These instructions are for a size 2T dress. You can make them any size, just adjust length according to your little girl. I would measure from chest to knees to get the finished length you want. Or if you prefer longer, of course, just measure to wherever you want the dress to fall.
You will need:
1/2 yard main fabric (approx 18 inches)
1/6 yard accent fabric (approx 6 inches)
1.5 yards ribbon
You will have a little leftover fabric. I always buy more than I need. I would rather have too much than not enough!
Press your main fabric. Fold width-wise with selvage edges together. Trim to 16 inches. Your piece will be 16″ x width of fabric
Next, trim off those selvage edges. You never want to leave those on. The selvage area has a tighter weave and will shrink unevenly and make your garment misshapen. Think of the bands on your towels, they shrink and pull in and your towels won’t hang or fold straight.
Cut a piece of accent fabric approx 4.5 inches. Again, trim off selvages. Your piece will be 4.5′” x WOF. You can make this wider or thinner depending on how you want your dress to look.
Place the main fabric and accent fabric right sides together and sew. My fabrics were not the same width. That’s ok.
Trim off the extra fabric, if you have any. (I folded mine to make it easier)
Now, take your piece over to the ironing board and press your seam. You can press it open, or press it towards the darker fabric, your choice.
This is what your have so far. Two pieces of fabric sewn together.
Fold your piece in half, right sides together, and sew along the “width” edge.
Sew a zig-zag stitch along the seam to prevent fraying. Or if you have a serger, use that.
Lay flat and press your seam to one side. Turn right side out, you have what resembles an unfinished pillowcase.
Draw a J shape in the two corners at the top for arm holes. I didn’t have a template, I just free-handed this.
Cut both sides out.
Turn the edges in about a 1/4 inch and sew. Take your time, sewing around the curve is a little tricky.
Now, you can turn under again, add bias tape, or you can be lazy like me and use this wonder product.
Sew across the flat side of the top. I turned my edge under about 1/4 inch.
Turn under again, about 1/2 inch and sew again. This creates the “sleeve” that holds the ribbon later. Just sew lengthwise on the seam. Do not close the ends. Leave them open.
Now lets hem the bottom. I’ll show you how I did it, but you can hem this any way you like. I just turned and sewed a simple 1/4 inch seam, turned again, about an inch, and sewed again. I used contrasting thread because I wanted to draw attention to that area.
I did some decorative stitching around the seam. But that’s totally optional. I just wanted to play with my machine’s functions more. Plus, I still had pink thread in the bobbin and wanted to use it up.
Take your ribbon piece (1.5 yards) and cut it in half. Place a safety pin at one end and use it to thread through the tube at the top of the dress.
Trim the ends of the ribbon any way you like. I cut mine at an angle. I put Fray Check on the ribbon ends to keep it from fraying, but that’s optional.
Scrunch up the top of the dress. Tie the ends of the ribbons (front pieces to back pieces)
Viola! You have a cute cute cute dress that only takes about an hour to make and costs about $7 in materials. =)