Well, unfortunately this was my last week on Project Run and Play. I had a great time and am so thrilled how far I ended up going amongst these amazingly talented women. This week is the last week and I cannot wait to see the final three designers "wild card" looks. But for now, I thought it was finally time to start sharing some tutorials on my previous looks. You didn't think I was going to leave you hanging, did you?
Of all five of the looks I completed, I'm going to have to say that the "Winter Wonderland Dress" was my favorite! I love the fit, the whimsy, the warmth and coziness. And I really loved that my daughter didn't want to take it off! This dress is a "one-of-a-kind" piece so I am going to give you my basic technique and how-to, but this is definitely something that you will want to make your own.
Winter Wonderland Dress Tutorial
1 adult cashmere sweater (felted) - I got mine for $1.00 at the thrift store
1 crocheted collar (already made or made by you)
3/4 - 1 yard of 100% cotton fabric (depends on size of your child)
3-4 yards picot edging
1 shank button covered in coordinating fabric
2 small accent buttons for sleeves
Hand sewing needle
1/2" seam allowance, unless otherwise noted.
First, grab one of your little ones well-fitting long sleeved shirts. You are going to use this for your pattern, but cut the bodice off below the chest. I like to trace mine onto freezer paper for my pattern, cut it out and then use that for my pattern to cut on the fabric. Trace the bodice and the arm pieces. If the shoulders of the arm pieces are not gathered, make the arm piece 1-2" wider to allow for gathering. Also, cut arm pieces 2"-3" longer to allow for gathering near the wrist.
Next, cut your pattern pieces out of the adult cashmere sweater that you have felted (see my felting tutorial HERE). You do not have to use cashmere, you can use any fabric that you like. If you are making this dress for warmer weather, try using a knit/spandex blend. You could also use other sweaters that are made from natural animal fibers such as mohair, ect......you just want it to be soft and cozy. Like I said above, I found mine for $1.00 at my local thrift store.
First you want to gather the sleeves at the shoulder. Make marks towards the top of the shoulders about 3-4 inches apart. See mine are in blue above (though they are hard to see).
Set your machine on a gathering stitch. This is just a straight stitch set to the longest stitch length - in my case, 5.0. Do not back-stitch at the beginning or end in order to gather.
Run your gathering stitch in between your two shoulder markings.
Pull the bobbin threads to gather the shoulders of the arm pieces.
Next, open up the arm hole area of the bodice piece to get ready to attach the sleeves.
Pin the sleeves to the bodice piece, right-sides together. The sleeves will be pointing in towards the bodice at this point.
Stitch sleeves to bodice.
Turn bodice inside out and stitch up the arm and down the bodice on both sides to complete the top piece.
Add collar around neck-line. I used a vintage crocheted collar from my Grandmother and used a straight-stitch to attach it. You could make your own peter-pan collar or use no collar at all. If you don't use a collar, you will want to turn the neck line under if you have any raw edges and stitch in place. You can always cut your neck-line wider to accommodate the side collar you have......that's what I did.
Where the collar came together in the back, I added a fabric covered button that matches the skirt fabric. You can find fabric covered button kits in the notions section of your fabric store.
Cut the pieces for the skirt. Cut TWO rectangle pieces on the fold, each 21" wide (so each piece once unfolded will be 42" wide). The length is going to vary depending on your child. Measure your child from below the chest to right at the knee, then add an inch. Stitch both raw edges of the skirt pieces together - right sides together.
Cut the pieces for the ruffle. I cut these pieces about 2 inches wide out of the cashmere sweater. The width of your skirt piece will be about 84" total, so you want your ruffle to be 2-2.5 times that........168" or 210" (depends on how full you want the ruffle).
Once you have cut all of your sweater ruffle pieces, you will need to sew them all together to make one large circle.
Sew each raw edge together to form the large circle of fabric.
To ruffle the fabric, run a gathering stitch down the center of the fabric. Do not back-stitch at the beginning or end or the gathering will not work. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the ruffle to your desired length.
Pin ruffle in place and run another regular straight stitch down the center of the ruffle to attach it to the skirt. Hem the bottom of the skirt. Turn under 1/4" and then another 1/4"..........then attach picot edging to the hem if you are choosing to use this trim.
Now gather the top of the skirt. Run another gathering stitch along the top edge of the skirt. Pull bobbin thread to gather.
Now it is time to attach the skirt to the bodice. Turn skirt inside out, slide bodice, right side out inside skirt.
Pin skirt to bodice, adjust the gathering on the skirt as necessary to fit to bodice.
Stitch skirt to bodice, then turn right side out and press.
Put dress on your child and measure how long you need the sleeves to be. Mark with fabric marking pen.
Run a gathering stitch towards the bottom of the sleeve and gather the sleeve until you have reached your desired length. Go back over the gather with a regular straight stitch to lock in place.
For the final touch, I reclaimed some of the buttons from the original sweater and added them on the top of the gather on each sleeve.
And there you have it - a one-of-a-kind "Winter Wonderland Dress". If you decide to make one of these fun dresses or interpret it to make your own, I always LOVE to see pictures!
Again, I had such a great time working on Project Run and Play and feel so blessed to have had this wonderful opportunity. I couldn't have done it without all of you, so a BIG giant thanks from me to you. Love you guys!Pin It