I recently shared this post over at The Ribbon Retreat. And I kind of love it.
Isn’t it sweet? I pretty much love it, and you will, too.
Here’s what you need to make a Flowy Flutter Dress of your own:
- fabric (I used prints from the Pagoda Lullaby line by Tina Givens for Free Spirit)
- thin elastic
- tank for bodice measuring (or bodice pattern that you already have; get a free bodice pattern from The Cottage Mama here.)
- fabric marker
You’re going to need to start off taking some measurements. I’ll share the ones I used for 18 months.
You’ll need to measure from neck/chest to empire waist (or wherever you want the skirt to start), length from top of skirt to bottom hem, across chest, and chest all the way around.
From Harper’s measurements, I started off by cutting the bodice pieces to 6” x 11”. She is about 10” across her chest, so I wanted to give her room to breathe and account for seams, which gave me the 11” width. I wanted the bodice to be between 5-5.5” long, so I made the bodice pieces 6” long. I needed four; two for the lining, and two for the main fabric.
If you are using a shirt to make the arm holes, go ahead and lay it out on the bodice piece.
Trace about .5” away from the edge of the shirt for the arm holes and the neckline. You can leave the bodice folded in half so that it is even. This will give you room to create the seams. Do this for one main bodice piece and one bodice lining.
Now the back and front necklines are going to be different. The back will be higher. So now you need to repeat this process for the front bodice piece and lining, but using the front neckline to trace.
Here is what your pieces should look like. You will have two of each piece, though only one of each are shown here.
Set the bodice pieces aside, and get the flutter sleeve material.
For size 18 months, I cut the flutter sleeve pieces to 3” x 10”. I made them about the width I wanted them to be at the middle of the flutter (on the shoulder) to double the length; this will give me room to ruffle the flutter sleeve.
Fold the sleeve pieces in half, long ways, and draw a curved edge, with the peak – widest part – of the curve being on the fold.
Iron the curved edge over 1/4” and then another 1/4”,
and sew in place.
Now take the bodice pieces, and lay them, right sides together – match the front and back bodice pieces together, and the front and back lining pieces together.
Sew along the shoulder seams. Press the seams open.
Lay one of the pieces right side up. Run a gathering stitch along the straight edges of the flutter sleeves. Pin in place along the arm holes, making sure that the widest part of the flutter sleeve is where the front and back pieces meet.
Lay the other piece on top, right side facing in. Be sure that the front and back pieces line up.
Sew along the arm holes. Snip the curve, being careful not to clip the seam.
Cut directly up the middle of the back piece and lining to the neckline. Sew from one bottom edge, up all around the neckline, and back down to the other bottom edge. Clip the corners and along the curved edge of the neckline.
Turn right side out and press.
Now it’s time to get working on the skirt.
I wanted to do a top layer, as well as a bottom ruffle layer to give the dress a more full look. For Harper, I cut the top layer to 12” x 44” (cut one) and the bottom skirt to 11” x 44” (cut one). For the ruffle to attach to the bottom skirt, I cut the piece to 5” x 44” (cut two).
Start by hemming up the top skirt.
Attach the two ruffle strips, and hem that piece up as well.
Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge of the ruffle.
Take the bottom skirt, and pin the raw edge of the ruffle to the raw edge of the skirt. Gather the ruffle evenly.
Take the bodice, and overlap the back pieces slightly – no more than an inch. Baste the two sides together.
Take the skirt pieces, and place the top skirt over the bottom skirt with both right sides facing up.
Match the side seams, and sew together. Finish the edge.
Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge of the skirt. Insert the bodice in to the skirt, right sides facing together, raw edges lined up. Pin the back seam to the middle of the back bodice, and pin the front of the skirt in the middle to the middle of the front bodice.
Gather the skirt to the bodice and pin in place.
Sew the skirt and bodice together, turn right side out and top stitch.
Turn the dress over to the back bodice. Use your seam ripper to make a small hole in the top of one side of the back bodice.
Insert a small piece of elastic into the hole, creating a loop. Pin in place.
Sew back and forth over the elastic a few times to secure it.
Hand stitch a button on the other side of the back bodice.
And you’re done! Look at that beautiful dress!
Put it on your one year old and attempt to get some pictures.
Not easy with a little one who is constantly on the go!
I think she likes it, though, don’t you?
I know I do, and I hope you do, too!