We are excited to announce our upcoming New York Minute Sew-Along starting November 6! If you haven’t participated in a sew-along before, check out our New York Minute Sew Along Information page for some basic info.
You’re gonna have some choices to make! View options for this girls’ dress pattern in sizes 12 months to 9/10 years include hood, ribbing, or faced neckline, long or short sleeves, inset or kangaroo pocket, and ribbing or A-line hem. There’s also a bonus tutorial right in the pattern for creating a New York Minute Top, so if you sew for boys or just want a top rather than a dress, you can sew along too.
You’ll also need to choose some great fabric, and that’s where this post comes in as a little pre-sew-along kickoff to help you choose.
Using Stretchier Knits. The New York Minute Dress pattern is designed and sized for 25%-35% stretch fabrics, which are more stable knits, but as a sew-along bonus, we’ll show you how to sew your NYM pattern with stretchier fabrics like cotton/lycra or double-brushed polyester. Really, there’s nothing to it! A stretchier fabric will just result in a looser fit if you make your regular size, or you can size down 1 size in width (but make your usual length) for a closer fit. Instructions for sizing down in width are right in the pattern, and we’ll go over it in the sew-along too. Remember when purchasing fabric that if you size down in width, you will still need the yardage required for your length size.
Here’s an example of the New York Minute made in a lightweight cotton/lycra jersey from Cali Fabrics. Our model has a chest size of 22″, which is right on the cusp of sizes 3 and 4. The dress on the left is made in a size 3, and the dress on the right is size 4. The size 3 dress is a bit more fitted, and the size 4 dress looks just a bit more relaxed. Both dresses look great though and hang with more drape than a heavier knit would provide.
These two NYMs by Sam and I designs are made from cotton/lycra and are both sized down in width.
These 3 below were sewn with jersey by our Sew-Along guest admin Stephanie in her girl’s regular size, without sizing down.
Double brushed poly (DBP) is another fabric that is stretchier than the pattern recommendations but still works nicely for the New York Minute dress. It’s a bit heavier than single-brushed poly and holds its shape nicely even while providing a nice drape. Stephanie sewed the dresses below with DBP from Vintage Lace. You can see the lovely drape at the hemline!
So, feel free to pick a DBP or cotton/lycra for your sew-along dress!
More About Fleece and Stable Knits. Let’s talk a little more about the pattern’s recommended fabrics and the concept of drape. Drape is how a fabric falls against or stands away from the body. Fabric will have the same properties in a dress that it does on the bolt, so if the yardage is bulky and doesn’t hang well, it will look the same sewn as a dress. When testing fabrics at the store, pull out the bolt and unwrap a yard or so, then use your hand to allow the fabric to hang from it. Fabrics that have a moderate drape work very well for this dress – you don’t want the fabric to stand stiffly away from your hand, but also not cling to the shape of your hand either. Below are a few examples of recommended fabrics showing their drape, from least to most. See how the first stands in a large cone, and the last falls much straighter.
Drape is one reason that thicker, stiffer fleeces (such as that called “Blizzard” fleece at JoAnn fabrics) are not recommended for your NYM dress. This yellow Blizzard fleece hangs very stiffly with little drape. Joann’s Fleece Buying Guide provides some more information about various fleeces.
Check out these pretty NYMs made with the pattern’s recommended knits: polar fleece, sweatshirt fleece, and Liverpool.
And one more from Stephanie in a quilted sweatshirt knit:
We have over a dozen more photos of different New York Minute Dresses made with fleece and other knits recommended by the pattern’s materials list (25%-35% stretch), in our December New York Minute Dress post, so be sure to check them out!
Before we go – PRIZES! We are so excited that three of our favorite places to purchase knit fabrics online have each donated a $50 gift certificate to our sew along! On the last day of the sew along, participants who have completed the sew-along can enter to win one of these generous prizes. Here’s a little about each of sponsor and the knits they carry.
Cali Fabrics. If you have been following TDD for a while, you probably know we are regular bloggers over at Cali Fabrics because we love shopping their huge selection of unique fabrics at great prices. Our sew-along will feature a NYM we made from a gorgeous DBP from Cali Fabrics. See all their many knits here: http://www.califabrics.com/knits/ Our affiliate link will save you $5 on your purchase of $25!
Imagine Gnats. Rachael has an impressive knack for choosing classy, on-trend, quality fabrics for her online shop. Great pics you can find for NYM include french terry, interlock, jersey, sweatshirt fleece, and more. Here’s a link to the lovely selection of knits – you can further sort the knits by type using the dropdown menu on the right. http://imaginegnats.com/product-category/fabric/substrate/knit-fabrics/
Raspberry Creek Fabrics. We’ll be showing you the coziest NYM ever made with french terry from their shop! This is a great place to shop a curated selection of floral, patterned, and solid knits. I see Fall colors are featured and they all look so yummy! You can peruse the knit fabrics here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/raspberrycreekfabric?section_id=7381085.
My girls are really into coordinating their costumes for Halloween, so it was only a matter of time before they asked to dress up like the sisters in the Disney cartoon series Elena of Avalor. We already have a tutorial for making the Elena inspired dress, so all we need is the Isabel inspired dress!
Princess Elena’s little sister Isabel typically wears a blue dress featuring a princess neckline, puff sleeves, a gathered skirt with a bottom ruffle, and a tie in the back. The main fabric of her dress is a blue floral design, with a light blue and gold bottom ruffle, and dark blue sleeve cuffs and waistband. She also has yellow and white trim highlighting a faux princess seam and neckline.
The La Tulipe and Daydreamer dress patterns provide just what we need to create the Princess Isabel inspired dress in girls’ sizes 2 through 10. We will only make pattern changes to the La Tulipe sleeve pattern piece, as all other changes are just to cutting measurements (those will be covered in the fabric cutting checklist below). This pattern mash up is not recommended for beginners, as you’ll need more advanced sewing skills to make the necessary pattern adjustments. Let’s jump in!
Making Our Sleeve Pattern Piece
When we’re done altering our La Tulipe sleeve pattern piece, it’s not going to look anything like it does now. It’ll look drastically different! Just follow each step one at a time, and before you know it, you’ll have completed a puff sleeve pattern mod.
First, you’ll want two copies of your sleeve’s pattern piece.
With one sleeve pattern piece facing up, take the other pattern piece and place it face down on top, matching the top notches and making sure the grainlines run parallel to each other (you can trace over them with a black marker beforehand to make them easier to see). Tape or glue in place.
Trace and remove the 1/2″ seam allowance along the top and sides (highlighted in gray below).
Taking your sleeve pattern, draw a horizontal line from the upper sleeve point to the other upper sleeve point, and a vertical line down from the center notch (shown in pink below). On a piece of blank paper, draw the same vertical and horizontal lines, and place your sleeve pattern on top of it, matching up lines.
Now measure how long you want your sleeve’s finished inseam to be on your child, subtract 3/4″ for the cuff, and draw lines straight down from your upper sleeve points this length, then connect with a horizontal line at the bottom, highlighted in pink below. I measured my girl’s finished inseam to be 2.5″, so after I subtract the cuff length, I draw my lines down 1.75″ and finish by connecting them at the bottom.
Trace around the top of your sleeve, which should close up the sleeve drawing, and cut it out.
We’re going to slash and spread the sleeve we just created. First cut your pattern in half on your vertical line. Then cut along the horizontal lines, leaving hinges at the sleeve points. Do this for both halves.
To make it easier to measure and draw my new sleeve, I’ve placed new pattern paper over my cutting mat so you can see the gridlines underneath. If you only have opaque paper, go ahead and draw a horizontal and vertical line to help you line up your pieces. Take this part slowly, doing each step in order.
Spread your sleeve 5″ apart and tape down top portion only. Draw a straight line connecting the top corners, then measure 3/4″ up from the center point (on the vertical line you originally drew on your new paper, or the line you see on your grid mat) and mark this spot. This will be our new sleeve cap height.
Draw vertical lines down from your separated sleeve cap, then a second pair of vertical lines 1″ out from that.
Now slide the bottom portion of your sleeve down, using the hinge, until the lower corner meets the 1″ line. You can see this is the circled points in the picture below. Secure these pieces.
Once you’ve done that, trace around your entire new sleeve pattern, with a line closing up the bottom, then add your 1/2″ seam allowance around the entire sleeve, shown by the dark black line below. You can still see my pencil tracing of my new sleeve inside the black line. Now add a grainline and notches to gather your sleeve cap 1.5″ to 2″ in from each upper sleeve point. Also add center notch point.
Voila! Look at the sleeve pattern you’ve created!
To make the cuff pattern piece, measure your child’s arm circumference where the sleeve should end, add 5/8″ to the width for ease, and 1/2″ to each side for seam allowance. Using my girl as an example, I measured her about 2″ down from her underarm which gave me a measurement of 6.5″. After adding the ease and seam allowance, I have a width of 8 1/8″, and I want my cuff to be 3/4″ long when finished, so I’m cutting my cuff piece 2 1/2″L x 8 1/8″W (or 2.5″x8.125″).
What to Cut!
Since we’re using both patterns, including some pieces we’ve created ourselves, read through the following list carefully before cutting into your fabric. Some of our pieces below will have different lengths or widths, so keep a close eye on those, and remember to measure twice and cut once!
La Tulipe, sleeve, and cuff patterns
Front and Back bodice main and lining
Cut 2 each modified sleeves and cuffs
Cut 1 waistband – Use the length 2.25″ from this pattern, but the width of the La Tulipe front bodice (simply measure the bottom of the bodice pattern piece and double it for your waistband width). For example, my size 2 waistband piece is 2.25″L x 12.5″W.
Cut 2 sash ties
Cut 2 skirts (subtract 1.5″ from length)
Cut 4 ruffle strips (add 1.5″ to length)
Ready to Sew!
First we’ll prepare our sleeves. Taking one of your sleeves, sew gathering stitches using your preferred method in between the notches at the top of the sleeve, and along the bottom beginning and ending 1/2″ from the sleeves raw edges.
Grab one of your cuffs and press in half. Also press one raw long edge under 3/8″.
With your sleeve right side up, place your cuff’s unpressed edge right side down on the sleeve’s bottom edge, matching side and center seams and raw edges. Gather your sleeve’s bottom edge to the width of the cuff and sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Trim your seam down to 1/4″ and press towards cuff taking care not to press and flatten the gathers. Also go ahead and remove your gathering stitches.
Now unfold your cuff and fold your sleeve in half, right sides together, matching raw edges and cuff/sleeve seam. Sew this side seam using 1/2″ seam allowance and finish the seam.
Fold your cuff back up using your folds as guides and top stitch close to the inside edge. I find it helps to turn the sleeve inside out and sew from the inside of the cuff (so you would be sewing the cuff’s right side) since it’s such a small opening. Repeat for your other sleeve and cuff.
Now that your sleeves are done, go ahead and set them aside.
We will begin assembling our bodice following the pattern’s instructions for the La Tulipe dress, but we are going a little out of order so that we can add our yellow and white trim to the bodice. Beginning with step 1 on page 5 you will make the ties, but before moving on to step 2, sew your main front and back bodice pieces at the shoulders, using a 1/2″ seam allowance and press open. This is when you’re going to want to add your trim. The faux princes seams are fairly simple to add, and pins or wonder tape will help keep them in place to sew. If you are using ribbon, you will need to add mitered corners for the neckline points, or select a trim that is easy to angle. You can even hand embroider the “trim” or use a decorative stitch with yellow thread, it’s totally up to you! When you’ve finished the trim, move on to step 2. Here’s what it’ll look like before you add the ties.
Continue on through step 4 of the pattern, then you’re ready to grab those sleeves you prepared earlier. Keep your sleeves right side out and turn your bodice wrong side out.
Begin by inserting your sleeve into the bodice so right sides are together and matching underarm and shoulder seams. Pin up to your notches and gather your stitches until the sleeve fits inside the armhole, then sew in place using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Also, take a look at the bottom of page 8 of your La Tulipe pattern for tips and details on how to easily sew and finish this sleeve seam. Repeat with your other sleeve.
Now take your two skirt pieces, and placing them right sides together, sew the side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance, press, and finish these seams. Sew gathering stitches along the top of the skirt using your preferred method. We will essentially be attaching our skirt as seen in step 7 on page 10 of the La Tulipe pattern. The only difference is we’re gathering our skirt pieces instead of sewing a circle skirt. So you will match the side seams of the skirt to the side seams of the bodice, gather your skirt pieces evenly, and sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance and finish seam.
We’re almost done, we just need to add the bottom ruffle. Using the Daydreamer Dress pattern, follow step 6 beginning at the bottom of page 11, and once you’ve done that, you’re ready for your buttons/snaps. You can find the instructions for this on page 11, step 8 of the La Tulipe pattern.
You’re done! Now you’ll have one happy little girl that’ll refuse to take off her Isabel inspired dress!
To complete the Isabel look, we used only the bow pieces from the Knot or Not Headband pattern. Two small bows tied to the straps of black shoes, and one large bow to tie up her hair provides the finishing touches. These bows are so quick to make too, and they work great with the small scraps of blue fabric that were leftover from the dress. We even threw in the little brown book since Isabel loves to read!
A side view of those beautiful sleeves you modified and the ties in the back.
Before long she’ll be dreaming of Avalor…
You can find the tutorial for the corresponding Elena inspired dress here, and all of the patterns we used for this tutorial in the Tie Dye Diva pattern shop anytime. These dresses are sure to bring joy to your princesses as costumes or for pretend play any time of the year!
As soon as Patty mentioned this collection had colorful, smaller-scale prints I knew I wanted to show girl and doll dresses. I love how cutting a small piece of a fabric, whether for a quilt, a doll dress, or a smaller feature of a garment or bag, frames the print in a different way than when you view the whole cloth or a large piece and these were especially fun to work with in that way. The hummingbird, flowers, and geometric designs look so beautiful in both larger and smaller pieces! We chose Main in Teal, Henna Blossom in Teal and Geo Blossom in Pink and our Easy Peasy Peasant Dress pattern.
I used the 3/4 sleeve view with a simple hem and added a little ruching to the sleeve and a yo-yo flower for a sweet little accent. Miss Kennedy loved matching her doll, how cute are they?
I may have gotten a little carried away making a few extra things for Miss Kennedy’s American Girl doll with the scraps I had left over but these prints were calling to be mixed and matched into a dolly wardrobe!
Today I’m giving you this free doll dress pattern so you can sew a peasant dress for 18″ dolls like American Girl!
Free Doll Dress Pattern for 18″ Doll like American Girl
You will need:
Fat quarter or scraps of woven fabric such as quilting cottons
Print the free doll dress pattern with Adobe Reader and the following settings:
“Auto Portrait/Landscape” selected
“Actual Size” selected (be sure “Fit to Page” or “Shrink” NOT checked.)
Check the 1″ box and tape the pages together matching the triangles to form a square. Cut out the pieces.
Use 1/4” seam allowance throughout. Finish all seams with pinking shears or overlock or zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.
Step 1. You can insert elastic into the sleeve hems or not, but for either option, you will need to press and hem the edge. So turn the hem edge of each sleeve under ¼” and press, then turn again a generous 1/4” and press again. Sew very close to the fold. (By “generous” I mean, be sure it’s a full ¼”, or you may have trouble getting the elastic in the casing.)
If you’d like to add elastic to the sleeves as I have, use a tiny safety pin or threading tool to thread a 4.5” length of sleeve elastic into each sleeve hem. Stitch several times across both ends to secure the elastic, just less than ¼” from each edge. Repeat for both sleeves.
Step 2. Choose a piece to be your Dress Front (Front and Back is the same for dolly since her body is pretty much the same on both sides). Lay the Dress Front and a Sleeve piece right sides together and sew and finish the armhole curve.
Repeat to join the second sleeve to the Dress Front. Then lay the Dress Back right sides together with the remaining armhole curves and sew and finish them. Your dress should be in a complete “loop”.
Step 3. With the dress still wrong-side out, match side seams. Sew up each side and down the short underside of the sleeve and finish the seam.
Step 4. Turn the neckline edge under ¼” to the wrong side and press, then turn again a generous 1/4” and press again. Sew very close to the fold, leaving a 1” gap for inserting elastic. Also turn the hem under ¼” to the wrong side and press, then turn again ¼”” and press again. Sew all the way around close to the fold.
Insert an 8.5” length of elastic into the casing, join the ends, and stitch the gap closed.
It should not be difficult for the dress to go over dolly’s head the usual way, but if your child has trouble, try pulling it on dolly feet first, putting her hands through the armholes at waist level, then pulling up.
Today we’re blogging over at Cali & Co. with more of their truly awesome fabric! You may recognize this gorgeous and breezy lawn from our Fair and Square Tiers pattern hack post, but now we’ve paired it with the most beautiful turquoise knit Sterling Leggings. We thought it would be fun to embellish them a bit with a faux button placket, and we’re going to show you how too!
The Sterling Shorties and Leggings pattern is a staple pattern for any girls’ wardrobe, covering sizes 12-18 months all the way through 9/10. They include a plain, single, and double ruffle hem options for both the shorts and pants, and they can easily be added to skirt patterns for built in shorts using this tutorial. For our faux placket tutorial, we’re making the single ruffle pants version, but you can add the faux placket to the other legging hem options too.
To get started you will need to cut two plackets and two pieces of interfacing using the measurements below.
First, fuse the interfacing to the center of the wrong side of the placket strips following the interfacing manufacturer’s instructions.
Fold the placket in half with right sides together, matching the short ends’ raw edges.
Sew along the longer sides using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Turn it right side out and press using a pressing cloth. Now taking one of your Sterling pant legs, place it right side up and locate the center point at the bottom. Place your placket here matching raw edges and center points. I used wonder tape to help keep my placket in place, but you can also pin it in place.
Stitch around your placket using a slightly longer stitch length. We don’t really need this placket to stretch, so using a straight stitch is ok. If you can reduce your presser foot’s pressure, go ahead and do that as well.
Now finish your pants according to the pattern’s instructions, and when you’re done, add the buttons (keep in mind that buttons are recommended for children 3 and over). I used simple 3/4″ buttons, and I really like how the black pops against this lovely and bright turquoise fabric. I placed my first button 3/4″ from the top of the placket, and the remaining buttons 1.5″ beneath each other, centered on the placket.
I also added the single ruffle because how cute is that? I love it, and the contrasting black thread helps highlight the placket and rolled hem don’t you think? This is such a fun and simple way to really add some pop to your leggings.
What’s better than making something for our kids that’s not only practical, but versatile and fashionable too?! I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to roll up my kids’ pants or shorts, only to have them fall right back down. Well today we’re solving that issue with roll up button tabs! We’re featuring our Potato Chip Shorts and Pants pattern, but these instructions will work for any shorts and pants pattern.
The Potato Chip Shorts and Pants pattern is one of my favorites for every season. This unisex pattern comes in 9 sizes with several options to choose from, including many possibilities for piping and trim, yet it still looks just as amazing when kept simple like this twill version here.
We will be using the Potato Chip pants and the Potato Chip bermuda length shorts for our tutorial today. Before we start, make sure you have already made whatever size changes necessary to your pattern pieces following the pattern’s lengthening/shortening instructions on page 13. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to begin!
Adding the Roll Up Tab to Pants
The roll up pants are meant to hit midway between the knee and ankle and can be worn down, or rolled up. Here we have it paired with the Everyday Top in a very soft double gauze.
To create this rolled up look, you will need:
two strips of fabric 5″ x 3.5″ for your tabs
two 1/2″ or 5/8″ buttons
To make the tabs, press the short edges under 1/4″.
Now fold in half and press to make a center crease.
Fold your long edges in to meet the center fold crease and press.
Press your tab in half and top stitch all the way around.
Add your button holes and set aside.
Next you will complete the Potato Chip pattern through to the beginning of step 4, ending where you press the outseam to the back of the pants. I decided to use faux flat felled seams for my outseam to give them a more finished appearance. When the pants are rolled up, this seam isn’t exposed since it’s covered by the tab.
With the right side of your pants facing up, fold the bottom raw edge up to meet the height of the back crotch point keeping your outseam aligned.
This will give you the placement for the top of your tab. Mark with a pin, or a fabric pencil or marker (always test first to make sure it is removable) on the wrong side of the pants.
With the wrong side of your pants facing up, sew your tab in place with a little rectangle using coordinating thread as it will be visible from the right side. The buttonhole side of the tab is at the bottom.
Now sew a button in the center of your rectangle on the pant’s right side, using a toothpick for spacing so the button is not too tight to the pants (otherwise it will be difficult to get the tab to button on), and your button tab is complete. It’s that simple! Then just continue with the rest of the pattern to finish up your pants.
Adding the Roll Up Tab to the Bermuda Shorts
The bermuda shorts length is typically for boys, but I’m liking how my girl is pulling them off too! She has it paired here with the Daffodil Top from this post. I think these patterns go together like peas and carrots!
The tabs are sewn the same way as for the pants, but your placement for the tab on the bermuda shorts is dependent on the size you are making. Use the chart below to find where to place your tab’s top edge.
If you are measuring up from the bottom raw edge of your bermuda shorts, you will use this method (the pattern piece is merely to point out the front).
If you are placing the tab just under the pocket bag, it will look like this.
If you want the roll to have more of a flat look, simply press them before wearing. I’m thrilled with how these turned out though, even rolled up on the go, and I can’t wait to pair these shorts with some tights and boots for the colder weather too. I love when I can get so many looks out of a single pattern!
Today we’re blogging some very cute fabrics over at Cali & Co.! We selected four fabrics and two patterns (in addition to the striped Garnet top I made last month) to make four fun and different looks, all while only sewing two garments! Here’s a little sneak peak…
Of course we couldn’t stop there since we could recreate our look for an 18″ doll too! Even with just one yard of each fabric, there was enough leftover to sew a doll outfit too. What little girl doesn’t love matching her dolly?! To recreate this look, Emma Dolly is wearing the 18″ doll size Reversible Fleece Hoodie which comes with the girl size pattern, and the Potato Chip Skirt Set for 18″ Doll patterns.
Today we have a quick and simple tutorial for you! There’s still a little more time to squeeze in another cute warm weather top, although this one still looks great layered with long sleeves or a cardigan. Plus, it has twirl factor!
We used the Fair and Square Top/Dress which features a lovely square neckline, includes a hem band or ruffle hem options, and instructions for a sweet little flower. There’s also a no buttonhole option too if you want to sew this one up even quicker! It’s available in a variety of sizes, including baby (0-24 months), girls (2T – 8), and even the 18″ doll size.
We’re including two different looks with this modification. You can add two tiers for a very fun cropped look…
Or add a third tier for a twirly longer tunic/top.
Both are absolutely adorable, especially in these lighter weight cottons. The apples are a light weight quilting cotton, and the white on black floral print cotton lawn is from Cali Fabrics (psst, read to the end for a special discount from Cali!). A thicker or heavier cotton fabric might be too poofy with the measurements we’re providing here, but if you want that look, then go for it!
To get our Fair and Square top look, you’ll need to cut these pieces from your fabric:
Fair and Square yoke front and back pieces (main and lining) for your chest size.
Fabric strips using the appropriate size charts below. For the cropped top version cut 5 strips, or for the longer tunic/top version, cut 9 strips.
If you need to add length to your top, just select the length according to height size, and the width according to your chest size. I am making a size 4 chest with a size 5 length, so I cut my strips 6 5/8″ x 21″.
Once you have all of your fabric pieces cut out and ready, you’re all set to sew! For now, set aside the fabric strips for tiers 2 and 3. We will come back to those at the end.
First, we’ll begin by sewing step 1 on page 4 of our Fair and Square pattern and continue through to the end of step 5, skipping step 6, and finishing up with step 7 on the bottom of page 10. We’ll be treating our first tier strips of fabric (there should be 2 strips) like the “skirts” portion in the pattern’s instructions. When you’re done, you should have an assembled upper top (front/back).
Now grab those tier strips of fabric we put aside earlier. Taking only the tier 2 strips (3 strip pieces), sew them right sides together at the short ends using a 1/2″ seam allowance, pressing the seams open and finishing them. You should have a loop after all side seams are sewn together.
Repeat this with your tier 3 strips of fabric if choosing this tunic/top option (you should have 4 strips left) to create another loop. Once you have your loop(s) done, mark your side seams, and your center front and center back.
Now here is my longer tunic/top version that I’ve assembled out of order so you can see the different parts to get a better idea of what I mean by tiers and loops. I love visuals! Makes it so much easier for me!
Now sew some gathering stitches using your preferred method along the top raw edge of your loop(s). If you want to take a look at the variety of gathering methods you can choose from, take a look at our Great Ruffle-Off! Which Gathering Method is Best? blog post.
Now with your tier 2 loop wrong side out and the top portion right side out, align your gathering stitch raw edge to the bottom raw edge of your tier 1 fabric (the “skirts” tier attached to the yoke). You will want to match up the center and side points, then begin gathering your fabric until your tier 2 loop fits evenly over your tier 1 loop, and the gathers are evenly distributed. Sew around this edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance and finish seam.
Press the finished seam up and top stitch close to the edge on the upper loop.
Repeat with your tier 3 loop if necessary, attaching it to your top and topstitching in the same manner. To finish, turn your bottom hem under 1/4″, press, then turn under another 1/4″, press and sew.
Isn’t this so cute?! All she needs is a cardigan and she’s ready for fall weather.
I love the way the tiers look in this cotton lawn though, so delicate and light. It’ll be very easy to layer this under a cute cropped cardigan, wink wink.
One thing I love about sewing with cotton lawn is that although it is a lighter weight fabric than quilting cotton, it is still pretty easy to sew with. I used a microtex needle and black fusible interfacing for the snaps, and that was pretty much it. I love the drape it gives to this tiered Fair and Square. As you can see, it has significantly less “poof” than the lightweight quilting cotton cropped version, although to be fair, it also has the weight of that third tier.
If you’d like to pick up some of this pretty cotton lawn, or one of the other gorgeous lawns, from Cali Fabrics, you can take $5 off off your first purchase over $25 using our unique referral code: http://califabrics.com/?redeem=58f5bd92a18db30013d2c109. You save $5 and we get $5 too for our fabric stash account!
You can find the Fair and Square Dress/Top pattern and more in Tie Dye Diva’s Pattern Shop. As always, we love hearing your ideas too. Do you have a Tie Dye Diva pattern hack or tutorial you would like to see, leave a comment and we just might do it!
One of the most satisfying aspects of sewing is mashing patterns together to create something new. This is especially true when I love certain aspects of the patterns and wish they existed together, but then I make it happen, which is even better! I have to give design credit for today’s pattern mashup to my girl though because this one is her idea…totally proud mama moment!
She loves skirt-alls, so when she saw another little girl wearing some at the park, she said they reminded her of something I had made before. When we got home, she showed me her sister’s Storybook Pinafore short dress, and she commented that it would look great attached to her Potato Chip Skirt. Right then I knew I had to make this awesome mashup happen!
The Storybook Pinafore Dress is an adorable vintage inspired pinafore pattern available in baby sizes (0 – 24 months), girls sizes (2-10 years), or as a bundle to save. The Potato Chip Skirt is a wardrobe staple reversible skirt with optional pockets, available in sizes 12 months to 13/14 years. Since we are mashing these two patterns together, our mashup will includes sizes 12-18 months to 9/10 years. If you don’t already have them, make sure to grab both patterns to complete today’s mashup.
You can make this skirt-all mashup with ruffles or without, add trim or piping as you like, although we left ours pretty simple. The blue version without ruffles is made with a chambray.
Both are simple to pull on, so big girls can help get themselves dressed in the mornings. This means there are no closures in this mashup, just a quick and fun sew! Let’s get started!
Preparing Your Pattern Pieces
Since we’re mashing these two patterns together, we will only be using a couple of pieces from each pattern. We will need to alter some as well, but it’s pretty simple and sews up quickly.
Let’s begin with the Storybook Pinafore pattern. You will need these pattern pieces:
Straps (cut 4)
Bodice (cut 2)
Ruffle (optional – cut 2)
Before cutting out your pinafore pattern pieces, you will need to alter the bodice and strap pieces. To calculate the length to add to your pieces, follow these simple steps:
Measure your strap pattern’s long side (shown in red below).
Multiply your measurement by .35, then divide the amount you get in half. That is the amount you will need to add to each short end of your strap and bodice pattern pieces (shown in purple below). We add this amount to each end so that our center point on the pattern is still accurate.
For example, my strap piece for size 4/5 years measures 16.25” on the long side, so I multiplied 16.25” x .35 = 5.688, and rounded up to 5.75” to make it easier on myself. My total length increase is 5.75”, so I divided this amount in half, 5.75/2 = 2.875 or 2 7/8″. I added 2.875″ to each short end of my straps and bodice pieces as shown below.
If you are using the ruffle piece, we will modify the length to be 2x the length of the new strap. I simply put my ruffle piece on top of my newly lengthened strap piece, then extended and redrew the ruffle curve to match the length of my strap. You will cut two ruffle pieces on the fold of your fabric.
From the Potato Chip Skirt pattern you will need these pattern pieces:
Main Fabric Skirt Front (cut 1)
Skirt Back (cut 1)
Pocket Backing (optional – cut 2)
Pocket Liners (optional – cut 2)
We won’t be altering any of these pattern pieces, but it will sit a bit higher on the waist when we’re done assembling everything. You may want to add length to the skirt, an inch or so, using the lengthening instructions on page 15 of your Potato Chip Skirt pattern. I didn’t add any length to my pattern, but I did use a narrow hem to finish my skirt.
Now for the waistband pieces, use the cutting chart below. Find your Potato Chip Skirt hip size, and cut the following waistband and elastic pieces:
Remember to place a mark at the center front and center back of your waistband pieces.
Sewing and Assembling Your Pinafore and Skirt
Now that you have your pattern pieces ready, go ahead and cut out your fabric. Don’t forget to mark your center notches for those pieces that need it. Once you have your fabric cut, you’re ready to sew!
Sewing the Pinafore Bodice, Skirt, and Waistband
First, assemble your pinafore bodice according to the Storybook Pinafore pattern (step 4). If you are adding the ruffles, you will need to prepare them (step 1) and attach them to the bodice (step 5). When you are done, it should look like this.
We will be making the unlined skirt version for this tutorial. If you are adding the pockets, begin with step 1 of the Potato Chip Skirt pattern. You can also find a wonderful piping tutorial on page 6 to add a little contrast to your pockets! If you’re not adding pockets, begin with step 2. Proceed through to step 3 then stop. You will have an assembled skirt that looks like this.
Now we’re going to move on to our waistband. You should have two front and two back pieces. Following step “e” on the bottom of page 5 of your Potato Chip Skirt pattern, also apply the interfacing to the wrong side of your front waistband.
Taking one front and one back waistband piece, place them right sides together and sew along the short ends with a ½” seam allowance (fabric looks different because I made a few of them!).
Now press these seams open. Repeat this with the other front and back waistband pieces.
Assembling Your Pinafore and Skirt
Now we’re going to put everything together!
First we will attach our pinafore to the waistband pieces. Place your waistband main and lining pieces right sides together, pinning at the side seams. Now sandwich your front pinafore bodice into the front waistbands, matching right sides and center front notches.
It will look layered like this. Your pinafore bodice’s raw edge is lined up with the raw edge of the waistband.
Repeat this with the back pinafore bodice piece, matching center back notches. Continue pinning around entire bottom of waistband to hold together in place. Sew around this entire seam with a ½” seam allowance, then trim the seam allowance to a 1/4″.
Pull the waistband down with wrong sides together and press well. Top stitch close to the seam using no more than 1/8″ seam allowance. We will refer to this entire pinafore bodice/waistband piece as just the bodice in the rest of the tutorial for simplicity.
Now we’re ready to move on to our skirt portion. We’re almost done!
First, turn your skirt inside out. With your bodice right side out, slide it down into your skirt aligning raw edges, matching center front, center back, and side seams. Pin well so nothing moves around.
Make sure the waistband’s lining is pushed down and out of the way. Sew around the waist seam with a ½” seam allowance.
Now pull up your waistband and lining, press the seam you just finished up towards the waistband, and press your the raw edge under towards the wrong side 3/8”.
Pull your bodice out of the skirt and turn everything right side out. Reach inside to turn your waistband lining down, and from the right side pin your back waistband lining down to form the elastic casing. Stitch close to the bottom edge of the back waistband only, from side seam to side seam. I like to sew this from the right side to keep my seams nice and straight, making sure I catch my waistband lining in the seam.
Looking at the inside of the skirt, pull your elastic through the opening at the sides until ½” of elastic sticks out and secure by stitching in the side seam ditch. Pull the other side all the through and stitch in the same manner to secure your elastic.
Optionally you can add an additional row of stitching in the center of the back waistband after securing your elastic. I do this by stretching my waistband and elastic as I sew, and I use a slightly longer stitch length.
Now pin and top stitch the front waistband down, catching the front waistband lining.
Yay! You’re done!
This is such a great piece to layer with long sleeves, tights and boots for cooler weather, or with a tank and sandals for warmer weather. Including the back bodice, seen in the pictures below, helps make this skirt-all easy to pull over, but I think this would look pretty cute with the blog tutorial for vintage inspired cross back straps too.
We hope you enjoyed this pattern mashup as much as we have! You can find the patterns mentioned in this post in Tie Dye Diva’s Pattern Shop, and don’t forget to share your makes with us! We love seeing them, so if you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, you can find us at Tie Dye Diva Sewing Patterns.
Today we have a fun and extremely simple little pattern hack for you. These cute little ruffle tops seem to be everywhere right now, and they’re so easy to sew that it’s the perfect project for beginning sewists, and those with more sewing experience will be able to whip up lots of these in no time! They’re seriously so fun to select fabric for and sew, not to mention an excellent project to refashion those thrifted men’s dress shirts.
The Daydreamer Dress pattern you see above is the perfect pattern for our top hack. It’s a twirly dress pattern with a sweet ruffle neck collar and sash. It’s available in a range of sizes from 2t through 9/10, and is a great pattern for beginners. The pattern itself only has a few pages to print, making this ruffle top one of the simplest pattern hacks ever.
Modifying Your Pattern
First, you will select your bodice size based on your child’s chest measurement. My daughter is a size 4 chest, so I will use the size 4 bodice.
Using their height size, select the length you will need to add to the front bodice from the chart below.
My girl falls in the size 5 height range, so I will add 10.5″ to the length of my size 4 front bodice piece. I draw a line down from the center front fold line that is 10.5″ long. I also draw an angled line down from the underarm point, and draw another bottom line to meet my center front line. You can see my modifications in pink below.
Now that you have your basic outline, you will want to adjust the bottom hemline to curve up 1/4″ to 1/2″ at the side seam, as shown in green below. You basically want this corner to form a 90 degree angle.
Here is my final front top pattern piece.
Now take your back bodice pattern piece, place it over your front top pattern piece we just made, matching underarm points and center fold side. Tape down the back bodice pattern piece only at the bottom.
Here I am cutting my fabric on the fold using my back pattern piece.
This makes it very easy to use the same top pattern piece we just drew for both the back and front. To use as the top front pattern, simply fold down the back bodice pattern as shown in blue, and it should be completely out of the way.
Here I am cutting my fabric on the fold using my front pattern piece. Notice I’ve flipped down my back bodice section using the tape as a hinge.
I placed my pen just under the back bodice piece so you can see it’s flipped down and out of the way.
Cutting Your Fabric
Now you’re ready to cut your fabric. Our top consists of only three fabric pieces: top front, top back, and the neck ruffle. You will also need 1/4″ elastic for the neckline. Your pattern gives you cutting measurements for your neck ruffle on page 3 and the elastic piece on page 4.
Sewing Your Top
Now you’re ready to sew! First, place your top front and back pieces right sides together and sew down each side seam using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish this seam.
Now jump to step 4 on page 9 of your pattern to finish the armholes, and continue with step 5 to attach the neck ruffle. To finish, turn your bottom hem up 1/4″, press, then another 1/2″, press and sew. You’re done!
It’s easy to add trim to the neck ruffle too, because who doesn’t like to personalize with a little crochet lace or pompoms? I added my trim after pressing up my neck ruffle’s hem.
I paired this adorable watermelon top with Daffodil Capris turned into shorts using Rachel’s Daffodil Shorts tutorial. I absolutely love the look of these shorts with their contrast ruffle. The watermelon and pink fabric are part of the Tutti Fruitti collection by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics, and they scream summer time and picnics!
This sweet Daydreamer top is all about our feathered friends. It’s part of the Garden Roost collection by Elizabeth Grubaugh for Blend Fabrics, and the ruffle top is perfect for coordinating small quantities of fabric you may have sitting in your stash.
I decided to whip up a pair of Potato Chip Shorts in a light blue twill fabric to complete this fun little summer outfit. These are the bermuda length shorts featuring a simple tie hack in the front and cuffs (wink wink…tutorial coming soon!). They’re perfect for outdoor activities like running around in the park, or you know, chasing chickens!
I also went a little crazy refashioning this ruffle top. My girl demanded I add these cat buttons, so I replaced the other buttons as well. I love that this is such a great top for repurposing men’s shirts and getting really creative. This one was covered in strange ink stains towards the bottom, but it was pretty easy to place the top pattern to avoid the stains. You can also just use the original shirt’s hem if you can to make this top even faster!