and I still like them for summer. Cool, easy to wash-and-wear, and even easy to make.
**How in the world am I getting this done today? Why..my daughter is at girl scout day camp!! She's called every two hours with blood sugars, and I've helped her along. She is doing so well-I'm very impressed!**
Did you get some fabric? I got enough for two dresses, but I'll show you how to make the first. I chose a darkish fabric with a light back, so you can tell the front of my fabric from the back. I also got a coordinating fabric to sew a band around the bottom, but it's totally optional for when you feel like embellishing! : ) Hobby Lobby also had the ribbon that coordinated too (!!), so we chose it. I usually like to choose a polka dot ribbon with gingham fabric or solid ribbon with floral, etc. Not so matchy.
(You can always opt to actually use a pillowcase if you want! They are sold in pairs, or you can find a beautiful vintage pillowcase at a flea market. Shabby Chic sells some gorgeous ones (at Target!) : ) A standard size pillowcase is about 21" x 32", a queen size is 21" x 36" and a king size is 21" x 42". The originals are all good up to about a girl's size 6x. Above that, I like fabric to go a little bit fuller around.
First. Measure your daughter (or the lucky girl!) from her neck to where you want the dress to hit on her legs (usually somewhere between under their knees and their calves). Add three inches. (*the little extra at the neck gives you a seam allowance for the top, and the three inches is seam allowance for the bottom) This is the length of the fabric you'll need.
Second. Measure around their widest part (bottom or chest), and add 16" (14" for room and 2" for seam allowances). This is the width of the fabric you'll need.
Third. Cut your fabric into a big rectangle (length x width). Remember to make your shortest dimension (top to bottom) with the fabric print right-side up. (You don't want your damask going sideways or anything crazy!)
|Ironing adds a step, but makes it super easy to keep it straight! : )|
|See the fourth presser foot and stitch? That's the blind stitch! : )|
|on my machine, I have to dial to the stitch ; )|
|You fold it back so there are lots of stitches in your folded seam allowance, but only a teensy stitch every third stitch on the outside.|
|Finished it looks like this on the inside.|
|On the outside, you can only see the little stitches every inch or so.|
Sixth. Cut out "arm holes"-think scoops. You can't really mess up, so no stress. Lay out your dress (still inside out). Turn your seam to one side, so it will be under an armhole.
On one side: make a mark at 7.5" from the top in pencil. Then, on the same side of the dress, make a mark along the top at 3.5". Now use those marks to draw a sweeping scoop with pencil until you are happy. Then cut. Next, fold the dress in half, and copy that cut in pencil on the other side of the dress, so the scoops will be the same! Now, cut the second armhole.
|Ignore the upside down ruler! Just check out the scoop. ; ) 7.5" x 3.5"|
|The left mirrored on the right to keep them the same. Also notice, the seam allowance is not included. : )|
Seventh. Roll the arm cutout seams (or use a special presser foot!) toward the inside of the dress, and stitch down. This keeps the edges covered so they won't fray.
|Here they are after rolling and sewing.|
Ninth. (You've made it this far, and you are almost done! Yay!) Similar to the bottom hem: turn under an inch, iron, turn under another inch, iron, then stitch along the bottom of the folded edge to create a "tunnel" for the ribbon to go through! Do this with the top of both the front and back.
Tenth. Now, thread your ribbon through that little 1" tunnel you just made, gather the front and back on the ribbon and tie! You can pull it all the way through and tie on one shoulder, or cut into two pieces and tie on both shoulders. (I use about 38" of ribbon in the front, and 38" in the back)
One. Heat-seal the ends of your ribbon: run them above an aim-a-flame (not touching the fire!)..you'll see them slightly seal-can't explain it..kinda melt?) then they won't fray on the edges.
Two. You can fold the center 5" section of your ribbon into thirds, and sew to hold it neatly inside the dress.
|Now, pin an extra three inches on both sides, making sure all pins are going the SAME way. (This is so you can pull out the ribbon a little, to remove the pins!)|
|Now, pin and sew the edges of the foldover with the folded ribbon inside (so it doesn't get caught in the stitching!)|
|Pull ribbon out gently (and remove pins), then center it again. I stitched a tiny line in the middle over the fabric and ribbon, so the ribbon will always stay centered, and can't pull out.|