My daughter designed this
She was also insistent that this was a real dress, not a dress-up dress. I disagreed. After much negotiation (she might be a lawyer when she grows up) all parties agreed that it would be classified as a dress up dress however she could wear out to dinner, to Mamaw and Papaw's house (my parents) to the store or to an indoor playdate. I tend to be that mom who lets her daughter wear dress-up clothes out and about, but in her mind, this dress was like a Christmas dressy dress, not a princess dress-up dress so I wanted to be sure she understood where she could and couldn't wear it. My goodness, the navigating around the ideas of a 5-year old can be exhausting! :)
Once we were in agreement, we made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and this is what we used:
Yes, I totally cheated and bought the rosettes pre-made on a trim. With my coupon it was $3 for a yard and I thought that was worth not spending an afternoon making a rosette-covered bodice!
I began with the bodice, she wanted it to be fitted, so a pull-on style was out. So we did a bodice with a fastening option in the back. I took some measurements and came up with a pattern for the bodice myself adn I was pretty excited about that. The bummer is I'm having scanner issues so I can't scan in my pattern for you. I can walk you through how I did it, though until I can get the scanner working again. :) Keep in mind that I am totally winging this, so if you're proficient in drafting patterns, please don't laugh too hard. :)
I began with the front of the bodice, I measured all around her chest; 19" and added an inch, then divided by two. (I wanted to give it a little room and I was also adding in seam allowances.) So the front of the bodice needed to be 10" wide. (chest measurement+1=20 then 20/2=10) I measured from where I wanted the bodice to start and end on her which made it 5 1/2" long and added a half in for seam allowances which will make it 6" long. Then I cut two pieces of the satin into 2 rectangles, each 10"x5". I knew I wanted the top of the bodice to be 5" wide so I found a dessert plate and used that to trace the little arm hole-thingie-dealie. (Are you digging my technical terminology?) Folding the rectangles in half so the short ends lined up and cutting them all at once.) .
For the back of the bodice, I basically used the same measurements, but added 2" to the width (so instead of 10" it is 12".) I cut out two rectangles, folded them in half so the short sides lined up and cut the arm holes again. Then I cut along the fold on the short end so I had 4 pieces for the back. :)
Now I had 2 front and 4 back pieces for the bodice. I wanted to have a lining so the dress wouldn't be itchy, whether she wore it alone, or over her clothes. I cut strips of the rosette trim to fit the bodice front, then pinned and sewed them to one front bodice piece.
We used the sequin trim for straps,cut to 7" it was on an elastic base so it would move with her and had the sparkle she wanted. ;) Its a simple lined, bodice construction, so skip the instructional parts if you've done this before. :)
Lay the bodice piece on the table, flower side up. Then pin the straps, sequins down, to the outer top of the bodice. Place the lining fabric (right side down) on top of straps and outer piece and pin in place.
Then sew from under the arm, all the way across the top of the bodice (I go back and forth a couple times over the strap) and then to the end of the other arm. Trim off the corners, but don't snip your seams and turn the bodice right-side-out and lightly press.
Place the front bodice on the table, roses up. Pull the straps out so that they are on the table, straight up from the front bodice. Then place the back bodice lining piece, with the arm piece facing left, right side up and pin the end of the strap to the back bodice piece. Then place the outer fabric on top of the lining back bodice and strap, right side down. Pin all the way around from the arm section, across the top and down the straight side. Repeat with the other back bodice pieces. Then sew where you've pinned. Oh my goodness, gracious I am such a visual person that I would never understand my own instructions without the picture to guide me!!!
Trim off the corners and snip the curves, turn the two back bodice pieces right-side out and press the seams flat. Now we'll attach the sides.
Place the bodice on the table, with the front laying on the back. Pull the fashion fabric of the back bodice up, behind the bodice. Pull the fashion fabric from the bodice front up so the right sides of the back and front bodice are together. Pin together, all the way down so the front and back fashion fabrics and lining fabrics are attached. Sew together. Seriously, I can never explain this part, take a look at the pictures!! :)
This came together so quickly, I was really surprised. It really all came together in one Barbie movie (The Fairy Secret.) Of course, since it was a dress-up dress I think I felt more comfortable making it and I didn't obsess over every little thing. I cut a couple corners, but really not as many as you'd think. And the princess is delighted. She wore it three days in a row! Its machine washable, but not machine dryable because of the tulle. :) Makes me wish I posted pictures of my kids on my blog, because she was truly precious in her very special dress she designed herself. :) Really, the dress form doesn't do it justice.
In fact, the dress form is about 2" bigger around the chest than my girl, so something fitted, like this, doesn't quite fit the form. :)
As you can see, I never did sew sequins on the skirt at all. She announced it perfect and said it didn't need the sequins. I was so thrilled that she felt like I brought her vision to life, a very fun project!
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