Last week was crazy busy with our Spring Top and Carefree Clothes submissions, so I didn't even get a chance to tell you that I guest blogged over at Brown Paper Packages!
Leisel is having a Pattern Makeover Month where she shows you how to stretch a dollar by using the same pattern to make a myriad of different outfits. I highly encourage you to go check them all out. Lots of inspiration there! And the gorgeous models and photography don't hurt either :)
Here's my tutorial:
I call this the Boardwalk Dress because it reminds me of a little girl from the 1920's skipping down a boardwalk with her balloons and cotton candy.
Susan and I agree that it would also be a terrific base for an Alice in Wonderland dress. Just add an apron and a tea party!
You will need to have a peasant dress pattern or really any A-line dress pattern to make this dress. The way I put it together may seem a little odd, but I did it this way so when you finish the inside seams, you are always sewing a straight line. I prefer it this way when using a serger.
Pull out your original front and back dress pattern pieces. You will need to reshape them so they go straight down, instead of angling out into an a-line. Measure your dress-wearer from neckline to dropped waist (about where their pants usually sit), and crop the dress off at that length, making sure to add seam allowances. In this illustration, the dotted line shows how you will be cutting your new front and back pattern pieces:
Using your new front and back bodice pieces as a guide, cut a strip of fabric that is 3 inches long and equal in width to the bottom hem of your new bodice, like so:
Sew those two strips together on a short end, forming one long strip. Now, depending on how full you want your skirt, cut a rectangle of fabric for your skirt. For the length, measure your dress-wearer from 2 inches below the dropped waist to wherever you want the skirt hem to fall. Add 2 inches for the seam allowance and hem. (Or use fabric like I used in the example, which is already hemmed for you!) The width is entirely up to you, but I suggest making it 1.5 to 2 times the width of your long strip for a nice gather. First, if necessary, hem the bottom of your skirt rectangle by turning it up a half inch, and then turning it up another inch and edge stitching. Then gather the top using a basting stitch and pulling the bobbin threads until the top of the rectangle is the same width as your long strip, like so:
Right sides together, sew the skirt to the strip. Finish the inside seam by serging, zig-zag stitching, or pinking.
Attach the sleeves to your bodice following pattern directions. Then, right sides together, sew from one sleeve hem down to the end of the bodice, and finish the seam. Do this for one side only.
Open up your bodice so it lays flat, and sew the long strip to the edge of the bodice. Finish the inside seam.
Now that the skirt is attached, flip the garment inside out and sew the other side, from sleeve hem to skirt hem, making sure to line up your seams as you go. Finish this seam.
Finish the neckline and sleeve hems as the pattern dictates, and you're done!