Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Knit Dress Pattern and Tutorial - Pocket Full of butterflies

Free Sewing Pattern for Knit Dress: Pocket full of Butterflies

One of the biggest perks of sewing at home is customization. I have complete control on the design and embellishment of the clothes I sew, I could make them as blah or as whimsical as I want. It comes in handy when you have a rather opinionated toddler, who knows exactly what she wants and is very happy to let me know about it.

pocket full of butterflies dress pattern

Freezer paper stenciling was a technique I wanted to try for a long time. Little one's obsession with butterflies gave me the perfect opportunity to do it. I am totally in love with this dress, often what I envision in the beginning of a project is somewhat different from what I end up making, but this dress turned out just what I thought.
Do you have a little girl who would like a pocket full of butterflies? Well then, read on!

Skill Level:

3 hours

For Dress Base:
- Knit Fabrics Charcoal grey, 27 inches or 1 XXL size t-shirt
For Trims and pocket:
- yellow, 15 inches
For butterfly prints
- yellow Fabric Paint
- OR: Yellow Acrylic Paint + Fabric Paint Medium
-Freezer Paper
- Butterfly punches

Download the four-page Knit Dress Pattern ( size 3T). Print it on A4 (8.5 X 11 inches) paper with margins set to 0.

For size 5T:

Download the four-page Stars + Stripes Knit Dress Pattern here (size 5T). Print it on A4 (8.5 X 11 inches) paper with margins set to 0.

Seam Allowance:
3/8 inch unless otherwise stated.

Techniques Used:
Sewing with Knits,  Binding the Neck/Sewing Bias Tape, Freezer paper stencils


knit dress pattern pieces

Cut out the pattern pieces. Note that front and back pieces are the same in this style of dresses.

how to sew a knit dress

Sew a seam along the neckline with thread tails on both ends. Pull the bobbin thread slightly to gather the neckline, the neckline after gathers is about three inches.

Binding the necklines:
Cut out a yellow strip 2.5 inches X40 inches.
Fold the strip in half along the length and iron

binding the neckline

Align the raw edges of binding piece with raw edge of gathered neckline ( with the binding on the wrong side and sew a seam.

how to bind a neckline
neckline binding sewing tutorial
Fold the binding over to the right side and sew a seam on it as close to the edge as possible. Go slow and steady here to get a nice evenly spaced seam because this will be highly visible in the finished dress.

freezer paper stenciling
Sew the side seams ( right sides together)
how to freezer paper stencil

Cut out the stencil piece from freezer paper, just eye-ball an area from 5 inch above the hem-line in the right which gets wider as it goes to the left, there is no right or wrong pattern here. Punch the butterflies on the paper. Keep at it until its almost full. Keep the shapes random. If your punch can't reach in the center, fold the freezer paper in half and punch near the fold, to punch two butterflies at once.

freezer paper stencil tutorial

Place the freezer paper on the dress ( shiny side down). Iron without steam. In about a minute it should stick to the dress.

using punch for freezer paper stencil
Before you start paining insert a sturdy paper or card-stock inside the dress so the paint doesn't bleed to the back of the dress. Now paint over the butterflies with fabric paint and a wide brush.

how to stencil with punches
Let the dress dry for about an hour. Carefully peel off the freezer paper once the paint is dry to touch.

Cut out the pocket pieces

Sew along the sides ( right sides together). Clip notches along the curve for better finish.

Turn out. Sew seams along the raw edge. Pull bobbin thread to gather.

Cut a three inch wide strip of the pocket fabric. Make sure the length is equal to the length of the pocket top + 1 inch.
Fold it half inch onto itself on both ends. Now fold the strip in half along the width.

Place the pocket at the end of butterfly cluster and sew on the all the sides except the top.

To finish the armholes and shoulder straps:
Fold the binding in half and align raw with the raw edges of armhole ( on the wrong side of dress), leave 2 inches of binding tail on one side and sew along the raw edge.

Once you have reached the other end of armhole, leave another 2 inches of binding and sew the ends together ( right sides together). Make sure there is no twist in the binding when you sew them together.

Fold the binding to the right side, sew close to the edge of binding. Once you reach the end of the armhole, keep following the fold of the binding and continue sewing a seam near the edge until you come back to the starting point.
This finishes the armholes and shoulder straps together.

Repeat for the other armhole.

Sew on a cute, slightly mismatched button on the pocket. And voila! a pocket full of butterflies!

pocket full of butterflies dress tutorial

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  3. What a beautiful little dress! I'm a knitter and taught myself to crochet about four years ago. I love all things arts and crafts and enjoying trying/learning new and wonderful things. The only things I have sewn are face masks but this gorgeous little dress is calling me, so I will have to give it a go.
    Thank you so much for your very clear and concise descriptions and the step by step photographs and a huge THANK YOU for sharing! Take care and God Bless.


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