Criteria for this project to work:
- Must use stretchy fabric. We used a faux crushed velvet knit.
- Fabric, thread, and sewing machine must be acquired and in place before starting project.
- Child must be capable of lying still on fabric. This technique works great for Emma, but I wouldn’t dare try it with Johnny or Lily.
Step One: Lay the fabric out, folded right sides together with selvedges meeting on the outer edge.
Step Two: Have child lie down on fabric. The child’s arms should be as close to a ninety degree angle as is possible, given the width of the fabric, if you want to ensure freedom of movement. Our fabric was not very wide and I knew Emma would not mind limited range of motion in exchange for elegance, so this drawing illustrates the fairly narrow angle we worked with.
Step Three: Trace outline of dress onto fabric by drawing around your child, allowing plenty of extra space for the sides of your child’s 3D body, as well as freedom of movement.
Step Four: Cut out.
Step Five: Double check that your dress is laid out right sides together. Pin and sew right sides together with a zigzag stitch, leaving openings for the head, hands, and the bottom of the skirt. Like this (dotted lines represent sewing lines):
Because this is a knit, the edges won’t ravel, so you don’t have to hem or finish edges unless you want to. Adding such luxuries will increase the time required.
Step Six: Turn the dress right side out, and put it on your delighted princess!
This is not a technique I have used before, and it certainly has limitations over traditional patterns. But it’s hard to beat the instant gratification that can be provided through the near-instant production of dress-up clothes!
Are you making costumes for your kids?