Can there ever be enough beautiful fabric in your life? I say no. Which is why I was thrilled when I was contacted by Modern Yardage to see if I wanted to make something with some of their fantastic fabric.
Is the sky blue? Is the grass green? Do I have three beautiful girls to sew for? Yes, yes, and yes!
As you know, we are all things girl over here, so if it twirls and makes you feel like a princess, then we are all in. Which is why a dress was the perfect fit for our use of this fabric. Specifically, this keyhole dress for Miss H.
First off, let’s just take a moment to admire the fabric. Don’t you love the bold prints, and the color palette? I’ve always been a big fan of dressing my kids in black, and this fabric just spoke to me.
Modern Yardage does fabric a little differently. The fabric comes in regular 44” width, but it is printed on 58” wide fabric. This extra space allows room for pattern ideas, pictures, coupons, and notes from the designers. Pretty unique, right?
This is how mine came.
It is already pre-washed and ready to use, so all I had to do was get cutting!
To make a keyhole dress of your own, this is what you’ll need:
- sewing machine/accessories
- fabric marker (not pictured)
I knew that I wanted to make a tank dress for my little lady, so I decided to just use a tank that she already has as my basis for the top bodice of the dress. You could also use a pattern you already own if you’d like! I laid it out on top of my fabric. Be sure to center it so that you can get the width of the bottom hem to your liking; I was angling out, so I needed the width. Angle out to your desired width and cut, making sure it is the same on each side. FYI - for my 18 month old, my bottom width was 24". My length from the chest was 17".
Now take your fabric marker and trace around the arm holes and neckline. You may want to add an extra half inch to inch.
Cut your markings.
Now you need to cut the front neckline. Fold your existing tank in half, and fold the front of the dress in half. Trace the neckline.
And cut. This is what it will look like.
I knew that I wanted to do a border on my dress, so I needed to cut off the bottom of both my back and front pieces. I wanted a two inch border, so I cut off 2.5” to account for hems.
Cut two border pieces to be the same width as the longest part of the border you cut off the dress, and the same length. The are shown folded in half, length wise, here.
Use the pieces you cut off the dress to help you create the angle needed on the new borders.
Here are the pieces of the dress that you should have so far.
Pocket time! Take the pocket fabric, and either free hand or use something to trace for your shape. I used a bowl.
I traced about 2/3 of the way around.
Then use the bowl to create the top of the pocket shape.
Cut two the same shape. Now here are the pieces you should have.
This dress is called a keyhole dress because it has a keyhole! Take the back piece of the dress and cut a keyhole shape when it is folded in half, length wise. I free handed mine.
Almost time to get sewing!
But first we’ve got to make some bias tape. I wanted to make some with coordinating fabric; much more fun, in my opinion, but you can always use store bought as well. I used this tutorial to guide me. Except I don’t actually have the little tool, and did it all with an iron. Which wouldn’t have been so bad but I accidentally cut my strips smaller than intended, so it was super tedious. But worth it!
Are you ready to sew now? Go ahead and take the border, put it on the dress piece with right sides facing in, and sew together.
Finish the edge, turn out, and top stitch.
Repeat with the other two pieces. Hem up the bottom edges while you’re at it. Excuse the blurry picture. Someone seriously needs to get a big girl camera.
Sew up the side seams, with right sides facing in, making sure to finish the edges. Sew where the tanks meet at the top as well. Here’s what you will have.
Take the bias tape you so lovingly made, and pin it around the neckline.
Sew in place; make sure you catch all of the layers!
Take more bias tape, and pin around the keyhole – be sure to leave some extended on each side to create the tie.
Sew in place, starting at one end of the tie, and sewing to the end of the other tie. Tuck the ends of the ties under a couple of times and sew in place. Tie and admire your handiwork!
Repeat on the arm holes. I overlapped the bias tape, and tucked it under so hide the raw ends.
Let’s get working with some pockets! I wanted to add a pleat to the pockets, so I marked the middle of the pocket, and then one inch on either side of the middle mark.
Match the side marks to the middle mark, and iron.
Take some more bias tape, pin along the top edge,
and sew along the top edge, securing the pleat.
Finish the raw edges, and iron under. Pin the pockets in place on the dress.
Sew only along the bottom curved edge. And only on the front side of the dress!
Whew, you did it!
The homemade bias tape,
And the cute little pockets,
It was definitely a little extra work, but isn’t it worth it? The details totally make the dress!
A huge thanks to Modern Yardage for providing the fabric for this tutorial. Be sure to check out Modern Yardage for unique and fabulous fabric for your next creation!
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