Easy Stretch Dress Tutorial

Feel like a little sewing project?? Ya, I did too! I've had this cute knit fabric for a l-o-n-g time now just waiting for some time to get to it! Today,  I found that time! Yay!!

My little girl is really tall for her age. She will be 4 in March but she wears a 6 in girls!! She LOVES dresses and skirts, but the cute ones at the store are a bit pricey... so I decided to make her this cute little dress!

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Want to make one yourself? Here's what you need:

• 1 yd stretch interlock knit fabric (mine was from the juvenille section at Joann's) {make sure you get enough for however large you need to make the dress!}
• scrap piece of coordinating fabric
• fabric scissors
• coordinating thread
• sewing machine
• iron!!!!

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Fold fabric in half to a little larger than the desired width of your dress. {make sure you have the print going to right way} To make it a little easier on myself, I grabbed a dress of hers that still fits on the top, but is much too short!! I used it as a guide for the shape of my dress. I folded over the edges so it wasn't as flaired... use your own judgement on this one! I cut out one side, then removed the dress, folded my fabric in half, and cut out the other side {a great way to ensure your dress is symetrical!}

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Then, place right sides together {if you want to save a step, cut your dress out while fabrics are already right side together!}. Then pin and sew on the designated lines!

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I used a simple straight stitch and double stitched the armpits for extra durability!

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Now for the bottom hem. Have your 'model' try it on so you know how long or short to hem it. Add about 1 to 1-1/2 inches to the length to allow for the hem. I folded mine over about 1/2" making sure to iron the side seams flat while ironing my hem down! Then, go around again and fold your hem over so you hide the cut end. Pin and sew!

Make sure you sew close to the top of the folded hem. I sewed one line all the way around, turned the dress right-side out and sewed another hem line close to the first. With the stretchy knit fabric, two hem lines help to keep the bottom from rolling!

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Set aside the dress for a minute and grab your scrap fabric. {This step is completely optional. You can totally go ahead and hem the neckline the same as you did the bottom of the dress!} Cut a strip of the fabric {along the longest edge of your scrap}  about 2-1/2" wide. Then, fold it in half length-wise {hot dog fold} and iron in place.

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Now, here's the tricky part. This is essentially the same as adding an edge to a quilt .. same process... just A LOT smaller... and curvy! I didn't pin mine because I find it too difficult on the curves. {Remember if all else fails... know that you can always just fold the edge of the neckline over and hem it!}

Match the cut edges of your folded strip of fabric, to the cut edge of the inside {wrong side of fabric} edge of the neckline. Start at the middle of the back of the dress and leave yourself about 2 inches of fabric from the end of your strip before you start to sew.

Sew all the way around the neck until you are within about an inch of where you started. Back stictch and remove the dress from your machine. Here's where it gets tricky! In the first pic you can see that I pinned the two ends of my fabric strip together. You want to make sure that the amount of fabric between the pin and the dress is long enough to cover that 1" space where you didn't sew. Then, sew a line across {perpendicular} to the fold of your fabric following where you pinned and trim the ends off. Fold your strip of fabric back in half and it should fit perfectly to finish the edge of the neck.

**Remember, you can always just hem it!

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Then you are going to hem the sleeves. I just folded mine under about 1/3" and pinned it. I found it difficult to sew with the pins though since my sleeves were so tiny that I pulled the pins out and just folded as I sewed.

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And then you're done!!

Little brother had to get in the shot too!

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  1. That is *so* cute! And, yes, your girl is tall! We're all short. I'm 5'2 and DD (16) is 4'11. My boys are short too. My 7-year old is probably shorter than your 3 year old. LOL! I joke that, if we keep inter-marrying with short people, we will eventually have our own pygmy race. One day, DD called herself a "tall midget". ROTFLOL!

    I just launched a new meme and blog hop called Thrifty Thursdays at Totally Temberton. This would be a perfect post for you to link, if you're interested.


  2. Thanks for linking in the hop! :) It really got off to a slow start, but that's OK. I know it will grow with time! Lots and lots of time. Haha!

  3. That dress is adorable. I noticed you have an etsy shop and thought I'd share w/ ya that I feature etsy shops monthly w/ a post and a month long ad on sidebar if you're interested you can check it out on my sidebar at undeserving grace feb features have already been selected but you could enter for march starting feb 14th which is when the feb feature post will happen! Have a great week!

  4. Hi, came to your page by accident (looking for grown up clothes) but just thought I'd mention that if you'd cut the pink fabric on the bias it would handle the curves of the neck line better.

  5. Que hermoso y facil!

    so cute and easy!


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