Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Simple baby dress

I'd like to give you my very simple pattern for a first baby-dress. The dress is easy to slip on, versatile (bohemian long on a newborn- short tunic later on) but above all it is an EASY sewing project - I started out hand-sewing one, later developed and fine-tuned it into a sewing-machine pattern. Just made one for my new baby girl to come :

Here we go, for a baby drawstring dress, size 0 months to 4/6 months (depending on the baby chub) :

Draw the (half) dress pattern on an A3 sheet of paper:
  • A=9.5 cm
  • B=16 cm
  • C=15 cm
  • D=8cm (draw 1/4 circle from bottom end D to right end B)
  • E=20 cm
  • F=25 cm
  • G=1 cm (draw a slight curve from right end E to bottom end G)
Then mirror the half dress pattern and stick pieces together (makes piece 1). Draw a diagonal 'bias' strip with length 35 cm and width 2.5 cm (makes piece 2). Draw a straight strip with length 44'' (+- 118cm) and width 3.5 cm (makes piece 3).
Take a piece of fabric standard width 44'' and length 1 yard, fold double lengthwise. Cut out from folded fabric (seam-allowances of 0.5 cm are included!):
  • piece 1 : twice
  • piece 2 : twice
  • piece 3 : once

FIRST STEP : make the drawstring from piece 3.
  • A : Fold (1) 1 cm inwards on the bottom side of the strip and double fold 1 cm + 0.5 cm (2) inwards on the top side
  • B : press fold (1) down, press double fold (2) with the raw edge tucked under on top and secure with pins
  • C : top stitch, width of your string should be about 1 cm. Tie the unfinished ends in a knot to prevent fraying.

SECOND STEP : sew side seams of pieces 1
Put both dress pieces on top of each other with the wrong sides out (or the right sides facing inwards) serge or zigzag the side seams on left and right with a seam-allowance of 0.5cm.

Double fold the hem of the dress inwards (o.5 cm seam allowance. 1 cm hem allowance), secure with pins and top stitch close to the fold.

FOURTH STEP : bias edging of the arm-holes
Pin the bias-cut strips (pieces 2) to the arm-hole edges with the right side of the fabric down on the wrong side of the dress, stitch close to the armholes. Then fold the strips over with the right side of the fabric up to the right side of the dress - tucking the raw edge of the strip underneath and securing with pins. Top stitch close to the bias fold.

FIFTH STEP : sew the 'gather tube' - pull string through
Double fold both top-ends of the dress inside (towards the wrong side of the fabric) and top stitch allowing +- a gap of 2 cm between fold A and top stitch B so you can pull the string through. After finishing the 'tubes' pull the string through as shown above under 'steps'.
I've made several of these 'first' dresses for Lieveke, after 6 months I upsized the pattern to 12 m and so on - and from 18 months she really didn't grow any wider or chubbier so the 12 months dresses functioned as shorter summer tops.
I really hope you try it out and that you like. If you need a bit of help - happy to! I'm very very open to feedback, this is the first time I stick a (VERY BASIC) sewing pattern on the net and obviously lots can be improved.

-X Lies


Care said...

Ooooooh, I have been just DYING to make little dresses for my baby girl who is also due in three weeks! I've reached that "itching to MAKE STUFF FOR BABY EVERY SECOND" stage, and can hardly wait to try out your pattern!!

Thanks for the post, and good luck with the birth!

Rhiannon said...

Yay! I've just been asked to make a few dresses for a friends daughter so this will be perfect! Thanks : ) One thing though, any hint at how much you added to take it up to the 12m size? The wee girl I'm making them for is 6m but is a real chubba bubba! x

CouponAlbum said...

It's so cute baby dress!! Love it's yellow color and fabric!! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Kimberlee and Lies said...

Thanks girls!
Rhiannon : I'd say : insert a strip of 3 to 4 cm in between the 'mirror' pieces of the dress (widening for the chub-bub), lengthen with about 6 to 8 cm (about 3 at the top, so C becomes at least 18 and D becomes 11cm). about 3 at the bottom (so F becomes at least 28cm). You can make that even longer at the hem - Lieveie was not very chubby so it's a good idea to just double check the width/length of the dress-piece with a dress your little friend is currently wearing and that fits her but leaves still a bit of space for growth, just lay over each-other and adjust the dress-pattern if necessary. X Lies

Kirsten said...

wow! feeling so inspired to start sewing!! Oh the fun I could have!!!

Rosa Maria said...

Thanks a lot for this pattern! I've bought a beautiful vintage cotton in a opshop other day and it was like I was just waiting for this pattern to go back to sewing between one breastfeeding and another! Peace!

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Jennifer said...

I love this! What fabric did you use? It's so cute.

Julia Dennis said...

Thanks for the info and graphics on putting the pattern together, the measurements helped perfectly to get it to the right size. I sewed one up, and it's perfect!

My5 Choices said...

made this! great!
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