Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nautical dress sewing pattern and tutorial: Sew Easy part 14

Nautical Dress Sewing Pattern You can read the story behind this series and the first part here. Click here to read the secondthirdfourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth,  eleventh and twelfth  and thirteenth edition of this series.
Nautical Dress Free Pattern

I'm back with a new edition of Sew Easy after a looooooooong time. I have written many tutorials in the meantime, but nothing really fit the criteria for Sew Easy. So rather than compromising the basic premise of the series, I just resisted posting. I had the idea of this dress swarming in my mind for a while, finally I buckled down and made it. I liked the way it looks on my toddler.

Here's how you could make one:


Knit fabric ( preferably with horizontal stripes):1yd (I used a tank top to make this dress)
Grosgrain Ribbon: 1 inch wide or even wider
Coordinating grosgrain ribbon: 3/8 inch wide
Coordinating ribbing fabric for neck and armholes ( I actually didn't use ribbing, I just used a regular interlock fabric)


Measure the widest part of child's body: Lets call it W1

W = (W1+ 2 inches)/2

Measure how long you want the dress to be starting from highest point of the shoulder. Lets call it L

Measure the length between the tip of the shoulder to the bottom of the armhole. Lets call it A1
A= A1+1 inch


Cutting dress body
1.Cut two layers of fabric on the fold with length L and width W. I have cut it slightly A line shape. You could cut it either A line or straight. I don't think it matters much at the end. If you're using a Tshirt or Tank top to make this try to measure L upwards from hemline. That way you can use the existing hemline to become dress hemline.

Cutting out the neckline
2. Cut out the neckline. I pretty much freehanded it. I wanted a boat neck shape for this dress so you can see it is cut very shallow and wide.

Sew shoulder seams
3. Sew the shoulder seams ( Right sides together). Also leave a gap for armholes and sew the sides. I left a gap of 4 inches for armholes.

preparing the waist belt
4. Take the wider grosgrain ribbon and cut it into a V on one end. Fold it towards the wrong side and sew a seam.

Sewing waist elastic casing easily

5. Start an inch away from front center and sew as close to the ribbon's top edge as possible. Sew the ribbon along the waist of dress all the way up to 2 inch from front center. Cut the remaining ribbon at this point.

finishing the waist belt

6. Cut a V at the other end and fold it onto itself. Sew the remaining 1 inch of this seam, such that you have a space of two inches empty at the front center of the waist. Sew another seam along the bottom of the grosgrain ribbon. This is where the horizontal stripes will come in handy. If you use them as your guiding lines you can be sure that the ribbon is sewn straight.

Inserting a ribbon in the casing
7. Use a safety pin to thread the narrower ribbon through this 'casing' we made out of wider grosgrain.

Belt finished
8. Pull the ribbon out on the other side and use a bow to tie the belt.

Sew neck binding
9. For the neck binding, cut a piece from the contrasting knit, about two-third of the neckline length wide and 4 inches long. Sew together the narrower sides ( right sides together)

Sew neck binding

10. Fold it into half of its width.

Sew neck binding

11. Stretch and sew along the neck line ( Right sides together). Use pins while sewing to make sure it is stretched evenly.

Sew armhole binding
Sew armhole binding
Sew armhole binding
Sew armhole binding
12. Repeat steps 9 to 11 for the armholes as well. Yep! I realized I didn't care that much for the turquoise ribbon, so I swapped it for the pink zebra print grosgrain. If you didn't use an already hemmed garment, finish the hemline with your preferred method, if you're working with knits, you could also leave it raw, since knits won't fray. However a finished hemline gives more definition to the garment so I would recommend it.

Sew Nautical Dress

So how's that for a sew easy?

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  1. Such a cute, little top!!! Thanks for sharing the ever so comprehensive tutorial.

  2. Super cute! I love it...if only I could sew!

    Thank you for linking up to A Pinteresting Party! :) Hope to see you again!

  3. I love how you made a 'belt' look without having to worry about it getting 'lost' or falling down on an active girl. Have a wonderful weekend!
    ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva


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