This post is sponsored by Baby Lock but all opinion are my own.
Last year I made matching dresses for my daughter and I for Easter. It was so fun planning out our dresses together that we decided to try it again this year! With some help from my oldest daughter, we drew up some plans, found some patterns that would work for the look we wanted and picked out fabric together. I used my Baby Lock Celebrate serger along with my Baby Lock Brilliant sewing machine to create these fun dresses.
I used for a few different patterns to create these dresses:
Baby: Oh Me Oh My Ruffle Romper (with added ruffle collar using pattern piece #3 from Simplicity S9503- a rectangle 15 1/2″ x 2 3/4″, and omitted side seam ruffles) I taped the bodice pieces together since I did not sew in the side seam ruffles. Cut two bodice fronts on fold and two bodice backs on fold. Tutorial for sewing the baby romper can be found here.
Girl: Simplicity S9503 (Size 8. I added 2 1/2″ in length to the sleeve pattern, made the neckline slightly lower, squared off the skirt pieces- tier 1: 11″ wide x 15 1/2″ long cut 2 on fold, tier 2: 16.5″ x 10″ long cut two on fold). I also omitted the pockets. Cut two bodice fronts on fold and two bodice backs on fold instead of one each.
Adult: I used a mix of patterns to create this dress. Bodice: any semi fitted bodice with bust darts will work, I used the indigo dress bodice by Tilly and the Buttons, slightly lowered the neckline curve and lengthened to my natural waist + 1/2″ seam allowance. I used the sagebrush top sleeve from Friday Pattern Co (any voluminous sleeve would work here). My skirt tiers measured as Tier 1: 30″ wide x 28″ long cut 2, Tier 2: 30″ wide x 9 1/2″ long cut 3. Ruffle collar rectangle piece measuring 28″ x 4″ cut one on fold. Cut two bodice fronts on fold and two bodice backs on fold. You will need to cut the back bodice pieces in half down the center back in order to insert a zipper. You will also need to cut only ONE tier-one piece in half down the center as well for the zipper. Tier two pieces do not need to be cut.
Fabric (I used 8 yards for all three combined), Matching thread, Invisible Zipper (14″ for girls, 20-22″ for adult). 1/4″ elastic, snaps for baby romper.
For this particular post I will walk you through how I sewed the adult and girls’ dress, instructions are exactly the same. Again, you can find the post for the baby romper here.
My fabric is from my local joann store. I used about 8 yards of fabric. I really loved the fun daisy print for spring! This fabric does stretch out a little while you’re working with it so keep that in mind while cutting out the neckline and choosing a size. I pre-washed + dried my fabric. I wish I would have ironed it all out before cutting- I would recommend doing that to help prevent stretching and cutting out pattern pieces correctly.
Let’s get right to it!
Step 1: After your pieces are all cut out, the first thing to do is stay-stitch the neckline edges. Begin sewing 1/4″ from the shoulder to the center of the front bodice and stop. Repeat from the other shoulder to the front bodice center. Repeat for the back bodice pieces. This helps reinforce the neckline edge and helps prevent stretching of the neckline- which this fabric is a little prone to do.
Step 2: For the adult dress, the darts should be sewn in next. Mark your darts using your preferred method (you can visit my post all about darts here if you need some help), and sew them up.
Step 3: Next, it’s time to sew the shoulder seams together. Pin the shoulder seams right sides together for both the bodice and bodice facing separately. Sew at 1/2″, press together and finish as desired. I finished the seams using my Celebrate serger.
Step 4: Now we will prepare the neckline ruffle. First we will finish one long edge of the ruffle piece by pressing the raw edge in at 1/4″ and again at 1/2″. Edge stitch in place.
Step 5: Next we need to sew in our basting stitches to create the gathers. Change the stitch length to 4.0. Sew two rows along the other raw edge at 1/4″ and 1/2″.
Step 5: Pin the center of the wrong side of the collar ruffle to the right side of the front bodice center of the neckline. Pin the edges of the ruffle to the center back edges of the neckline. Gently pull the basting stitched on either side of the ruffle collar until the collar matches up and fits in with the neckline edges. Distribute the gathers evenly and pin in place.
Step 6: Baste the collar onto the neckline.
Step 7: Next, pin the bodice lining right sides together to the bodice, with the gathered collar sandwiched in between. Sew together at 1/2″.
Step 8: Open up the two front bodice pieces and lay the seam under the sewing machine, and understitch the collar to the bodice lining. This will prevent the collar from rolling out exposing the lining. Flip the bodice right sides out and gently iron the neckline from the inside of the bodice so not to flatten the ruffles.
Step 9: Next, line up the side seams edges right side together (there will be 4 pieces), pin and sew. Finish as desired.
Step 10: Now we will add in the sleeves. First we will need to prepare the sleeves by sewing two rows of basting stitches between the notches at 1/4″ and 1/2″. Then, pin the underarm seams right sides together and sew at 1/2″.
Step 11: Pin the sleeve right sides together in the armhole, matching underarm seams and center notches + shoulder seam. Gently pull basting threads until the sleeve is eased in evenly to the arm hole. Pin in place and baste 1/2″. At this point try on the bodice and make sure the sleeve hits correctly on your body, and adjust as needed if needed. I had to bring my sleeves up a little higher so the sleeve would sit correctly on my shoulder. Sew into place and finish.
Step 12: Finish the sleeve edge by ironing the raw sleeve edge in at 1/4″ and again at 1 1/2″. Pin in place and edgestitch along the fold, but make sure to leave 1″ opening for elastic insertion.
Step 13: Sew around the sleeve edge once more at 3/8″ from the edge we just stitched up all the way around leaving no opening this time. This will create our sleeve casing for the elastic. Next, measure a piece of 1/4″ elastic around the bicep and add 1 1/2″ to it, cut. Secure a safety pin into the elastic and insert into sleeve casing. Once the elastic has been inserted all the way around, zig zag stitch elastic edges together and close up the sleeve casing.
Step 14: Now we will sew our two skirt pieces to the dress bodice. First sew the side seams of your top tier skirt pieces together, and finish edges.
Step 15: Now sew two rows of basting stitches along the top edge of the skirt tier 1 at 1/4″ and 1/2″. Next, pin the skirt to the bodice matching and pinning at center front, side-seams, and back edges. The back is open at the point because we will sew in a zipper. Gently pull basting threads and evenly spread gathers until skirt and bodice match in size. Pin in place and sew. Finish as desired. Press skirt seam up. Finish back edges of the dress at this point too.
Step 16: Before we attach tier 2, we need to insert the invisible zipper into the dress. (See invisible zipper package instructions for sewing guide). I just used a zipper foot but you could also use an invisible zipper foot if you have one! Once it is sewn in correctly, pin the bottom edges of the dress just under the zipper down to the hemline. Using the zipper foot, sew down to the end of the dress. Press the zipper and seam-line flat. In the last picture to the right shown below, tack down and hand sew the top of the zipper to the neckline to give it a nice and clean finish.
Step 17: Repeat the steps 14 & 15 for the second skirt tier, the only difference being that it will be a continuous circle because the zipper will end in the middle of the 1st tier. Once tier two is sewn on, press and finish.
Step 18: Let’s hem this dress to finish it off! Press the raw hemline edge 1/4″ up and again to desired finish length. Mine ended up being 1 1/2″ but in retrospect I wish I would have trimmed it down so I could have pressed it 1/4″ and then 1/2″ for a smaller hem finish.
All set! Hope you love your new dress and Happy Easter! Thanks for being here!