Well, here it is! TJ’s Curtain Dress! We tried our hand at a video which proves to be very hard to edit without the proper equipment, so we opted for a photo/tutorial which I hope you will enjoy following to create your own version of this cute, little dress!
First of all, here is some basic information that will help you in determining the size you want to make. Measure the child you wish to fit from under the arm to the desired finished length. You can then use this measurement to decide what size band and dress panel you want to cut. Remember you can create your own special design.
The instructions I’ll be using are for making a 23″ long dress (from the top of the ruffle to the bottom of the hem). You will need to adjust the length of fabric you’ll be needing to fit your child. So remember as you read these instructions all the measurements are based on a 23″ dress. Always remember measure twice, cut once! For this size we used;
1 yard of Riley Blake chevron
5/8 yard of Riley Blake small navy dot
3/4″ elastic (cut to the bust measurement of the child)
and of course my Baby Lock sewing machine (and serger if you have one). I love them both!
And now a little lesson about chevron:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE CUTTING YOUR FABRIC; If you are using fabric that has a design from selvage to selvage you will not cut your fabric on the fold. You will cut it from fold to selvage resulting in two 18″x45″ pieces of fabric. If you need the dress fabric to be longer than 18″ you will need more than a yard. Example: If you need the dress part to be 24″ then you would need 1 1/3 yards of fabric which is 48″. Cut this into from fold to selvage and you will have two 24″x 45″ pieces of fabric. You can make the dress part as long as you like. If you want a 36″ dress you would need two yards which is 72 inches cut in two 36″x45″ pieces of fabric. JUST REMEMBER YOU’LL NEED TWO TIMES THE DESIRED LENGTH OF THE DRESS FABRIC.
Now back to the Riley Blake chevron which runs the length of the fabric. It will need to be cut on the fold for your stripes to be horizontal. If your dress panels need to be longer than 22″ you will need to use a chevron that runs from selvage to selvage, such as Robert Kaufman chevron. Using the RK chevron will allow you to cut panels as long as you need them. For instance if you need the dress panels to be 27″ (which is 3/4 yard) you would need 1 1/2 yards for the panels cut into 2 pieces from selvage to selvage, giving you 2-27″x45″ panels.
Cut the fabric on the fold.
You will now have 2-22″x36″ dress panels.
Cut 2- 6″strips WOF (width of fabric)
Cut 2- 5″ strips WOF (width of fabric)
Trim the 2-5″x45″ band strips to the width of the dress panels, which for this size will be 36″. If your panels are 45″WOT(width of fabric) your bands will not need trimming. They will need to be 45″
Now with right sides together stitch one side of dress panels and one side of bands.
Line up right side of dress panel and right side of band, matching seams and edge of fabric.
With side seams and bottom edges of fabric lined up stitch band to dress panel.
Press open side seams
This is what your dress should look like after these steps.
The next step is to edge finish the top of the dress:
The next step is to make the straps and bow.
Remember to leave about a 2″ opening in the center of the tie so you can push the ends through.
Push ends through the opening and insert a pointed object into the tie through the opening to push out corners. I use a knitting needle for this. It works great!
This strip is your finished! Now tie it into a bow to attach to your dress.
Our next step will be sewing the straps.
Each edge of the straps should be 4 1/2″ from the center of dress.
This is what your straps will look like from the inside of the dress. Now try on the dress and pull straps over the shoulders marking the length so you’ll know where to attach them to the back.
The straps will be attached to the back just like the front but only 3″ apart. Each edge is 1 1/2″ from the center.
Yes, your dress will be approximately 70″ around, but the fullness is what makes it sooo cute after you add the elastic, which will be our next step.
We attached the bow with with a safety pin or you could sew it to the dress before tying.
Here’s another suggestion. When it’s too short to wear as a dress, take off the straps, change out the elastic to the waist size and wear it as a skirt!