When it comes to making clothes for kids, the golden rule is: keep it simple. This gorgeous garment from the fantastic mind of Louise Nichols is wonderfully flexible, allowing for ease of movement. Its neat A-line design sits just above the knee, so it won’t impede your little one’s comings and goings. Plus, if you opt for a busy pattern such as our lovely birdy print, then you’ll be able to conceal any scuffs or marks. It’s child’s play!
- Fabric, 1m (115cm)
- Hook and eyes
- Button, white
- Lightweight woven fabrics, such as cotton poplin or lawn
- 52cm x 55cm
- Back: cut two
- Front: cut one on the fold
- Front facing: cut one on the fold
- Back facing: cut two
- Sleeve: cut four
- Pocket: cut one
- 1.5cm seam allowance used, unless otherwise stated.
Download and print the template from sewmag.co.uk and follow the cutting guide. Stay-stitch the bodice front and bodice back neck pieces, 1.3cm from the edge. Sew the centre back seam of the dress from hem to dot. Back-stitch at the dot to reinforce the seam, and press the seam open. Sew the dress front to the dress back at the shoulder seams and press the seams open again.
Two out of four sleeve pieces cut are to be used as facings. With the right sides together, stitch the sleeves to the sleeve facings around the curved edge. Clip the curve and trim the seam. Turn the sleeves through to the right side, then press and tack the open edges together. Sew the back facing sections together from hem to dot. Press the seam open. Stitch the front and back facings together at the shoulder seams, and press the seams open again.
With right sides together, pin the front facing to the bodice around the neck, matching the centre and shoulder seams. Sew around the neck, then clip the curves and trim the seam. Turn through to the right side and press the neck seam. Pin the facing to the bodice to secure in place and top-stitch 3mm from the edge around the whole bodice, including the back opening.
Fold the armhole hems and armhole lining hems over by 5mm, then pin the sleeves in between the two, matching the dots and placing the centre dot at the shoulder seam, so the open sleeve edge is inside the hems and the hems line up on both sides. Tack, then topstitch 3mm from the edge around the armholes.
Finish the top edge of the pocket, then sew using long stitches from notch to notch on the bottom curve, 1cm from the edge. Turn the top edge of the pocket over to the outside by 3.2cm and stitch the ends. Clip the top corners. Turn the pocket through, then turn in the seam allowance around the rest of it, pulling the threads to adjust it.
Press and hand-sew the top hem in place. Position the pocket on the dress, pin and topstitch 3mm from the edge around it, back-stitching at both top edges to reinforce the join. Finish the bottom edge of the front and back bodice lining, then pin the front and back bodice sections, right sides together, at the side seams.
Sew these seams, trim away any excess lining under the armholes and press the seams open. Slip-stitch the seams to the facing underneath the arms. Press up the hem by 1.5cm, then tuck the raw edge inside the fold to meet the crease. Press and sew the hem in place. Stitch on a hook and eye at the top of the back opening and add a button to the pocket.