Our Lemon Drop Dress Sew Along has come to an end and we hope that you have enjoyed it as much as we have! We have loved seeing everyone’s progress as they sewed along and are so proud of the many of you who went out of your comfort zone to stretch your sewing skills. The overwhelming favorite sew-along bonus option was those pretty flutter sleeves and we love how you made them! Remember, the instructions for the hi-low hem and the maxi length Lemon Drop are here on the blog whenever you might want to give them a try. Here’s the daily recap:
Many other sew-alongers also chose a classic hemmed-finish Lemon Drop:
Others loved pairing the sew-along flutters with the ruffled-hem finish for extra ruffly goodness!
Congratulations to Christina who won the $35 gift certificate from One Red Blossom Fabrics, to Meagan who won the KAMsnaps pliers and snaps kit from KAMsnaps.com and to Casey who won a little bonus prize of sewing goodies from the Tie Dye Diva stash including fabric, vintage trim, and buttons.
Get ready to see your finished Lemon Drop Dress – it’s the last day of our Lemon Drop sew-along! Today we’ll add the closures (and talk a little about what wonderful little gems KAMsnaps are) and finish any hemming steps you may have left. Or, you may be very quickly sewing up a whole Lemon Drop so you can enter our giveaway – go for it!
We are absolutely loving what we’ve seen so far! Seriously, the beautiful fabric combinations and creativity are so inspirational!
If you’re just joining us, you can find the previous sew-along posts here:
Yesterday you should have completed through Step 8 of construction – so your dress is hemmed, faced, or has the ruffle added, you’ve sewn your pockets in place, and you have attached the skirt and bodice and topstitched all around. Now we’re ready for some closure! (See what I did there?)
The Lemon Drop Tunic and Dress pattern provides instructions for two different types of closures, button holes and snaps. We’ve seen that snaps have been the most popular closure option because they’re fast and easy, and KAMsnaps are so colorful, it’s fun to coordinate them with our fabrics – there is always the right color!
I used KAMsnaps for my ruffle maxi dress and hi-low tunic, and I love how fast they were to install. Sometimes I don’t relish those final steps, like closures, but KAMsnaps sure make it faster! They squeeze in with hand-held pliers in a flash.
Buttons are fun too though, and I was going to use a beautiful, large, vintage button on the back of my maxi hemmed dress, but alas, I’m still getting used to my new sewing machine, and the buttonholer is so sensitive it touched fabric and began to reverse, making my button hole much smaller than I wanted. I was able to find a fun contrasting button from my stash though, but this explains why there’s just one button!
Snap/button placement is another way you can give your Lemon Drop a final fitting adjustment. The pattern instructions give exact placement measurements for your snaps or button holes, but if you try on your Lemon Drop and want to make it a little more snug, you can reposition your closures for your preference.
Enter Our Giveaway
Our generous sponsors have donated a $35 gift certificate to One Red Blossom Fabrics and a starter set of KAMsnap pliers and snaps from KAMsnaps.com, and we just might have a surprise thrown in too. To enter the giveaway, finish your Lemon Drop, snap your best photo, and post it to the Giveaway thread in Tie Dye Diva’s Facebook group which will be posted later today (Friday).
Here are the giveaway details: Winners will be chosen randomly from eligible posts to the giveaway thread, entries will be accepted through Sunday 6/18 and winners chosen on Monday. Open worldwide – winners of KAMsnaps prize who are outside the US or Canada will need to pay their own shipping cost, or can choose a Tie Dye Diva Patterns gift certificate of equal value. Photos posted to the giveaway thread will be reposted here on the Tie Dye Diva blog on Monday. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
On Monday we’ll post our winners and have a wonderful Lemon Drop Parade here showcasing all the pretties you made this week and posted to the giveaway thread!
We’ve made it to Day 4 of Tie Dye Diva’s Lemon Drop Dress Sew Along, and your dresses are all looking so great! We’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s progress and the variety of bodices and skirts. You are all working so hard, and by the end of today we should have a mostly assembled Lemon Drop. If you are just joining us, you can still catch up with our Sew Along posts:
Today we’re going to attach our skirts to our bodice (step 8 beginning on page 12 of the pattern) and begin working on our hems.
If you’re making a hi-low hem, read our first section below. We’ll show you how to draft your hi-low hem facings and finish this type of hem.
If you are sewing a maxi length, skip to Maxi Hems further down in the post for some pointers.
If you’re sticking with the standard Lemon Drop pattern for your hem and length, follow the pattern instructions for all of Step 6 and we’ll see you tomorrow!
The Hi-Low Hem
The hi-low hem is a fun and trendy hem style that is traditionally higher in the front and lower in the back. My girl is wearing a hi-low hemmed tunic along with a coordinating Knot or Not Headband. Although it is a modest hi-low difference (less than 3″ between the front and back), it still appears somewhat dramatic from the side.
You should’ve made your hem’s pattern changes on Day 1, and today we will prepare our hem facing pieces and finish our skirts. Again, your hi-low hem can be as dramatic or modest as you prefer, but keep in mind that the inside back hem will be visible when facing the front of the tunic/dress (you can see the back) depending on how dramatic it is. This is why we’re finishing it with a hem facing to keep it looking pretty. You can have your hem facing match your skirt fabric, or select a coordinating fabric for a bit of extra fun!
Creating the Hi-Low Hem
Creating and adding a hem facing is pretty easy. You might have already used our tutorial to create a hem facing for the Perfect A-Line Dress – the process is the same. To create the pattern needed for our front and back hem facings, you will need your front and back skirt pattern pieces. Make sure you have already cut your fabric out for the front and back skirts as we’re making changes to these pattern pieces. First, taking your front skirt pattern piece, trace a new line 2.5″ above the curved hemline (seen in blue below).
Cut on this newly traced line, mark it Hem Facing Pattern – Front, and re-mark the fold line, and this bottom portion will now become our hem facing pattern piece. Repeat this for the back skirt pattern piece too, and you will have your front and back hem facing patterns.
Cut 1 front hem facing and 1 back hem facing from your fabric on the fold as you did with your skirt pieces. Mark the facings as front and back as they can look quite similar when they’re opened up to sew! You can use chalk, low tack tape, or clip the upper edge once to mark the front and twice to mark the back. Do this before you get them mixed up!
Place your hem facing pieces right sides together, matching side seams. Sew the side seams using a 1/2″ seam allowance, then press open. You don’t need to finish this seam.
With your skirt right side out and your hem facing wrong side out, slide your hem facing up over the bottom so they are right sides together, matching side seams, and front and back curves.
Now sew around the bottom hem using a 1/2″ seam allowance, shown by the dashed line below.
Turn your skirt and hem wrong side out, and press your hem facing down away from the skirt, then press the raw hem facing edge over towards the wrong side 1/2″.
Turn your hem facing up so the skirt and hem facing are wrong sides together and press well. Pin your hem facing in place making sure to match side seams and center front and back. Sew in place using a 1/8″-1/4″ seam allowance.
You are done with your hi-low hem! You can also tape the hem facing pattern pieces back onto the skirt pattern if you want to make more of these, or trace the hem facings onto pattern paper first to keep them handy for next time.
There is just something so elegant about a maxi dress, especially when we’re attending those fancy events where our girls want to wear something special. Or you know, when we’re going to the beach and the wind will be blowing that gorgeous fabric just perfectly! When finishing your maxi Lemon Drop Dress, I would recommend trying it on your child first if you can to ensure you are happy with the length before hemming. The maxi lengths are designed to hit at the ankles.
Hemmed Maxi Dress
The hemmed maxi dress is lovely, especially in a border print. Here I used a cotton sateen fabric which is similar to sewing with quilting cotton.
The instructions for finishing the maxi hemmed dress are the same as the pattern instructions, step 6a on the bottom of page 9. I made sure to try this maxi dress on my girl before hemming though, and instead of using the full 2″ hem allowance, I decided to finish with a narrow hem to keep the dress longer per our personal preference.
Ruffle Maxi Dress
The ruffle maxi dress is so festive, and I absolutely love the way this red ruffle looks as it’s being whipped around!
We’ve added length to the ruffle per our pattern changes on Day 1 (and to the skirt pieces in the larger sizes), but I decided to highlight the bottom even more with some trim.
It is completely up to you regarding the trim, and you can even make the ruffles longer if you prefer, but remember to remove the same amount of length from the skirt portion of the pattern if you do. The instructions for finishing the maxi ruffle hem are the same as the pattern’s instructions, step 6b on page 10. I didn’t alter any length on the maxi ruffle dress, as it was perfect hitting at her ankles.
We love our small, family-owned and operated sponsor businesses so much! Wei at One Red Blossom has donated a $35 gift certificate to their amazing online fabric shop, which always carries an amazing selection of on-trend knits and wovens. Seriously, you could order by closing your eyes and pointing at your screen, and have one of the best fabric collections around. Judy at KAMsnaps.com has donated a pliers and snaps starter kit, and let me tell you, if you don’t already use KAMsnaps, you are missing out. Easy to use, every color under the sun, and no more buttonholing! We’ll talk a little more about KAMsnaps tomorrow when we add closures to our dresses.
It’s not too late to jump in, and Friday is a catch up day, so there’s still time! Today we will begin assembling our skirts and pockets, but let’s take a moment to focus on the back placket first. This is step 5, “Create the Placket” on page 8 of the pattern. Since take some practice, take is slowly if it’s new to you and consider practicing on a scrap. Even for those who have done a few plackets, it can be tricky to sew them without wrinkles, but once you get the technique down of smoothing them out right before you get to them, you’ll have perfectly smooth plackets. Jen even put a helpful video together for us!
Hi all! I hope this will help a little with the smoothing technique for sewing a placket without sewing any pesky creases into it. The video’s taken by my 7 year old, and for some reason I can’t ever seem to think and talk at the same time once I am being taped but I hope this will help! See the video by clicking here.
Now that we have our placket in place, we can move onto assembling our skirt pieces.
When deciding how to assemble the skirt pieces (think side seams), you’ll need to choose which pockets you’ll want first. If you are going to use the pattern’s gathered pockets (or no pockets at all), you can finish the skirt’s side seams using this tutorial for French seams. It is definitely doable to finish in-seam pockets with a French seam, but we will not be covering that in this sew-along.
Using French seams is a great choice for the hi-low Lemon Drop as the inside of the skirt is visible when looking at it from the front. This cherries hi-low tunic has a modest height difference, but we can still see inside it. If you are using a more dramatic hi-low difference, you definitely want to make sure your inside seams are finished.
If you’re not finishing your skirt with French seams or adding in-seam pockets, go ahead and follow the pattern’s instructions, step 6 on the bottom of page 9, to assemble your skirt pieces.
I love adding these pockets to the maxi’s sew-along version. They provide hidden, or as my girl calls them “secret” pockets that don’t disturb the lines of the dress. They’re also very easy to sew, so let’s get started drafting those pattern pieces.
First, you will want to mark your front skirt pattern piece and your front and back fabric pieces with the measurement below for your length size.
You will measure down from the side seam. This is going to be where we place the top of our in-seam pocket. I am adding in-seam pockets to my littlest one’s ruffle maxi dress, so I’m using the size 3 length skirt piece, and measuring down 3.25″ and placing a little notch (keep your notch within the seam allowance).
The way I draft in-seam pockets is simply by tracing my girl’s hand directly onto the pattern. I like to mark my side seam allowance too so I know where that will fall with her hand placement. I usually just give myself enough pocket and seam allowance room by drawing a 1/2″ seam allowance while tracing around her open hand, beginning at my pocket placement mark. Also keep in mind how wide the opening of your pocket is to make sure it’s wide enough for them to get their hands in and out easily. As you can see in my example below, I go over my initial drafting lines until I get it just the way I like it.
Cut out or trace your pocket pattern piece, and now you will cut 4 of these from your fabric (2 of them in reverse/mirrored). Finish the rounded edges of your pockets with a serged or zigzag stitch.
Now taking your skirt front piece, place one of your pocket pieces right sides together with the skirt, matching the top of the pocket with the marking for the pocket placement. Sew your pocket’s straight edge seam to your skirt’s side seam using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Repeat this for your other pockets and skirt back piece.
Since we aren’t using French seams for our skirt’s side seams, lets go ahead and finish them with a serged or zig zag stitch.
Then press your pocket away from your skirt. I like to stitch 1/8″ away from this seam, on the pocket side. This helps the pocket lay away from the skirt fabric.
After you have repeated this for each of your pockets, place your skirt front and back pieces right sides together, matching up pockets, and sew down your side seam and around your pocket using a 1/2″ seam allowance. It can be helpful to draw the sewing/pivot points at the corner top and bottom of where your pocket meets your skirt. Always test before drawing on your fabric though to make sure the markings can be removed!
Press pockets towards front, turn right side out and enjoy your perfectly secret, in-seam pockets!
Tomorrow we will attach our skirts to our bodices and begin hemming them. We’ll also show you how to make that hi-low hem, if that’s one of the sew-along options you’ve chosen. Don’t forget to share your in-progress Lemon Drops in the Tie Dye Diva Facebook group (also where you’ll post your completed Lemon Drop Friday)! Although daily posts aren’t required, we just love seeing how everyone’s tunics and dresses are coming together.
We are getting closer to the end, but there’s still time if you want to join in. Those who enter their completed Lemon Drop sew-along tunic/dress on Friday are eligible to win prizes from our lovely sew-along sponsors, One Red Blossom Fabrics and Kam snaps. A gift certificate for fabric and a KAM snaps starter kit with size 20 snaps? Yes please! On that note, I’ll see you here tomorrow!
Press the straps in half lengthwise with wrong sides together to make a crease and unfold. Then press one long edge of each strap under 3/8″ to the wrong side. Be sure to press so they are mirror images of each other as shown in this photo. It’s also helpful at this point to mark the lengthwise center by folding the short edges together and marking the midpoint of the strap.
Fold the flutter to mark the lengthwise center, then with right sides together, align the raw curved edge of each flutter with the long raw edge of a strap. Pin at the midpoints and endpoints.
Gather the flutter to fit the strap and adjust gathers evenly. Pin and then sew the flutter into place, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Press the flutter to the outside and press the seam allowance toward the strap.
Re-fold the strap along the creased center line and pin the 3/8″ fold so it just covers the line of stitching.
From the front of the strap, sew 1/8″ from each long edge.
Just one more thing you need to know before returning to the Lemon Drop instructions for assembling the bodice and straps in the usual way – in Step 3 at the top of page 6, when you attach the straps to the bodice liners, be sure you are looking at the *right* side of the straps and flutters (another way of saying this, place wrong side of straps/flutters against right side of bodice liners). When you sew the liner and main fabric together, with the straps sandwiched between, you may need to move the flutter portion out of the way of your stitching line to be sure you are just catching the strap.
Continue with the Lemon Drop pattern instructions through Step 4 (bottom of page 7). You’ll see a big pink
where you should stop and check the fit of your bodice (worn layered over a tee or alone as you intend to wear the dress). How exactly you want it to fit is up to you, and how it is going to be worn. You don’t want it skin tight, but you don’t want it revealing either. If you are layering or layering sometimes, you’ll want some extra room.
So, if the bodice width is larger or smaller than you’d like, adjust the side seams (that last seam you sewed) being aware that taking off or adding just 1/8″ on each side seam changes the all-around fit by 1/2″. Also check the strap length so you have a custom fit for your wearer. It’s advised to adjust this fit in the front to maintain the correct angle on the back strap attachment.
We are so glad you’re joining us on Tie Dye Diva’s Lemon Drop Dress Pattern Sew-Along! I really enjoy the community and inspiration sew-alongs provide, not to mention the fun and camaraderie. As part of the sew-along we’re throwing in a few pattern add-ons or “hacks”, so even if you’ve sewn a pile of Lemon Drop Dresses, there’s something new for everyone. Read on to see the options you have for modifying your sew-along Lemon Drop, and how you need to adjust your pattern before cutting on this Day 1!
The Lemon Drop Tunic and Dress really is the perfect pattern for wearing alone in warmer weather, or layering for cooler weather. It covers sizes 12 months to 9/10 years and includes tunic and dress lengths, with ruffles or a simple hem, and features a lovely curved bodice and gathered pockets. It’s recommended for advanced beginning sewists and higher.
We’ll be sewing this dress together this week, step by step, starting today and ending with your finished dress on Friday! On Friday you can add a photo of your completed Lemon Drop tunic or dress to the completed dresses sew-along post we’ll put up in Tie Dye Diva’s Facebook group. You will then be entered to win some fabulous prizes like fabric from One Red Blossom Fabrics or a KAM Snaps starter kit from KAMsnaps.com.
We have a wonderful week ahead of us which will look something like this:
Monday – Today we’ll talk about measuring and getting the right fit. We’ll print our pattern, make our necessary changes to the pattern depending on size and sew-along options, finalize our fabric selections, and cut our fabric.
Tuesday (Pattern steps 1-4) – We’ll begin sewing the bodice portion of our Lemon Drops. If you’re adding flutters, we’ll show you how to do that. We will also stop and check the fit of our bodice as well.
Wednesday (Pattern steps 5, begin 6, and optional step 7) – We will continue onto the skirt portion of our Lemon Drops including using French seams and sewing our plackets. We’ll also show you how to add in-seam pockets if you’ve chosen that sew-along option, so make sure to have some fabric set aside for them.
Thursday (Pattern steps 6a & 6b, 8 and hi-low hem) – We will focus on hems and join our skirt to the bodice. If you’ve chosen the hi-low hem option, we will finish our Lemon Drops using this fun hem style. Don’t forget to set aside some fabric for the hem facing.
Friday (Pattern step 9) – Last day! We will finish our hems and add our closures. Don’t forget to share when you’re done!
You will also want to make sure you have the Lemon Drop Dress pattern, so if you don’t have it yet, grab your discounted copy now.
Alright, so let’s get started! Everyone should read the information below about fitting. Then if you are are taking advantage of the sew-along pattern add-ons of flutter sleeves, maxi length, and/or hi-low hem, read on for how to adjust your pattern before cutting.
Every body is different, and we’re going to show you a couple of adjustments to help you get a great fit for your Lemon Drop. The most important measurement you will need to achieve the right fit is the chest measurement. To get an accurate chest measurement, measure the fullest part of your child’s chest and straight across their back, making sure their arms are at their sides (not raised). My girls tend to get squirmy and wriggle around a lot when I try to get this measurement, so it can take me a couple of tries to get a correct reading.
If your chest measurement is in between sizes, you will want to size down for a more fitted look, or size up if you would like room to grow or to layer. We will also double check our bodice fit at the end of day 2, so there will be a little room to correct fit tomorrow.
Using my littlest one as an example, she has a chest measurement of 22″ and is 37.5″ tall, so this puts her right on the cusp of sizes 2 and 3 for chest size. I would like a more fitted dress, so I will use the size 2 bodice. Since she’s smack in the middle of size 3 for height, I will use the size 3 straps and lengthen my skirt pieces for a size 3. You will want to use your height size for the straps as this will give you some room for adjustments if necessary. The only pattern change I will need to make for length is to the skirt pieces, but we’ll go over that in a moment.
Let’s talk about printing our sizes. The Lemon Drop pattern has a layers feature which makes it easy to print only the sizes we need. You will find the printing instructions at the bottom of page 2 (I strongly urge you to take a look at them if you’ve never printed layers), as well as the layout for assembling the pages. Printing the pattern this way makes it very easy to make the necessary fitting changes to our pattern.
I’m using the instructions for lengthening the skirt from page 3 of the pattern’s instructions. You will make this length change for all of the hem options in this sew-along as we need correct length for our base pattern before we can make any modifications to the design.
Again, do this length adjustment to your pattern before making any of the other modifications.
Flutters look lovely on the Lemon Drop, and are simple to add. We’re going to make a quick modification to our straps pattern piece before cutting it out – increasing the seam allowance on the long edges from the given 1/4″ to 1/2″ instead to make attaching the gathered flutters more manageable. So simply add 1/4″ to each side of the straps pattern according to the illustration below. Then cut out your straps.
The maxi length Lemon Drop looks great in both the hemmed and ruffle hem versions. You will need to modify your pattern a bit differently for each version.
Hemmed Maxi Dress
If you have chosen the hemmed maxi length option, use the following chart’s measurements for your length size, and simply add that amount to your dress hemmed finish cutting line.
Using my littlest girl as an example, if I were to make the hemmed maxi dress, I would take her length size, which is size 3, and add 7″ to the bottom of the dress hemmed finish cutting line (shown in pink below). My modified pattern piece will look something like this:
I repeated this for the skirt’s back piece as well, adding 7″ to my length measurement from the Dress Length Cutting Chart on page 4 of the pattern, or you can use the cut chart above.
Ruffle Hem Maxi Dress
If you are sewing the ruffle hem maxi dress, we will be adjusting the size of the ruffle to make up the length of the maxi. You will use the cut chart below for your ruffle pieces and back skirt piece.
If your length size is 12 months through 6/6X, you will use the dress hemmed finish cutting line as your cutting line for the ruffle maxi.
If your length size is 7/8 and 9/10, you will add length to the dress hemmed finish cutting line in a similar manner as the hemmed maxi dress above, but use the measurements in the chart below.
For example, if I were sewing a size 7/8 ruffle maxi dress, I would first add 1″ to my skirt pattern piece at the dress hemmed finish cutting line (using the same technique as for the hemmed maxi above), and I would cut my ruffles and back skirt pieces using the chart above.
If you would like the ruffles to be longer in proportion, simply add the desired length to the ruffle and subtract that same amount of length from the skirt pieces.
Hi-Low Hem Modification
If you have chosen the hi-low hem option, you will need to make some pattern modifications too, and we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible. The illustrations below are step-by-step pattern modification instructions using simple math to make a modest hi-low hem. You can of course make the front higher and the back lower to your taste, but the techniques will be the same. When making your choice, keep in mind that the inside is visible from the front.
To calculate how high to raise/shorten your center front seam, measure the length of your center front pattern piece (in pink below). You will take your measurement and plug it into this equation:
Using my littlest one as an example, I’m making her the hemmed tunic. My center front measurement is 15 3/8″ (or 15.375″), so my equation looks like this: 15.375″ X .089 = 1.37″. This is how much I will shorten the front (as seen in pink below).
Draw a line from this mark to the side seam’s seam allowance (it’s a 1/2″ seam allowance), drawing an ever so slight curve, since we’re going for a modest hi-low look. Cut on your new hem line.
Since the back piece doesn’t have a pattern, you can print out another skirt front piece (don’t forget to make your length adjustments before altering for the hi-low hem), then cut off the top so the pattern is a rectangle the size of your skirt back measurements. It will look something like this:
You’ll want to leave some paper at the bottom for the pattern adjustments and re-label your pattern piece as the back. We will do the opposite of what we did to the front piece. Use the same measurement to extend/lower the center back seam, and draw a slightly curved line up to the side seam allowance.
Then cut out your back skirt piece.
Now, because we are going to finish our hem with a hem facing, we need to remove the extra hem allowance. To do this, trace your front and back hemline curve 1.5″ above the hem, and remove this from both pattern pieces.
See, that wasn’t too bad! If you’re making the hi-low hem with the ruffles, you would make the same adjustments, only you would make them to the ruffle hem line.
Then, we have one more pattern ‘hack’ or add-on still to come – inseam pockets. You don’t need to change anything right now for those, but make sure you have some fabric set aside for cutting 4 inseam pocket pieces. You will also need to set aside some fabric for the hi-low hem facings and we’ll cut those when we get to that step of the pattern on a different day.
So for today, once you’ve made any modifications above for your pattern changes, you can go ahead and cut all of the following pieces:
4 ruffle strips (optional for ruffled hem version only)
If you are making the pattern’s gathered pocket rather than the add-on inseam pockets, also cut
4 gathered pockets PLUS 2 pocket bindings for gathered pockets (optional)
Make sure to transfer all of your pattern markings to your fabric pieces, such as the notches on the bodice pieces. Now that was a lot of preparation, but we’re ready for Day 2 to start assembling our bodices. How exciting! We’ll see you back here tomorrow where we’ll also be showing you how to add those cute little flutters!
We are happy to announce the upcoming Lemon Drop Dress Sew-Along! Tie Dye Diva Facebook Group members overwhelmingly voted for the Lemon Drop Dress pattern to be the featured pattern for our online sew-along that starts June 12. If you haven’t participated in a sew-along before, here is some information here to explain what it is: Lemon Drop Sew Along Information. We hope you can join us!
This post is a little pre-sew-along kickoff to help you choose fabrics for your Lemon Drop sew along dress. Combining and choosing fabrics can often seem like the hardest part of a sewing project. Especially for girl’s dresses, when you have a bodice and a skirt and a ruffle and other details, it can feel overwhelming! What sorts of prints can you combine, which colors go together, and how many different fabrics is too many? If you have no trouble with this – wonderful! If you’d like a little help with your Lemon Drop fabric choices, read on, we’ve got a basic “recipe” for no-fail fabric combining. Like any recipe though – adjust to your own taste!
First, choose a fabric with at least 3 colors as your skirt fabric. Feel free to choose a large or small-scale print, though if you have a large scale print you want to use in your dress, this is where it will work best because the other elements are smaller, or gathered.
Then, choose fabrics for the two to five smaller elements of the Lemon Drop Dress – the bodice, the straps, the optional ruffle, and the optional pockets, and the pocket trim. (Though personally I feel the words ‘optional’ and ‘pockets’ should never be in the same sentence!) These fabrics should use colors that appear in or are very close to the ones in the skirt fabric. If you’ve used large scale for your skirt fabric, try a medium and smaller scale for the smaller elements, or stripes or solids.
I’d suggest that if you are using all the design elements in your Lemon Drop including the optional ruffle and pockets, that at least two elements use the same fabric for a pulled-together look. But again, it’s to your taste! I sometimes like to create the pockets from an entirely different color just for fun.
Here are a few Lemon Drop examples from our amazing testing team to inspire you, many of which follow the principles of the ‘recipe’ above:
Using the ‘recipe’ ideas, Gina browsed the gorgeous selections at One Red Blossom Fabrics and pulled together a few combinations you might want to try (click the photos to go right to the fabrics). Which one is your favorite?
Don’t forget you will need buttons or snaps to close your Lemon Drop! KAM Snaps make a perfect closure and you’ll always be able to find just the right color.
We are blogging about sewing with cotton lawn (and swoon! crochet lace trim) over on the Cali Fabrics blog – come see the beautiful La Tulipe Dress Gina made with Robert Kaufman’s London Calling cotton lawn in Swirling Leaves and Flowers in pink and orange! (affiliate link with a coupon discount for you) She’ll tell you all about her experience sewing this gorgeous dress with these materials.
Some of my favorite pictures are found in children’s books. Their illustrations always make me think to myself, “Now wouldn’t this look so cute on fabric?”. That is exactly what you have here with Maude Asbury’s upcoming new collection, Sweet Dreams for Blend Fabrics. It will be hitting your favorite quilt and online shops any day now, so keep an eye out for it or ask your local quilt shop to stock it.
These sleepy woodland creatures look so charming all snuggled up together, and the soft colors would look so lovely in a baby nursery. Although I no longer have a baby nursery to decorate, I do have a little one! I chose the Jon and Janie Romper and Bubble pattern to show off this sweet fabric collection, plus I’m going to show you a simple appliqué tutorial to personalize your romper.
The Jon and Janie Romper and Bubble is definitely a favorite! It comes with a classic and quick to sew romper version, and an adorable bubble version, both short and long in sizes 0-3 years. It also includes a tutorial for turning it into a dress!
I threw in the Knot or Not Headband, without the knot in size small. It’s perfect for keeping my girl’s hair in place! It’s available in sizes newborn all the way through adult and can me whipped up in minutes.
I made my girl the short bubble version in size 18-24 months. Since she’s much taller than the height range for this size, I added length per the pattern’s instructions.
Simple Appliqué Tutorial
Now before assembling your bodice, you will want to add your appliqué. Go ahead and choose the image you want to appliqué to your bodice, or wherever you want to add some decoration. First, you will need double sided fusible web or paper-backed fusible web for appliqué. I used Pellon 805 (Wonder Under) for this simple applique tutorial, but there are other brands available that serve the same purpose. Cut your piece of fusible web larger than the image you want to appliqué, making sure there is plenty of space around your image.
Fuse your web to the wrong side of your fabric image per your fusible web’s instructions, making sure the paper side is facing you and the iron. I always use a pressing cloth when I’m applying any kind of fusible interfacing or web.
One of the issues I’ve found with Wonder Under is that the paper backing tends to “fall off” before you want it to, especially if it’s been sitting around for awhile. If you were drawing shapes on your paper for a more complex appliqué project, this would definitely be a problem, but for this project, that’s not an issue because I’m just cutting around my fabric image. This is why I simply peeled off my paper before cutting around my image. It’s not harming the fusible web doing it this way.
After peeling off the backing, I cut around my image, then fused it to my bodice per my fusible web’s instructions again, using my pressing cloth.
Now there are several different ways to sew around your appliqué, but here I’m using a simple zig zag stitch. Make sure to sew a few practice zig zag rows on scrap fabric to get the size and stitch length that you want. This really is just personal preference and there’s no rule other than you want it to look nice and keep your appliqué from fraying. My zig zag setting for this tutorial is a stitch width of 3.0 and length of 0.5. Jen likes a width of 3.0 to 3.5 and a stitch length of 0.3 or 0.5. You can also use a satin stitch that would look like a stitch width of 4.0 and length of 0.4, but again, play with a fabric scrap to get the look you want.
If this is your first time doing this, just go slowly when sewing around your appliqué. Your hand wheel is your friend! To begin, you will want to make sure that the outer needle placement of your zig zag stitch is at the outer edge of your appliqué, in your main fabric, and the inside zig zag is on your appliqué.
If you need to reposition your fabric piece while stitching, make sure to leave your needle in the down position so you don’t lose your place. This is very important when sewing around curves and corners. It’s also ok to sew one or two stitches at a time around curves and adjusting fabric in between. This will give you the cleanest look.
When sewing around an outer curve (like the outside of a circle), stop with your needle in the appliqué, then lift your presser foot and adjust your fabric to continue sewing around.
If you’re sewing in an inner curve (like the inside of a circle), stop with your needle at the outer edge of the appliqué, in the main fabric, lift your presser foot and adjust your fabric to continue sewing.
When sewing around an outside corner (like the point of a square), sew up to the corner, with your needle in the down position in the fabric, pivot your fabric and continue sewing.
When sewing around an inside corner (like the inner points of a star), sew to the inside corner and with your needle in the fabric, lift your presser foot and adjust your fabric to continue sewing.
When you’re done, don’t back stitch, just pull your threads to the back and tie them in a knot. It’s important to practice as you’ll get better once you know your machine and the stitch length/width you like best.
I have to admit I’ve gotten a little sloppy with the zig zags since I haven’t done them in awhile (and getting used to a new machine!), but those little hedgehogs make it all better with their cuteness!
I assembled the rest of my bubble romper and just look at how adorable it is?! The pink crescent moons and sleeping cuties look so peaceful, not to mention those tiny little cabins. They make me want to sit around a campfire and sing songs while roasting yummy smores!
The color palette is fairly mellow, but I just love the pop of gold. I loved it so much I decided to cover my snaps with it! The geometric print definitely gives this collection a fun spin and pairs well with the other prints.
I’m going to be honest with you, I’m already crazy about chickens, owls, daisies, books, basically everything you see in the Garden Roost collection by Elizabeth Grubaugh for Blend Fabrics, so it was love at first sight! When I saw this collection I knew I needed the perfect pattern to showcase these playful prints. I mean come on, there are owls riding on handlebars!
Right from the start I knew the Storybook Pinafore Dress would be perfect. It’s a vintage style pinafore pattern available in baby and girl sizes, or as a bundle, and it has that old-fashioned farm-girl look that I was going for.
Also, if you select this pattern from the drop down menu on the blog, you’ll see that there are already a couple of pretty adorable hacks available, but I had to add one more. I found my inspiration here with vintage Simplicity 7197 (picture borrowed from Vintage Patterns).
My girls often help me on our little suburban homestead, and although I would love for them to do so in full dresses, it just wouldn’t make the most sense. The green short dress version in this simplicity pattern seemed most practical, so I included the Potato Chip Shorts pattern to complete my ensemble. These shorts are perfect for the upcoming warm weather, don’t require a lot of fabric, and they’re available in sizes 12 months to 9/10 years.
Today I’ll show you how to use the Storybook Pinafore Dress and Potato Chip Shorts patterns to create this sweet vintage look. Whether or not you want to throw in some chickens is up to you!
Storybook Pinafore Short Dress
To make the short dress, let’s begin with our pattern pieces and the changes we’ll need to make to them.
I started by using the measurements from the Cross Back Pinafore Tutorial for the added width to the waistband pieces and front skirt piece since I was eliminating the ties at the sides. Here’s the chart for the added width for the waistband pieces (add this measurement to both sides of your waistband).
To the front skirt piece, just add 5″ to your width (I’ll get to the length a bit later). I cut the back skirt width, straps, ruffles, and 2 bodice pieces per the pattern’s instructions. I waited until my top portion was sewn together before cutting my skirt pieces.
First, assemble the bodice pieces, straps, and ruffles according to the pattern’s instructions.
Then place your waistband front and back pieces right sides together, sew at the short ends, and press seams open. Repeat for lining waistband pieces.
Now place your waistband main fabric and lining right sides together, matching side seams.
Center your front bodice piece to your front waistband, and sandwich between the waistband and waistband liner.
Do the same with your back waistband and back bodice.
Sew around this seam using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Trim your seam allowance to a 1/4″.
Pull your waistband pieces down, wrong sides together, and press. Edge stitch around the top of your waistband, close to the seam. I love how this pinafore pattern frames these chickens too.
I did cut the skirt pieces shorter, but I didn’t cut them until after I put the entire top portion together. I really wanted to ensure the proper length (actually I just really wanted to highlight those bike riding chickens!). The Storybook pattern provides a chart with finished length measurements, so you can use that to figure out how much length you want to remove from the skirts if want to cut your pieces before constructing the top. Keep in mind your hem allowance.
I made size 18-24 months for my girl, so I cut the front skirt piece 7.5″ long by 24.5″ wide and the back skirt piece 7.5″ long by 19.5″ wide (the back skirt piece gets some added gathering from the elastic added at the back waist). The finished length for my dress according to the pattern is 17.5″, and my short dress from shoulder to hem came to 14.5″ (I’m going to add a little note here. My girl’s chest measurement falls in the 18-24 months size range, but she is 4″ taller than the max height for this size. If your child falls within the 18-24 months height range, you may want to cut your skirt pieces shorter than I did.).
Once your skirt pieces are cut, place them right sides together and sew them at the short sides, finishing these seams. Sew gathering stitches along the top like step 2 of your pattern, then hem the bottom.
Press you waistband lining bottom edge under 3/8″, then push the lining out of the way.
Place your bodice inside your skirt piece with right sides together, matching up raw edges. Before you gather your skirt, pin at your side seams, at center front, and at center back.
Gather your skirt and sew to the waistband using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Pull the skirt down and press at the waistband, careful to avoid pressing your gathers. I also added an elastic channel to the back waistband so it can be worn without a top underneath. To do this, just sew the back portion of the waistband down first, making a casing for your elastic.
I derived my elastic measurement by taking my child’s chest measurement and subtracting her waistband measurement from it. Her measurement looked like this: 20.5″ – 12.375″ = 8.125″ or 8 1/8″.
You can use 3/4″ elastic, or simply cut off 1/8″ of your 1″ elastic like I did, and it fit perfectly. Pull your elastic through and secure it at the side seam line when the elastic peaks out 1/2″, then pulling it through and securing at the other end in the same way. I tend to sew another row in the middle to keep the elastic from rolling by pulling the waistband taught as I sew.
Then sew your front waistband down and your short dress is done!
The Potato Chip Shorts are absolutely adorable in a mix of these prints. The back yoke is a contrasting print that ties into the pinafore.
This really was a fun collection to play with, as you can see from my little chicken poking out of the pocket! The little chickens and owls have so much personality, my girls just loved looking at them and figuring out just what they were up to. The Garden Roost collection will be available in May so you can have some fun with it too!
I’m also thrilled with the way the Storybook Pinafore short dress hack turned out! Isn’t it just so cute with leggings too?
You can find the Storybook Pinafore Dress and Potato Chip Shorts patterns in Tie Dye Diva’s new pattern shop! If you haven’t seen the new site yet, take a look. Also don’t forget the bundle and save discount, you know, to make your own sale!
I hope you enjoyed this little vintage inspired hack for the Storybook Pinafore Dress, and remember to look for our patterns in our dropdown menu, “See Posts by Pattern/Category”. There are always lots of ideas and inspiration so you can get the most out of Tie Dye Diva’s patterns. Enjoy!