It took longer to make this post than it did the dress! That's just the way it works sometimes. My Blythe loves her new dress and my mama actually wanted me to dress her in it (with her pink Converses and blue jean jacket) for a little girl time shopping this past Saturday! That is a big deal because my mama is crazy about cute children's clothes, she owned a little boutique when I was little and dressed me & then my little sister like dolls. (I never stayed clean long. Poor mama!) So, for her to love it was kind of a big deal to me. :o)
Here is your pattern with all the details and tutorials to follow. I hope it is clear. I am mainly self taught. Though there are some amazing sewing skills in my family and I received my first machine before I was 4, I was given free reign to sew how I thought best without instruction on construction--and that may not be the best way. However, it works for me & should work for you! (If you know a better way, let me know.) Have fun!
This dress is approximately a 4T for a 21" waist, it is roomy though. My god daughter is a 2T and I will be adding her size soon.
These are jpeg images that you can print on 8.5"x11" paper, make sure that it prints at 100%, not fit to page. Click here for the pdf of the pattern if you have trouble printing the jpeg pattern.
1 1/2 yard of fabric
2 1/2 yards of extra large rick rack
3 1" buttons
Cut 2 2"x5" strips from the scraps left from the top (or you can cut a strip of paper and pin it to be cut out like I did)
Thread to match dress fabric and rick-rack
1. Sew the shoulder seams of the front inside to the back inside pieces. Sew the shoulder seams of the front outside to the back outside pieces. Iron the sleeve pieces in half. I made inside and outside pieces because I wanted to protect her from any itchy seams that might irritate her when she wears it. This is also why the inside pieces are longer than the outside, it provides a barrier to the gathered skirt seam rubbing against her.
2. Cut 6" from a selvage edge of the fabric left over to make pockets from (making my fabric 39" wide).
3. Half the remaining fabric, you now have 2 rectangles ( mine measured 17.5"x39").
I gathered the sleeves to 8". Sew the gathering stitches on the outside curve, the fold will be the edge of the ruffle on the dress. Sew from edge to edge on the fabric, don't go off of it. This makes it easier to gather for me. I have a friend the runs parallel lines and pulls the same thread from each line to gather with in case one breaks, but this has never been a problem for me. However, it is sound advice if you have had an issue with this before.
1. Sew the sleeve to the inside pieces on the right side on the fabric on the edge. Pull out the threads that you used to gather the sleeves.
2. Put the inside and outside pieces together, right side facing right side, wrong sides out--pictures 1 & 2.
3. Sew the armholes curves together with a 1/4" seam.
4. Sew from 2" above the bottom of the back out side piece, around to the neck. At this point arrange your rick rack to slightly more than half is on the inside and slightly less than half will show up on the out side of the neck when you turn it right side out. (I forgot this step and had to add it onto the neck after it was already closed. You cannot tell a difference on the outside, but it would have looked much nicer on the inside. I hate forgetting things!) Sew around the neck and down the other side to 2" above the bottom outside piece. Turned right side out it will look like picture 3.
5. Sew the underarms together by sewing the right side of the inside pieces together and the right side of the outside pieces picture 4. You will now be ready to add the skirt. You can see what this seam will look like in picture 4 on the tutorial for adding the skirt in part 2.
Here is part 2, adding the skirt: