My family are all currently awaiting a new arrival to our already crowded bunch. My cousin (grandchild #7) is expecting his first baby with his girlfriend – a girl and we are all super thrilled about it. Now that little Ella is due to make her arrival any day now I thought I’d share a few projects we’ve been working on for her, starting with this super gorgeous little shirred dress I whipped up in literally 20 minutes the other day. I’m in love with the gorgeous black and white stripes and with the ribbon ties it makes it super easy to put on and take off if by any chance Miss Ella decides to use it as a vomit rag. I also added a super cute sequin letter ‘E’ to the front which I’ve got listed as a new item in my shop available for purchase! (I’ve also got an exclusive illistyle deal below!)
For this cute little dress I used what I already had on hand and it took me literally 20 minutes to make and I’ve got plenty of material left for more as well as lots of un-shirred knit for other projects!! For this dress I used pre-shirred knit/jersey but you could easily purchase some elastic thread and shirr your own but I’ve never quite gotten the hang of shirring and I wanted a quick and easy sewing project. Along with the knit/jersey, you’ll need some ribbon or fabric scraps for ties, pins and a sewing machine! It’s that simple – so let’s make ourselves a dress with this 20 Minute Baby Dress Tutorial!
· Knit or jersey fabric
· Elastic thread (if your fabric isn’t pre-shirred)
· Ribbon or scrap fabric
· Item of similar sized clothing (to get the right size)
· Sewing machine
· 20 minutes!
1. Start by laying your item of clothing down on your fabric. I used a little vest we picked up for Ella. Mark where the garment ends and fold it over so you have double thickness at the right size. Add 1 cm for seam allowance
2. Measure how long you want the dress to be. I based mine on the theory that most babies are 19-22 inches long and made mine 14.5 inches + 0.5 inches for seam allowance. Mark your measurements with a fabric marker or pins.
3. Cut out your fabric. Make sure your fabric is smooth and even.
4. Double fold your hem up and pin in place. Don’t pull or stretch the knit/jersey just work slowly and carefully. You can choose to leave the hem unfinished since knit doesn’t fray but as this was a gift I chose to hem for a more professional look.
5. Sew your hem, backstitching at the start and finish. Some tips for working with knit: don’t pull! Place your fabric under your machine foot and start sewing, let the machine move the fabric for you and just guide it in the right direction with your hand. And take your time! It doesn’t have to take exactly 20 minutes!!
6. Pin your fabric right sides together and sew down the edge. Make sure you backstitch at the start and finish.
7. Cut your ribbon. I chose to cut mine about 10 inches long but depending on the age you can make this longer or shorter. I would have probably made it a bit longer so that they can be tied in bows.
8. Pin your ribbon onto the tops of the dress, making sure you line them up on each side.
9. Sew in place. Backstitch over this a couple of times. Since this will be on the shirred section of the dress it doesn’t matter if the stitching is a little wonky as you won’t notice it with the shirring! Tie up your ties and YOU’RE DONE!!
CONGRATULTIONS!! You just made yourself a pretty new dress! The great thing about this dress is that it is SO versatile – you can make it for any age, from newborn to adults and the process is exactly the same!! I hope you liked this tutorial and I’ll be back next month with another one – in the meantime feel free to pop on over to my blog and say hi! I’d love to have you over!!