A little while ago I finished the skirt that caused all of the heartache with my sewing machine. (It’s still plugging along, by the way, but I can tell it won’t last much longer. Prayers would be appreciated. 😉 ) As I sat back to look at the scraps and try to figure out what to do with them, I thought, “Those look just like miniature skirt pieces.” As luck would have it, I just happen to have a miniature person living with me right now, so I decided to give it a go.
Those of you who know me know that I have made several dresses for Elisabeth out of scraps, but I wanted this one to be a bit “dressier.” I’ve also seen some fabulous onesie dress tutorials, but again, I wanted this to be more of a fancy dress than a play dress.
This is what I came up with.
It was a huge hit in church – everyone loved our matching mommy daughter dresses.
And now for the tutorial: (Please bear in mind that this is my first tutorial. And also that I can only sew at night when all of the kidlets are asleep and the lighting in my bedroom/sewing room is terrible, so the picture quality isn’t great. I did the best I could.)
You will need:
one cute baby girl
about two yards of ribbon
some scraps of fabric (Best if they’re left over from a clothing project for you – that way you can match!)
I started out with these scraps:
I sewed the two smaller pieces together, and then cut out two identical skirt shapes to be the front and back of the skirt. (On the picture you can see that the skirt length is 12 1/2.” I like longer skirts on babies – I hate seeing their diapers hanging out of their dresses – but after I finished I decided that 12 1/2″ is too long even for me. If I were to do it again, I would make the skirt length 10 – 11.”)
Then I sewed one side seam.
Time for the ribbon hem. This is my all time favorite way to hem a little girl’s skirt. It’s fast, it’s easy, it requires NO measuring and very little ironing – ah, the bliss of it all. Here’s how you do it:
Put the ribbon along the bottom of the skirt, wrong sides together, centering your ribbon over the bottom edge. (In this case it was centered over the serging.) Stitch close to the top of the ribbon. This is what both sides of the hem will look like at this point. Notice that the ribbon is sewn to the wrong side of the skirt.
And now for the magic – flip your ribbon over so that it in on the right side of the skirt, press, and topstitch close to the top of the ribbon. Voila – a perfect hem with the raw (or serged) edge enclosed! How easy was that?! Now you can sew your other side seam.
Now to make the top of the skirt look cute. Fold the top edge over about 3/4″ and press. Measure around your sweet baby’s belly. In case you don’t have a baby handy, Elisabeth just turned 4 months old and has a waist measurement of 17.” Cut a piece of 3/8″ elastic to that measurement, minus one inch. (1/4″ elastic would also work, but 3/8″ is what I had on hand.)
Mark your elastic into fourths. Also mark the centers and sides of the skirt.
Sew the elastic onto the wrong side of the skirt matching side and center markings and using a long, wide zig-zag stitch. You will need to stretch the elastic as you go to make sure that your markings line up. The elastic should be covering your raw (or serged) edge with a small ruffle showing above it.
Now you need to find the centers of your onesie. First fold it in half lengthwise, then widthwise. Mark front and back centers, and the center line around the onesie. (The onesie in the picture below really isn’t dirty, it just looks that way.)
Put the onesie inside of the skirt, matching sides and centers, with the wrong side of your skirt on the right side of the onesie. Center the elastic on the marked line on the onesie, matching sides and centers. Sew along the center of the elastic using a fairly long stitch, stretching just a bit as you go so that the dress will have enough stretch to fit over your baby’s head.
Almost done! But I don’t like way the zig zag stitches are showing. It still looks unfinished to me. So…
Let’s make some belt loops! Take a longish strip of material (about 1 1/2″ wide by 10″ long if using 5/8″ ribbon), fold it in half, and sew down the long end. Turn, press, you know the drill. Cut your strip into fourths and sew them onto your dress, making sure to center them over the ugly zigzag stitching so the ribbon will cover it. (I wasn’t sure how to describe sewing on the belt loops, so go get a favorite pair of jeans and look to see how they’re sewn on.)
Put a ribbon through the belt loops, accessorize (in this case a bow at the neckline and a yo-yo for the headband), and you’re done!
Now go try it on your cute but very sleepy baby.
If anything isn’t clear, leave a comment and I’ll try to do a better job of explaining it.
What do you do with your scraps? Let the blogosphere know by entering Sew Mama Sew’s Scrap Buster Tutorial Contest.