Sunday, September 22, 2019

Dresses 31 and 32 - Under the Sea

Under the sea, under the sea                         
Darling its better, down where its wetter
Take it from me.

Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away,
While we devotin' full time to floatin'
Under the sea.
                             The Little Mermaid

Its September now, and hot.   I would love to be under the sea where its cooler.

This fabric is from Monica, and reminds me so much of this song.  I love the whale in this print.  Here are two more dresses made from the August pattern.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Dresses 26 through 30 - Magical August

"Everything good, everything Magical, happens between the months of June and August"
                                                                        Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty
This quote sure fits - In June, I sewed these five August dresses!  I previously showed you the first dress I made from this pattern.  It is my favorite dress I have made to date.  Below are the steps I used to make them, following Jess' perfect and easy instructions.  Links to her website, pattern and instructions are below.

The August Dress Pattern from Happy Together by Jess
Web Site/Instructions

This adorable dress slips over the head, and comes in sizes 2 to 9.

  • Size 2/3: chest measurement 20″-21″
  • Size 4/5: chest measurement 22″-23″
  • Size 6/7: chest measurement 24″-25″
  • Size 8/9: chest measurement 26″-27.5

I decided to do the same step to the dresses all at the same time, like an assembly line.  Here are the fabrics:

1.  Ships Ahoy!   Both of these fabrics are by Riley Blake.

2.  Busy Bee.   The bee fabric is by Michael Miller and the brown dot a remnant I had.

3.  Monkey Business.  I got both at Joann's Fabrics.

4.  Summer Sizzle.      These are both remnant pieces from Walmart.

5.  August Aquarium.    Blend Fabrics from the Go Fish collection.

Following the pattern instructions I printed, I cut the bodice pieces and lining in a size 6/7.  I made all these the same size for assembly ease, but will be making several different sizes later.   I cut the skirt portion 18 inches (half yard) long, and the contrast band 6 inches.

Sew the Shoulder seams together on both fabric and lining.  Open up flat, and sew the fabric to the lining right sides together around the neckline, and the armholes.  Leave sides open.  Clip all seams.

Turn the bodice right side out, and iron.  Open the side seams and sew right sides together.  That's it!  Jess' instructions show every step very clearly, its SEW easy!  I made the five bodices in about  2 1/2 hours.  I did the longer front side opposite on two of them. Then I laid out buttons to see what I liked on each one.

Below, cross the long front piece over the short
one and pin.   Sew your buttons through both front pieces to tack them together.  These are decorative, the dress slips over the head.  Bottom edge is secured when attached to the skirt.

Next, I prepared the skirts.  First, I did a French seam to attach the bottom contrast.  This is my personal preference, you do not have to add the contrast.  If you don't, make sure your skirt is cut long enough.   Next, I hemmed the skirt.  Finally, I sewed up the side with a French seam.   You may also zig zag or serge the seams instead.  That's all there is to it! 

Below right, Casey tired out before he finished sewing.
Attaching the Skirt.
You may do this two ways:   Gather the top to fit, or pleat it to fit.  I chose loose pleats, its faster for me than trying to even out a gather stitch!  Its also flatter, too.  Find the front, back and sides of both the skirt and bodice and stick a pin in to mark the points.  Then, attach bodice to skirt at the four points.  Pleat the skirt in the four sections and pin evenly to the OUTER FABRIC only, not the lining.  Leave that loose.   Sew the skirt to the bodice outer fabric.  Turn the dress inside out, folding the lining over the seam.  Sew it down.  Your inside is now neat and all seams enclosed.

I added a pocket and some trim, and done.  Here are the finished dresses:

Ships Ahoy!                                                                                      Summer Sizzle

Busy Bee                                                                                         August Aquarium

Monkey Business

Friday, May 31, 2019

Dresses 21 through 25 - Flirty Florals, and 17 FREE PATTERNS!

 Did you know you that you can find all kinds of free downloadable PDF patterns for dresses online?  I searched on Pinterest for them, and also Googled free patterns.  There are many choices.  I have linked SEVENTEEN FREE PATTERNS for you below, suitable for the Dress a Girl program.  As they are free, a few are very small, but can be enlarged to bigger sizes.

First is a Spring bouquet of  Five Florals, made from these downloaded patterns.

Pillowcase dress pattern by LBG studio
Pattern Link

This pattern is just one size, comparable to a size 4/5 DAG.  I used red and white floral, with contrasting yellow print for band at the hemline, pocket and yellow ties. Small green rick rack is used for decoration.

The arm holes are already cut out on the pattern, and the bottom has an option for a contrasting hem or full length main fabric.

I sewed the contrast band pieces together, then the two dress pieces.  I attached the band, then sewed up the remaining side.

The rest is sewn exactly like the DAG pattern.  Remember to finish your seams, by pinking, serging or using a French seam!

I LOVE this one! 💓 The August Dress Pattern from Happy Together by Jess

web site/instructions

The buttons are just decorative, the dress slips over the head.  Sizes 2 to 9.

I will be doing a separate post about construction of this dress, as I plan to make several of these 💓💓

Here are two photos of making the bodice, and my completed floral, in pink and aqua in size 6/7.  Excuse the crazy background, its my bedspread!


Peasant Dress by Jamie Sanders for Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

This is a free pattern, but you have to add to shopping cart.  It will ask for your email and send you the link to the pattern.  Make as a tunic or a dress! 

Main Website

Shopping Cart

This is a very easy peasant dress pattern.  Pattern has sizing from 12 months, all the way to 14 years.  I cut a front, back and 2 sleeves to make this size 4/6 from only one yard of fabric!    On the left, I  did French seams to connect the sleeve to the body at the shoulder points.  French seams down both sides came next.   Turn under neckline and sleeve bottoms to make elastic casings (I used 1/4 inch elastic).  Hem it, and done! 

It's Always Autumn - Flutter Sleeve Dress Pattern

The pattern is a 4T.   Lengthen to make a dress.


Super easy dress. I opted to use eyelet trim as it was the same width as the flutter sleeve pattern.  once the flutter sleeves are attached, enclose the armholes with single fold bias tape.   Bias tape is also used to make a casing around the neckline for elastic.  I made this dress 23 inches long to correspond with the Dress a Girl length measurement for a size 4.

Before and after trimming.  Trim can make all the difference between a nice dress and a great one.

Dress A Girl Around the World standard pattern



Lovely lavender floral, using the DAG pattern. This is a size 4, and has contrasting purple ties, pockets and pleated hem.  Lavender rick rack decorates the pockets and above the pleats.

Below are twelve more free patterns you can download and make.  HAPPY SEWING!


The Pleated Square Tunic by Shwin and Shwin

Webpage/pattern download

This is a pretty tunic that can be lengthened into a dress. A  roomy square neck slips over the head.

Girl's Tiered Ruffle Dress by Crazy Little Projects

Website and Instructions

Sew straps together with fake button closure.  widen neckline.

Toddler Rickety Rac Toddler Dress by The Stitching Scientist


The Summer Picnic Dress by The Cottage Mama

12 months to 4T

Once Upon a Sewing Machine - 4 in One Peasant Dress

Make a tunic or dress, several sleeve options.

Oliver and S Popover Sundress

Pattern and website

Floral Jumper by Blooms and Bugs


Pillowcase Dress with Tied Bow by Sweet Mama J's Boutique

Website and Instructions

Easy Summer MuuMuu by Pretty Prudent

Instructions/pattern download

Really cute, I will be making this one soon.

2T Toddler dress from Make Baby Stuff Dot Com

Easy tie in the back dress.  Pattern can be enlarged for older girls.  Tie closures or slip over the head.



Little Geranium Pattern by Rae Hoekstra


This is a newborn size, but you can enlarge this easily for toddlers.

Spin Around Dress - A Molly Size Freebie Pattern



Really cute dress size 2T.  Need to modify the back piece by cutting on the fold, cutting neckline lower and omitting snaps, to make it a pull over dress.