Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summertime Jumper dress pattern and tutorial

Jumper pattern and tutorial This was a guest post I did for Prudent Baby. Re-posting it here in case you missed it first time around.
Update: Want to make it in other sizes? - See the notes on sizing near the end.



I have been making these jumpers even before I started my etsy shop and this blog. They have been pretty popular with my customers but they are also very easy to make and they offer a lot of fun customization options. Here's a tutorial for this floral romper. Towards the end I will also show you some examples of the others I have made to give you more customization ideas.


Supplies:

For 12 -18 months size
Main Fabric - half yard
Coordinating fabrics for shoulder straps and the band - half yard ( there will be some leftover
Bias tape in a coordinating color - optional - 1.5 yard
Elastic - 1 inch wide
Grosgrain Ribbon a small scrap in coordinating color



Construction:

1. Cut a 12 inch long X 36 inch wide fabric from main fabric. Sew the 12 inches sides with right sides together. Set your stitch length to the longest and sew a seam along the 36 inch side of your fabric, leave some hanging thread for this seam. Do not back-stitch.

2.
 Sew shoulder straps

3.
Cut two strips 2.5 inch X 22 inch long. These strips will be used to make the band at the chest. for a 19 inch wide jumper. Since we will have elastic in the back it can be used by a child of up to 22 inch chest. If you want to make it for a bigger/smaller child please follow the directions for sizing the pattern at the end.

Place the shoulder straps about 2 -3 inches apart at the center of 2.5 inch wide strips. Sandwich them between 2 layers ( right sides together) and sew along the end where raw end of shoulder straps is aligned with raw sides of strips for band.

4.

Turn out, here's how it looks.

5.
Fold the raw sides of the band half inch on the inside at the side where the shoulder strap are at the right side ( that is the seam is not visible). Now fold the raw ends of the other side of band over this side. This will have the effect of making the inner layer of the band slightly longer than the outer layer. This will be useful when you attach the bod of the dress to the band.

6.
Sew the two shorter ends of the band ( right sides together)

7.
Now take the main fabric that you prepared earlier, pull the thread of the seam along the raw end to gather the fabric. Adjust the gathers such that the dress width is equal to the width of the band.

8.
Line up the raw end of main fabric with the raw end of outer layer of the band. Make sure of the following things:

1. The straps are at the center of the front of main fabric
2. The right side ( seamless) of shoulder straps falls together with the right side of the dress.

Sew a seam along the raw edge, make sure the seam falls on the fold you had made in step 5.

9.

Here's how it will look once you turn it out after sewing. Fold the inner layer of the band inside.

10.

Sew a seam just below the band at the front, make sure you're catching the inner layer of the band inside with this seam. Leave two 1 inch gaps in the back, about 8 inches apart.

11.

Thread a wide elastic through these gaps with the help of a safety pin. Pull the elastic such that the total width of the band becomes about three inches less than the required width. This will ensure a snug fit.

12.

Secure the elastic on both sides using zig-zag stitch. Go over the elastic 3-4 times to ensure strong seam because this seam would be constantly under tension.

13.
Sew buttons on the shoulder straps and buttonholes right beneath the elastic. You may sew two sets of buttons for a flexible fit. The shoulder straps can also be worn straight or in a crisscross to allow a good fit for a long time.

14.
 Make a small bow out of a small coordinating scrap of grosgrain ribbon. Hand sew it at the front of the jumper.

Your adorable, adjustable jumper dress is ready!

Notes on sizing the pattern up or down:
I keep getting questions on how to size the pattern up so here are the instructions on how to make the pattern in your desired size.

1. Length of the dress:
The length of the dress is controlled by three things:
    - The length of the main fabric
    -The placement of buttons
    -Whether the shoulder straps are worn in a cris-cross manner or straight.

Here is how you could use each of these things to get your desired length
   -Main Fabric:  Cut the main fabric to your desired length. First measure your desired length, lets call it L. Now subtract 2 inches for the chest band, and 3 inches for the shoulder straps so the fabric you need will be L - 5 inches. Because I have used bias tape at the hem, I'm not adding any extra length for hemming, if you're skipping bias tape, you need to add an inch extra for that.
   -Button Placement: You can place multiple buttons on the shoulder straps to adjust the length later on. If the dress gets an inch smaller as your child grows, you could start using the lower buttons and add an inch to the overall length of the dress.
  - Cris-cross Vs. Straight straps: If you put the shoulder straps in a cris-cross manner at the back they will be shorter in the front,  as a result the overall dress length will be lesser. On the other hand wearing them straight would increase the overall length. However, I personally prefer cris-cross, because the straps don't slide off child's shoulder that way.

2. Width of the dress:
Width has two components:
  -width of the main fabric
  -length of the chest band
Lets talk about each of these:
 -Main fabric width : The rule of thumb I apply is that the width should be a little less than twice the widest part of child's body ( usually her belly or butt). So I usually measure her around her widest part and multiply by 1.75. This will give her plenty of room to move and make the dress full. You could vary this ratio depending on how you full you would like to make it.
- Chest Band length : For this one I measure the chest of the child all around. Lets call it W. Now since we are making the back elasticized, we can add some more room to it, I usually add 3 inches to the width for elastic. Now add one more inch for sewing allowance. So the length of the chest band is W+4 inch. Having elastic in the back will ensure that the dress gets worn for a long time even as the child grows.

If you're sewing for crawlers:
Crawling kids need clothes that don't get in there way while they're on all fours. So if your child is older than 4 months, you should be sewing clothes with her crawling stage in mind ( which will be here soon...believe it or not)
Here're the things I would do if I sew for a crawler:
 1. Don't make the dress too full. I would multiply her width with 1.5 or less to keep the dress from becoming too full and get in her way.
 2. Keep the length up to upper thigh. That would make sure that the dress is not getting in her knees when she crawls.


Here're some more jumpers I have made during the last year: