Monday, November 1, 2010

Quick and Easy Recycled Low-Sew Girl's Dress

By The Pleasant Times Sewing Lady, Miss Thread 

Since Christmas is not far off, and being a last-minute person who likes quick-and-easy projects, I am on the look-out for fun gifts I can sew up this month. 

A project I made a couple months ago was a simple sun-dress, elsewhere called a pillowcase dress, that would take a minimal amount of cutting and sewing. This could be made into a quick dress for a little girl's Christmas gift, for a play dress or her dress-up box, or you could even make a small one for a fast doll dress!
 Below is how I made mine without a pattern; and there are numerous other sites online where you can find instructions for these types of dresses. One place I came across used elastic instead of a ribbon drawstring, for safety reasons (to prevent a choking hazard), which is something to consider. The material I used was recycled from a dress' skirt. I had a woman's dress I was using, but a thrifty mother could cut down an older girl's dress for the next sister in line:) 
I first saw a dress like this in a magazine. The dress shown was selling for over a hundred dollars and wasn't even hemmed! 
(Though that is the style, I have never been able to bring myself to that point in sewing... or non-sewing...)

 First, cut out a wide rectangle, as long as you want the dress to be. This one is very slightly tapered to the top (the camera angle makes it look more so). I used the hem of the old dress at the bottom, so I wouldn't have to take time hem the new dress. I did not use the old side seams, which you could do if you wanted that much material gathered in the dress.

 Sew the seam up to a few inches (4 or more) within the top. Then hem each side of the seam allowance down nicely. If you are using the skirt's old side seams that are already sewn, you will need to un-pick the seam down aways, and then hem it on each side.

 Make a casing at the top of the dress. Fold the top raw edge down 1/4 inch and press, and then fold down again what you will need for your drawstring (it will depend on the width of your ribbon), and sew.

Using a safety pin at one end of your drawstring, feed it through the casings.  I used grosgrain ribbon in mine, but using braided ribbon is a good idea, or cord, or elastic with ribbon sewn to the edges, etc. You can use two ribbons and tie them at each shoulder, or use one and tie at one shoulder. Adjust as needed on the child and then tie in a bow.

Above is the back of the dress It makes a sweet floaty comfy dress. Since here in our hemisphere winter is coming on, you could make this out of corduroy and pair it with a little turtleneck for warmth.
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