Baby's Summer Dress: a free sewing pattern from "Lieveke en zus" (English version)

This lovely dress, called "Baby's Summer Dress",
was my very first self drafted sewing pattern in multiple sizes.
It originated as a test run for the Eryn's Garden Party Dress that is available for sale 
on my webshop.

Although originally posted over a year ago, as a free pattern in sizes 2 to 12 months,
this post is still in the top of the most viewed every week!
It even gets me viewers in USA and Canada!
The original post and tutorial are in Dutch,
but I believe this blog could do with an English version...


You can download the free pattern here

TUTORIAL
Please bear in mind that this is my first attempt to write 
a (sewing) tutorial in English.
I would be very happy to hear all of your remarks (or corrections). 


Fabric and supplies:
Approximately 50 cm (20 inches) of lightweight coton fabric,
leftover piece of matching coton fabric for bodice lining,
piece of  elastic (see step 1 of the sewing roadmap for desired length),
matching all-purpose (polyester) sewing thread.

Print and cut:
The pattern can be printed on a "A4" or "letter" paper format. 
Make sure your printer scale settings are set to 100%!
All pattern pieces have a 7,5 mm (approx. 1/4 inch) seam allowance 
and 3 cm (1.18 inch) bottom seam included.
(If you like to serge your seams, you might want to add extra seam allowance!)

Sewing roadmap:
Step 1: bodice
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gratis download patroon babyjurk met tutorial
Align shoulder straps 2 by 2, right sides together, pin and sew. 
Leave short sides of the straps open.
Trim seam allowance (use pinking or fabric shears) 
and turn straps right side out through the short sides.
Steam iron straps and put aside.

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Place shoulder straps between the markings on the right side of the front bodice piece.
The straps should point slightly outwards if placed correctly.
Carefully place and align bodice lining over right side of the bodice, 
with the right side of the lining facing down.
Pin and sew upper seam first.

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gratis download patroon babyjurk met tutorial
Now pin both curved sides of the front bodice piece and sew. 
Make sure you don't sew over the straps at this stage!
Trim the corners (as shown in picture). 
Cut in the curved edge of the seam allowance, be careful not to cut into the stitching.
Turn right side out and steam iron upper and side seams.

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Place shoulder straps between markings on the right side of the back bodice piece.
Don't let this picture fool you, 
your straps should already be attached to the front bodice piece...
Place and align back bodice lining over right side of the back piece, 
with the right side of the lining facing down.
Pin and sew upper seam.
Turn right side out and steam iron upper seam.

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gratis download patroon babyjurk met tutorial
Lay front bodice open in front of you, like shown in the first picture above.
Now fold over back bodice, while aligning left and right side seams. Pin seams and sew together.
Steam iron side seams flat and turn bodice right side out.

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gratis download patroon babyjurk met tutorial
To finish of your bodice, sew a tunnel on the back side of the bodice to hold your elastic.
(Tip: use your elastic as a guidance!)
Cut of a piece of elastic that is exactly 0,8 times the length of the width of the bodice.
Pull the elastic trough this tunnel (from one side seam to the other) with the help of a safety pin.
Stitch the elastic in place on either side of the back bodice piece.
If you stitch in the side seam ("stitch in the ditch") these stitches will be nearly invisible.
(variation: you could use button hole elastic and sew two buttons on the inside of the front bodice 
for an adjustable elastic.)

Step 2: skirt
Serge or zig-zag the side edges of your skirt pieces.
Place pieces on top of each other, right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin and sew. 
Steam iron side seams open.

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gratis download patroon babyjurk met tutorial
Mark back and front center of skirt and bodice.
Now gather the skirt.
I used this zig-zag and pull thread method to do the gathering 
but there are numerous of other methods, 
pick any method you know well and are comfortable with.
Whatever method you choose, make sure your gathering threads are on the inside of the skirt.

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gratis download patroon babyjurk met tutorial

Place your skirt over the bodice, good sides of the fabric facing each other, aligning the edges, center markings and side seams.
Pin center markings and side seams.
Now carefully pul the gathering thread until the circumference of your skirt matches your bodice.
Spread your gathers evenly around the skirt, pin plentiful
and sew skirt and bodice together.


Step 3: when the plan comes together...
 Fold over bottom seam 1 cm (0.4 inch), steam iron.
Fold over another 2 cm (0.8 inch), steam iron and pin bottom seam.
Sew down your bottom seam as closely to the upper edge as possible.

Fold in the lower edge of the bodice lining 1 cm (0.4 inch).
Pin the folded edge over the stitching of the skirt and bodice seam.
Sew by hand or stitch carefully over the seam on the outside of the dress.
Your dress is now finished!
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Bow (optional):


Bow piece
Iron some facing on one of the main bow pieces.
Place pieces right sides facing each other, pin and sew around the edges,
leaving open a turning hole.
Trim the edges and cut in corners.
Turn right side out and steam iron.
The result should be a small rectangular.
Hand stitch turning hole closed. Put aside.

Tail piece
Fold the tail piece in half lengthwise, right side inside.
Pin and sew around the edges, leaving open a turning hole along the long side.
Trim the edges and cut in corners.
Turn right side out and steam iron.
The result should be a ribbon with 2 slanted sides.
Hand stitch turning hole closed. Put aside.

Center piece
Fold the center piece in half lengthwise, right side inside.
Pin and sew along the longer edgeTrim the edge.
Turn right side out, turn the seam to the center of your center piece and steam iron.
Now fold in half, shorter sides on each other.
The center seam you've just sewn should now be visible on the outside.
Sew together these short edges of the center piece.
Turn right side out.
The result should be a ring.

Assembly
Pull tail and bow piece trough the center piece.
Dent your bow piece a little so that it resembles an actual bow. 
Sew all pieces together with some stay stitches on the back of the center piece.

Sew this bow to the center back of the bodice at the base of the shoulder straps.

Good luck! And I'm always happy to hear how you did. ;-)



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footnote: please note that English is not my native language. It's highly likely that spelling errors occur. Feel free to correct me though, 'learning' is the whole point of me writing in a language that is not my own...

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