DIY Little Girl Fall dress

The Royal baby is approaching her first birthday. No, not that royal baby, our Queen of all she sees, Ms. Z.  Guess who is in charge of her birthday duds? Yep, me. I have plans for some terrific birthday garb. However, I have precious little Happy Birthday fabric so I wanted to do a test run. Plus, I wanted her to have a cute fall dress for November. Couldn't I combine the two, have a pattern test for the upcoming gala event and create a DIY Little Girl Fall dress ? Why yes, yes I could.

fdre1First things first, the fabric. I bought it when I visited a super quilt store in Michigan City, Indiana. If you missed that fun photo gallery you can read about it here. I bought a yard of each fallish orange fabric so I could make something reversible and the blue to go with both sides and enable the dress to be a top come spring. That was my plan but I Fdre2needed a pattern.

I picked up this little cutie at a quilt store along the coast of Oregon. When I bought it I didn't realize it had elastic shirred shoulder straps. Not sure if I will like them but I will go with the pattern.

Will I follow the whole pattern? You know me better than that! I often tinker with things. And especially as this is a test, I wanted to simplify if I could. And I could indeed!

Fdre4I decided to change the pockets.

The ones provided seemed too big, even the slimmed down version ended up too big really. Plus, Zara isn't even one yet, what does she have to put in a pocket? Um, nothing not gross.

I cut out a size that seemed good to me, 3" by 4", and stitched it together. Turned it inside out and sewed the raw edge down, flipped it up and secured it with a decorative stitch.


Next change was that I didn't look carefully at the fabric layout and didn't have enough fold left so I Fdre10seamed up the backs, not a big deal.

Next slight change was attaching shoulder pieces which already had the elastic in them.

This seemed like frustration waiting to happen.

I decided to press the straps with the ends already folded up.  Then I could just slip the dress part of the shoulder right into the elastic tube.

So I did!Fdre11 I secured it with a straight stitch and then did the same decorative stitch I used on the pockets. I am still not sure how I feel about this design element. Is it necessary to have the elastic? Will I need that give when I put it over her head? If yes, then it stays. If not then it might be dropped from the bday dress.

Fdre12Last thing I switched was the hem. I just pressed both layers up and stitched them together using the same decorative stitch. I think I will do the birthday dress that same way.

I won't get to try it on Z until I watch her on Tuesday but I sure liked being able to make this project, start to finish all in one day.

My husband even picked up dinner so I could sew until 7 pm and finish this little dress. Next up, bring on the birthday dress! I am, after all, the Royal Seamstress and Quilter!

Here's the finished dress. Fdre18I tried it on her and it looks like she won't be wearing it this fall. Oh well, the reverse side is more springy, perhaps next April? Or next fall? I guess size "1" can mean all the way up to "2" so there is a bit of leeway there. I still enjoyed making it and she will wear it one day! However, this is the reason I like making quilts, they always fit the bed!

Even though it didn't fit, starting and finishing a project on the same day makes me Sew happy!

Want to see other things I love about quilting and sewing? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation or at get a smile from my quilt memes! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. That's all, you're done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Here's another post about sewing for Zara.

Leave a comment