the sides together to form the straps for the dress.
• Sew a 2cm hem all round at the bottom of the dress.
• Decorate the front of the dress with felt decals, lace detail at the neckline, or buttons, for a gorgeous, personalised look.
By Clare Huisamen
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