Monday, April 8, 2013

A Twirly Easter Dress

The clever girl LOVES twirly dresses.  I suppose there may be girls her age that aren't as in to twirly dresses, but this girl loves them.  So when I fell across a tutorial for a halter dress with a full circle skirt, I knew I had found the clever girl's Easter dress.  I basically followed the tutorial, with some minor changes. 

For one, the tutorial suggested basing the top of the dress from an existing halter or tank top.  Instead, I measured the clever girl in the following places:
  • chest circumference
  • approx. distance from shoulder to top of bodice
  • approx. distance from shoulder to underarm
  • distance from top of bodice to waist
  • distance between straps/top of bodice length
I added in a bit of give so the bodice would not be skin tight, and drew out the pattern for the front.  The back of the dress is pretty much a rectangle that is gathered with elastic thread, and I based my pattern on  the tutorial for this one.  The other thing I changed about the top is that I added a lining.  I like a lined bodice.  I used french seams throughout the dress. 

the back

The skirt of the dress is actually based on a circle skirt pattern created by Dana of Made.  She tells you exactly how to measure and cut the skirt and it worked out perfectly! 

The dress is really quite simple.  You create the top front and edge the top of the bodice with bias tape.  Then add bias tape to go from the underarm up the bodice, which turn into straps to tie behind the neck.  The back of the bodice is gathered with many rows of elastic thread, which is actually pretty fun to use.  I love that you sew with it, and it kind of starts to gather...  Then if you spray it with water and hold a hot iron over the thread without actually touching it, you can see the material gather even more!  Fun!   Then the skirt is one gigantic circle, which you sew to the bodice.  Edge the entire bottom of the skirt with bias tape (probably the easiest way ever to finish the edge of a circle skirt) and it is done!

The best part is the twirli-ness of the dress.  It just makes you want to dance!  The clever girl loves this dress so much she wanted to sleep in it and wear it every day!  I will probably make some variations of this dress so we have more for the summer.  It is a hit!

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