Pillowcase Dress by Carol Ingram, courtesy of Sulky of America
Create a cute pattern-free child's dress. Use bright fabric color and print combinations and embellish the dress with embroidery, trim, handmade flowers or buttons. Get creative and add a hand embroidered pocket.
1/2 yard of print cotton fabric
1/4 yard of contrasting fabric
1 1/2 yards of 1 1/2"-wide ribbon
Stabilizer: 12" square of cut-away permanent & adhesive water-soluble
Thread: all-purpose & 12-wt. embroidery
1 yard each of 1/2"-wide lace trim & 2 colors of rickrack
Removable fabric marker
Wooden hand embroidery hoop
Hand sewing needle
Measure from the child's collar bone to the desired hem, minus the desired lower-band width. Add 2" for the upper-edge casing; record as the cut length.
Measure from the collar bone to just below the armpit to provide a comfortable armscye; record.
Measure the child's chest circumference. Measure the child's hip circumference (measure over the diaper if applicable), and then add at least 3" to the larger measurement for ease of movement; record as the width. Add more for a fuller hem.
Measure the desired neckline width between the child's shoulders under the chin along the collar bone; record. This measurement is approximate, since the neckline is gathered.
From the main fabric, cut one rectangle according to the length and width measurements.
From the contrasting fabric, cut a rectangle according to the dress lower-edge circumference and double the desired lower-band width. For a 3" finished hem, cut a 6"-wide rectangle. Serge or zigzag-finish one long edge.
Place the lace trim along the remaining long raw edge on the right side, aligning the edges; topstitch. With right sides together, place the lower-band lace edge along one body-rectangle long edge; stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seam upward. With wrong sides together, fold the band in half lengthwise; press. Stitch in the ditch from the right side, catching the band finished edge in the stitching.
With right sides together, fold the dress in half widthwise; zigzag stitch the long raw edge. Press open the seam, and then press the dress in half, centering the seam.
Place the dress on a flat cutting surface. Using a removable fabric marker along the dress upper-edge center, mark the neckline width. Mark each dress side below the upper edge according to the armscye measurement. Connect the side marks to the corresponding neckline marks, and then cut along each line (1).
Serge or zigzag-finish the armscyes and upper edge. Fold each armscye 1/4" toward the wrong side; topstitch close to the fold.
Fold the upper edge 2" toward the wrong side; press. Topstitch close to the raw edge. Thread one ribbon length through the casings.
Twist the two rickrack lengths together, intertwining the zigzags. If the rickrack is small, twist every other zigzag (2). Place the rickrack over the lower-band seam, folding the ends 1/2" toward the wrong side; cut away the excess. Stitch along the rickrack center.
From the remaining contrasting fabric, cut one pocket lining.
Cut out the pocket pattern 1" to 2" beyond the perimeter. Remove the paper backing, and then adhere the stabilizer onto the remaining contrasting fabric right side.
Hoop a piece of cut-away stabilizer with the pocket fabric in a hand embroidery hoop. Embroider the design, choosing different stitches for each design element, as shown.
Remove the fabric from hoop. Cut out the pocket along the outer lines, leaving the stabilizer intact.
With right sides together, align the pocket and inner pocket straight edges; stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press open the seam, and then align the pocket curved edges with right sides together. Stitch the pocket edges, ending 2" from the upper edge. Notch the curves, and then turn the pocket right side out through the opening. Fold the opening edges 1/4" toward the wrong side; press.
From the remaining lace, cut a piece to match the pocket upper-edge length. With right sides facing up, align the lace along the pocket wrong side. Topstitch 1/4" from the fold.
Place the pocket on the dress as desired. The featured pocket is placed 2" from the lower band and 2 1/2" from the side. Edgestitch the pocket sides and curved edge (3).
Sulky of America provided the 12-wt. cotton Petite Thread, Soft 'N Sheer stabilizer and Sticky Fabri Solvy: sulky.com.
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