Friday, December 28, 2012

The Jungle Dress Sewing Tutorial

Blooms And Bugs: Reversible Jungle Dress Sewing Pattern and Tutorial
Reversible jungle dress tutorial

So I wanted to make a dress for missy with Safari Sweet Fabrics ( By Alyssa Thomas for Clothworks) I just received. Before I could take a good look, missy found the green animals print fabric and decided that it was going to be her dress. But then I looked at all the fabrics and found that I loved Coral Shrubs print the most. Since I hate having to choose between cute and cute, I decided to use both and make the dress reversible. Problem solved!
Here's how I made it.

2 coordinating fabrics half yard each
Ric Rac - 1 yard
1/4 inch wide elastic - half yard
Button - 1

4 page Jungle dress pdf pattern ( size 2T-3T) is here. Print the pages on 8.5 X 11 inch papers with no margin. Tape the pages together by overlapping the overlap margins as indicated on the pattern pieces.

2 hours

Sewing margin:
3/8 inch unless otherwise specified


Cut the pattern pieces from both the fabrics. Lets call the green fabric F1 and Coral Fabric F2 from here onwards. So you will have front and back for F1 and front and back for F2, total 4 pieces.
Actually, I didn't have the half yard of coral print so I decided to piece it with two prints. You see the top piece here but I sewed in another print during the construction. However, you don't really need to use two different prints. Just cut the whole pattern twice ( once in F1 and again in F2)

Lets sew the shoulder straps now. Cut strips of 5 inches X 12 inches from F2 ( of F1 whichever you want) Fold along the longer side  and sew a seam ( right sides together).

Turn out the tube you just made. Rotate the seam to the center ( back) and iron it flat.
Set the stitch length to max and sew a seam along one longer edge of the strip, Pull the bobbin threads to gather. You will need to make them about half of their original length by gathering. Once you have gathered both the straps, sew zig-zag stitch over the gathers to keep them from unraveling.

  These will be the flutter sleeves (shoulder straps) of the dress.
Note: You could also insert 1/4 inch elastic and get the same effect. In fact, if I were to sew this dress again, that is what I would do because elastic also helps in getting a more comfortable fit.
attaching flutter sleeves to dress

Place the shorter edge of the sleeve flush with the armhole of the dress on F1 about 3/8 inch away from the corner. Make sure the gathered edge of the sleeve lies inwards.
attaching flutter sleeves to dress

Cover it with fabric F2 lining up the corners and curves of F1 and F2.
sewing along the neckline

Sew a seam along the armholes and neckline joining F1, F2 and sleeves. When you reach the other armhole place the other sleeve same way as the first one.

turning out the dress

Snip corners and clip notches along the curves. Turn out and iron. Here's how it will look after turning out. Iron to set the corners and curves.

cut a 3 inch slit in the back of dress

For the back line up both fabrics ( right sides together) cut a 3 inch slit in the center of the neck.
attaching sleeves at the back

Place the other ends of ruffled sleeves on the back armholes, the same way we did for the front.

sandwich sleeves between inner and outer layers

Cover with the other fabric. Line up corners and curves.
attaching button loop

Take a narrow ribbon and make a loop.
using the ribbon to sew a button loop

Place the loop in the slit 3/8 inch below the neckline, between the two layers.

Now sew a seam starting at one end of armhole, going along the neckline, around the slit up to the end of other armhole. This would join F1, F2 and sleeves and also sew in the ribbon loop for button. cut notches along the curve and snip the corners.

turn out the dress on the right side

Turn out. This is how the ribbon loop will look.

insert an elastic at the neck

Now in the front, Pull apart F1 and F2 and insert narrow elastic between the two layers, right below the neckline. Push it all the way into the corner with your finger.
secure the elastic end with zig-zag stitch
Sew over the corner of the elastic multiple times with the zig zag stitch.
sew elastic casing along the neckline
Now push the elastic close to the neckline and sew a seam below the neckline forming a casing for the elastic.

gathering neckline with elastic

When you get close to the end of front neckline, gather the neckline with elastic  ( 2.5 - 3 inch) and sew it down at the other end with zig-zag stitch. Cut off the remaining elastic.
inserting elastic in the neck

We need to do the same thing for the back neck. Since it has a slit in the center we will insert elastic in both halves separately. The method will remain the same.
pull apart inner and outer layers

Now pull apart both fabrics and line them up at the sides of the dress. Sew F1 back and front together beginning at the armhole ( endpoint) and going all the way to the
sew side seams

Again start at the armhole and sew all the way down to the hemline on F2.
Repeat on the other side.
sew a button at the slit

Turn out. Sew a button on the opposite side of the loop.

Finishing the hemline:

fold the fabric at the hem

Fold both F1 and F2 half an inch inside. Make sure one side is not peeking out of the other side. Iron to form a crease.

place ric rac between two layers

Place ric rac between F1 and F2 such that half of it is peeking out at the edge.

sew a seam along the hem

Sew a seam as close to the edge as possible. Make sure you change your top thread and bobbin thread to match both the layers.

jungle dress sewing tutorial

Lo and behold! The Reversible Jungle Dress. Just the way little miss wanted.

reversible jungle dress pattern

And me too.

 Visit me at Blooms And Bugs for more free sewing tutorials for kids clothing.