Thursday, March 10, 2011

[another] tiny dress

Following Jennie's lead, I made a tiny dress for a baby shower this week as well, but I went with a slightly (much) more simple version. I love this Amy Butler fabric, and have used it over and over.

With baby shower gifts, I'm always guessing on size (especially when it's the first baby for a couple). Do you assume that the baby's age will correspond with its size? We happen to have very large babies around here -- our seven month-old currently sports 12-18 month outfits -- so my idea of "fit by age" is moderately skewed. And what if you want to make something seasonal (like, say, a sundress)? With "fit by season" in the mix, it becomes a longshot that fit will apply at all.

Lots of trauma for such a small dress. But it sure is cute on the hanger.

This dress is essentially two rectangles -- a large one for the main body, and a 6" piece (double the width of the main body) to form the neck and sleeves.

I seamed the bigger rectangle into one large tube (what is the technical term for this? I feel like you have to decipher sanskrit to understand my instructions . . . my apologies.) With the seam in the back, I ironed the tube flat and cut off the upper two corners to form the bottom of the armholes -- about two inches down and an inch into the width.

Taking the smaller rectangle, I ironed it in half into a long 3" wide strip, and then ironed 1/4" fold on the sides (almost like making very wide bias tape). I stitched the ends together (making another big circle). Matching center fronts and center backs of the two pieces, I then placed the folds of the neck piece over the raw edge of the body (right sides out) and over-stitched it. I stitched around the top of the neck 1/2" from the fold and threaded 3/8" elastic through for the gathered neck.

The hem is a simple two-inch fold that I machine stitched.

Jennie asked about armholes the other day. After trying many different options, twill tape has become my armhole binder of choice for these types of dresses. Very simple; very clean.

You simply iron 1/4" of fabric to the inside, lay the twill tape over the raw edge, and stitch twice -- once around on each edge of the twill tape.

A clean and simple armhole, with a lot of easy thrown in for good measure.


  1. I like the twill to finish, and i was wondering if you'd tried using a wide twin needle rather than stitching twice? Just a thought, Very cute little dress.

  2. ah, twill tape! Brilliant. Thanks for sharing, Allyson.