Dressmaking doesn't have to be difficult, as this pretty little girl's dress proves!
With pretty patterned fabric and co-ordinating ribbon straps, this would make an ideal party dress for a young girl. Its simple shape and clean lines mean it’s easy to make – you could even sew several dresses using different types of fabric and wrap them up in coloured tissue to make a unique birthday present. Use a combination of contrasting plain and patterned fabrics, or keep it simple with a single design. You can also add bows to the straps as an extra special finishing touch.
Download the template below (under 'Need a hand with this project?'). You can use this to create a paper pattern for your dress. The template is for a girl aged 2-3 years with a chest measurement of 54cm - but the download describes how to adapt it for different ages!
You will need:
55x100cm piece of pattern or plain fabric
A 160cm length of co-ordinating ribbon
Needle and thread
Large safety pin
How to make the dress:
Using your paper pattern, cut out two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the dress – remember to leave a 2cm seam allowance around the pattern. Pin the pieces together with right sides facing. Measure 15cm down from the top edge on both sides and mark here with tailor’s chalk or pins – this is for the top hem and the armholes
Sew down the side seams of the dress using the two chalk marks as start points. Press the seams open, then press a seam allowance for the armholes, from the chalk marks to the top of the fabric. Sew the armhole hems, starting at the armhole, on all four edges. Fold the front top over to form a 3cm hem, pin and sew in place. Repeat for the back of the dress.
Cut the ribbon in half. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the ribbon and use that to thread it though the top hem to make the straps.
Pin the botton hem to the required length, then sew the hem. Finish by pressing all the seams.