Saturday, June 29, 2013

Reversible Boutique Childrens Dress Tutorial

Is this not the sweetest little dress? This tutorial will guide you through this easy to do pattern by Olive Ann Designs, a Portland, Oregon, family company. This pattern is called "To Tie For" and it is a great pattern for those just learning to sew.

What I absolutely love the most about this particular dress pattern is that it is literally two dresses in one, and the details on this dress are so charming. It features an easy applique design on one side and adorable pockets on the other. It also ties at the shoulders, so the dress can "grow" with your child, allowing longer wear. An added bonus, you do not have to fuss with zippers or buttons, making it truly a super easy sewing project. All of Olive Ann Designs are geared towards making sewing easy and fun for everyone! 

To get started, bi-fold your fabric like pictured so that the two selvages (sealed/finished edges) line in the middle.

Lay your pattern on the fabric to pin and cut it out. I always trace-transfer my patterns onto tissue paper so I can reuse my original pattern. *Tip- Iron both the fabric and pattern paper before pinning and cutting for best results.
Align the "fold" labeled side of the pattern to the fold in your fabric. Mark using a special water soluble fabric marker where the pockets go on side 1, and the appliqued giraffes will go on side 2.

To make the pockets, I stuck a pin right through the pattern and fabric and marked the fabric. This will tell us where to align the pockets when its time to sew them on.

Prepare to sew on your pockets to side one. Fold down the top of the pocket and stay stitch it.
Now its time to stitch around the edge of your pocket like this (Shown below)
Here is how you do it. Notice from the picture above, we start at the fold line. Stitch loosely around the edge. Stop, drop your needle, and raise your presser foot to turn the corner. Drop your presser foot and continue stitching until you need to turn the next corner. (look at picture below)

Stitch the top down, trim the corners, and fold right side out.

Now fold in the edges following the stitching and press. Pin to dress making sure you align the pockets to the marks on the dress and stitch in place.

Using your fabric marker, trace and cut out your giraffe applique designs for side two

Attach your giraffe appliques to side two using iron on adhesive. (For this I used Iron on Hem tape instead) lay down a barrier to protect your iron board. Trim away any excess adhesive afterwards.

Place your giraffes onto side 2 of your dress, lined up with the marks and iron on, again using a barrier.

Add iron on tear away stabilizer to the back of dress, side 2. Then Zig-zag stitch (using a short stitch length) around the outline of the giraffes. You may wish to practice this stitch on a piece of scrap to get it how you want it.

This is how it should look on the back and front. Cut loose threads and tear away excess stabilizer after you finish.

Placing the wrong sides of you dress together, pin and stitch up the sides of the dress for sides one and two. (you now actually have two separate dresses. Its time to attach dress 1 to dress 2.
Slip dress (aka side 1) into dress 2 (aka side 2) such that the correct side of the fabric for each dress is facing each other.
Aligning the 2 dresses (check to make sure the front of each dress is aligned) pin and stitch around the collar, under the arm and along the shoulder ties. (if you are having trouble getting them aligned check to make sure the front of one dress is not aligned to the back of the second.
After you stitch, trim away the excess edges of fabric along where you just sewed, careful not to cut to close to your stitching. This will reduce bulk when you turn your dress right side out.

Fold the dress right side out and press. It should now look like a reversible dress.
To do the hem, lay the side with the pockets (side 1) facing out. Fold the hem of side one under by 1" . The wrong side, of side 2, should be hanging out the bottom now by about an inch. 
Take the hem of side 2 and fold it up and over the right side of side one. Press.

Fold the raw edge of side 2 in on itself again and press so that it hides the raw edge (for me, this was the trickiest part of the whole dress, so take your time and be friends with your IRON!
Stitch the hem down and you are done! Remember to take your time and remember to pull out your fabric as you stitch, so it does not bunch. If you need to stop to pull out your fabric, always remember to drop your needle into your fabric before you lift your presser foot.
See how cute this hem is!
This dress can grow with your child, I purposely made this a half of a size up so as fall roles in, she will still get some wear out of it with some leggings and a shirt underneath. This pattern can also be made into a top. Equally adorable as both!
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