Hannah turned nine months old a little over one week ago. My birthday and her nine month birthday were actually on the same day. It was a lot fun to celebrate together. I took her to get her milestone pictures the next day and I think we got some good shots.
She wore her tiered Easter dress and I made her a matching headband. The headband was a cinch! No sewing, I just glue gunned a little grosgrain ribbon bow to a plain headband to match to the one on the bodice of her dress.
The headband I bought from Target around Christmas time. They came in packs of three—one white, one red, one green—for one dollar! The next time I see headbands for one dollar, I’m going to buy like a bazillion.
Although Hannah wasn’t really in a smiling mood, I think her serious expressions are cute too. This picture is the only smile we got. I guess that is what happens when pictures get a late start and end up during nap time.
I love this one. She looks so elegant and the dress is fanned out so beautifully. When I was sewing this dress, I started to think that maybe I had gone a little overboard with the ruffles and that it was too floofy. In the end, I think the floofiness looks great and the extra fabric allows the skirt to fan out like a circle skirt, which is ideal for pictures.
This close up was on of the last pictures that we got until…
The meltdown picture! By this time a nap was long overdue and Hannah decided that pictures were definitely done. This one is so cute, though, I was seriously tempted to order one!
First off, sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. Little Hannah has been under the weather and so obviously sewing has taken a back seat for the time being. I did manage to find some time to quickly write up this tutorial, though, so if you love this dress as much as I do and want one for your sweet little girl, keep reading!
Supplies You’ll Need
main fabric—I used about 1 yard for my 8 month old
coordinating fabric—large scraps for the bodice lining
1″ wide grosgrain ribbon
Let’s get started with the bodice. Cut one front bodice piece from your main fabric and one from your coordinating lining fabric. Cut two back bodice pieces from your main fabric and two from your coordinating lining fabric. Remember to cut one back bodice piece with your fabric right side up and one with your fabric wrong side up so that you end up with one right and one left piece.
Sew the two back bodice pieces of your main fabric to the front bodice piece of your main fabric at the shoulders with right sides facing. When finished, press the seams open as shown in the picture above. Repeat with the coordinating lining fabric.
Place the main fabric bodice and the coordinating lining fabric bodice with right sides together. Pin around the neck and the outside edge of the back bodice pieces. Pin around the arm holes.
To sew the neck seam, begin at the bottom of one of the back bodice pieces, then continue up the back of the bodice, around the neck seam, and then down the other back bodice piece. Sew both arm hole seams.
Once you’ve sewn the neck and arm hole seams, your bodice should look like this. Clip the seam allowances. I used my pinking shears. If you don’t have pinking shears or prefer regular scissors, you’ll need to notch your curves.
Turn your bodice right side out and press. (Chopsticks work really well for hard to turn corners.) To make sure that your lining doesn’t show, I recommend pressing with your main fabric facing up so that you can see if any lining is peeping out at the seams.
Once your bodice is turned and pressed, you are almost done with it! Now we need to sew the side seams. This is a little tricky to explain, so bear with me. Note to self: take more pictures next time!
First, you’re going to pull the main fabric away from the lining at the side seam of both the front bodice piece and the corresponding back bodice piece. Next, pin together the main fabric front bodice to the main fabric back bodice with right sides facing. Then do the same for the lining. It will look like the picture above. Sew from one end of your pins to the other. It’s a little tricky to keep everything lined up, so go slowly and and adjust as necessary.
And now you have a fully lined bodice without any exposed seams!
Now for the button holes. I laid out the buttons I was going to use on my bodice and marked their placement lightly with a pen. I made sure that I didn’t include the bottom 1 1/2″ of the bodice in my spacing—1/2” seam allowances for attaching the skirt plus the 1” ribbon. To make the button holes, I used my automatic button hole attachment. Once you have our button holes, set the bodice aside.
For the skirt portion of the dress, you’ll need to figure out your measurements. I used the diagram below, which you can print here. It’s the same as the tiered Easter skirts but without including the waistband in the top tier. Remember that each tier should be cut in half in order to create side seams.
Rather than explain how to assemble the tiers, I will direct you to the easy tiered skirt tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional. (Instead of zig-zagging the strips before sewing them together, I waited until the strips were sewn together and then zig-zagged the seams. Do whatever you prefer.)
Now that you have both your bodice and skirt assembled. Sew a basting/gathering stitch around the top tier of your skirt. Arrange your gathers and then pin your skirt and bodice with right sides together, adjusting as necessary to even out gathers and match the side seams. Sew the skirt and bodice together. Press the seam toward the bodice. If you’re super skilled you could try to sandwich your skirt in between your bodice main fabric and bodice lining fabric like this. I’m not confident enough in my ability to keep everything lined up and even so I just stuck with the tried and true.
Now for the finishing. Pin your grosgrain ribbon around the waistline of the dress, slight overlapping the seam where your bodice and skirt meet.
Leave a little extra on each end of your ribbon to tuck to the underside of the bodice. Sew in place with a 1/8″ seam allowance.
I made a simple bow as an embellishment and attached it with a safety pin.
And there you have it, an adorable tiered dress for your sweet little girl.
*UPDATE* Oh, and don’t forget to sew on your buttons!
For Hannah’s first Easter, I thought it would be fun to have matching mommy, daughter outfits. Silly, I know, but since I never had a sister, this is my chance to do the matchy-matchy thing.
Later this week, or earlier if I get the chance, I plan to post a tutorial for Hannah’s dress for those of you who might want to whip up one of these adorable tiered dresses for your own sweet little girl.
I mostly like how my skirt turned out. The main thing I would do differently next time is use less fabric. It seems a little bulky to me using the standard 2 x waist measurement formula. If I make another skirt like this for myself using a quilting weight fabric, I would probably use 1.5 x waist measurement instead. (I’m sure the standard would work much better for lighter/thinner fabrics.) For a more prominent waistband, I used 2″ elastic.
I have been a busy lady this week! It sort of feels like I’ve been sucked up into an Easter sewing whirlwind. After I finish up a few details, I will have Hannah’s Easter dress and a little something I made for myself to share with you all. It’s a relief to have made such a sizable dent in my Easter projects list!
For now, I have a follow up on the Easter bargains I found at Joann’s this past weekend. For starters, I made some Easter jammie pants out of the cute bunny flannel. I slightly altered my pattern from the other jammie pants I made so that the legs were a little less wide and the crotch was a little more rounded for a better fit. I can’t wait for her to wear them!
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate the ribbon into Hannah’s Easter “basket.” (She’s actually not going to get a basket. Because she’s cruising all over the place and is eager to explore, I picked up a wagon walker from Ikea—among other things, I sort of went a little crazy—and I’m going to use the wagon as her basket.) I used this tutorial to make a poofy bow out of the rabbit ribbon. I’m going to put the bow on the handle of the walker.
I used the Easter egg ribbon to tie a set of Beatrix Potter board books together. I’m excited for Hannah to have them because they were mine when I was a little girl. It’s so fun to pass down little treasures like these to my sweet girl.
I haven’t gotten to the carrot ribbon (my favorite!) yet. I plan to make some sort of a bow for the rabbit stuffed animal that I also picked up at Ikea. When I get everything all put together, I will share how it all turned out. I hope that Hannah loves her first visit from the Easter bunny.
It’s time for the big Easter push! I have more projects in mind to do than hours to do them, but I’m going to do my best to get to as many projects as possible and let the chips fall where they may.
The first of my Easter projects are these adorable tiered skirts for two little girls at my church. I used some of my Aunt Pam fabric that seemed perfect for some matchy matchy sister skirts.
There are a lot of tutorials out there for tiered skirts, but I like the easy tiered skirt tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional. I think she writes the best and clearest tutorials, which is why I reference her so much. The only difficulty I had was with the measurements. I think her math might have been a little wonky but nothing my nerdy math-minded husband couldn’t help me sort out. What a wonderful and patient man to sit down with me and help me come up with calculations for little girl skirts in the middle of the night!
After some trial and error making these two skirts, I came up with what I think is the best formula for a tiered skirt and the measurements I would use if I make another in the future. Click the diagram to enlarge or click here for a printable version.
*UPDATE* the 1.6 measurement for length makes a very poofy skirt. More so than what you see in the pictures. If you want something a little less poofy I would recommend using 1.4 or 1.5 instead when determining the length of your tiers.
Today I went to Joann’s to pick up a few things and I ran across some Easter bargains I couldn’t resist. These three spools of ribbon were only 99 cents each. I don’t know what I’ll use them for yet but I’m sure I can come up with something. My favorite is the one with carrots!
All snuggle flannel is on sale right now for $2.79 a yard, so I bought half a yard to make some cute Easter jammie pants out of these sweet little bunnies.