Every little girl loves to look like a princess and with these pretty designs from Amanda Walker, your little ones certainly will! Stitched from soft cotton lawn, floral Liberty prints add to the demure nature of these dresses.
- Fabric: Liberty Art Fabrics, Tana Lawn, Phoebe H, 1.5m
- Zip: concealed, 36cm
- Ribbon: gingham, 5mm wide
- Lace: cotton, white
- Fabric: Liberty Art Fabrics, Tana Lawn, Small Susanna E, 1.2m
- Zip: concealed, 36cm
- Bias binding: pique edge
- Cut two pairs (one pair will become the lining)
- Cut two pairs on the fold (one pair will become the lining)
- Cut two rectangles, each 45cm x 1m (age 3-4 years) or 50cm x 102cm (age 5-6 years).
- Slice one piece in half widthways to create two back skirt pieces.
- Cut two 20cm x 80cm strips, plus one 20cm x 35cm
Make a sleeved dress
Download your free dressmaker’s pattern. Print it out, following the instructions given, and use it to trim the pieces listed in the cutting guide. Separate the outer front and back bodice pieces from the lining ones, and neaten all edges by overclocking or working a zig zag stitch.
Decorate the centre of the outer front bodice. Position and pin two strips of lace down the centre of the front bodice (using the photos as a guide), and stitch into place. Lay a length of gingham ribbon in between the lace strips and edge sew into place.
Match the shoulder and side seams of the outer back and front bodice pieces together with right sides facing, pin, and stitch. Repeat the process with the lining pieces. Press the seams open.
Make a strip of bias binding from scraps of Liberty print fabric, measuring 4cm wide x the length of the neckline. With right sides facing outwards, match the bodice and the bodice lining pieces together, ensuring that all seams line up. Pin into place and fold the bias binding over the raw edge of the neckline. Edge stitch all the way around.
Turn inside out and stitch the sleeves into the armholes. Match, pin and machine sew the sleeve seams together. Neaten the seam allowance by overlocking or working with a zig zag stitch. Sew a gathering stitch around the head of each sleeve, just inside the 1.5cm seam allowance. Pull the threads up to gather and enable the sleeve head to fit into the armhole; pin and stitch to secure.
Work a gathering stitch around the base of the sleeves. Pull up so that the diameter of the sleeve measures 12cm (3-4 years) or 14cm (5-6yrs). Create another two lengths of bias binding, each 25cm long, and join the two short ends of each together to make a loop. Fold the binding over the gathered sleeve edges and stitch into place. Sew a row of lace underneath the binding, then add a gingham ribbon bow to each sleeve to finish.
Make up the skirt and attach to the bodice. Lay the skirt pieces right sides together, matching up the side seams. Stitch along these with a 1.5cm allowance, then press open. Make two rows of gathering stitches across the top of the skirt. Pull the threads to gather the waistline to fit the lower edges of the bodice. Evenly distribute the gathers, pin into place and stitch with right sides together.
Match the base of the centre back seam together and pin into place. Measure 33cm down from the top of the back neck and pin the seam together at this point. Stitch from the base of the skirt to the pin.
Insert the zip. Fold and press the seam allowance along the two sides of the back opening. Open out the allowance and, with the right sides of the fabric facing, place the opened zip face down along the seam, matching the teeth to the crease line in the seam allowance. Pin into place.
If using a concealed zip foot, place the teeth of the zip into the groove, which will uncurl the teeth as you work. If using a normal zip foot, uncurl the teeth with your finger tips. Stitch to the top of the back seam. Back stitch and sew the other side of the zip into place. Carefully thread the zip pull through to the right side at the top of the back seam and close.
Press up and pin a 4cm hem around the bottom of the skirt. On the right side of the hem, 4cm from the bottom, stitch a length of gingham ribbon. This line of stitches will secure the hem as well as the ribbon. Finally, stitch decorative lace edging to the base of the hem to finish.
Create a sleeveless frock
Follow steps 1-6 for the sleeved dress, omitting the sleeve instructions and instead covering the edges of the armholes with bias binding, as for the neckline in step 4. Continue with the instructions but, instead of decorating the skirt, simply neaten the base, press up by 4cm and hand stitch into place to create a hem.
Make up a tie belt. Stitch two 20cm x 80cm strips of fabric to either side of a 20cm x 35cm strip, with right sides together. Fold the fabric in half lengthways and cut each end at an angle. Pin the fold into place, then stitch along the raw edges with a 5mm seam allowance, leaving a 5cm gap. Turn the belt to the right side through the gap, press and finish by hand slip stitching.