I finished this summer dress re-do for my daughter a couple weeks ago, so while the kids are at bible school I thought I would get it posted. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take a lot of process pictures because I didn’t know there was going to be such a good end result. I don’t even have a picture of the dress I started with to show you! (Hindsight, right?)
Basically, I had a knit dress from Target that never really did fit me correctly, and I decided to sacrifice it in the name craft exploration. I have been playing around with gathering and ruching, so I thought this would make the perfect palatte and I was right.
The ruched part at the top of her dress was actually the empire waist of my old dress. I just cut of the top, wrapped it around her to find the right fit and sewed it up the back. Then, I finished the messy part at the top with some elastic thread to match the ruching.
Next, I played around with different gathering stitches to find something that would work for the straps. I started out with a 2 1/2-inch piece of fabric cut from the unused part of the dress that I then added gathering stitches to the edges of with elastic thread, but the straps ended up being too stretchy.
I did take pictures of the process of sewing the straps, unfortunately (again) these were the straps that DID NOT work! BUT…never fear because the process is the same. For the final set of straps, I just used a more narrow piece of fabric and more ruching. The most important step is to steam the whole thing when you are done sewing (before you attach it to the dress) so that the elastic really tightens up as much as possible.
After I finished the dress, I decided that it needed some embellishments and I’ve always wanted to figure out how to make those adorable yo-yo’s. I remember my grandma always had a drawer full of those things waiting to be sewn into a pillow or a blanket. Now I realize that they are the perfect solution to using up all of those scraps of fabric that I’ve saved for a rainy day. If you want a great tutorial for making yo-yo’s, check out How to Sew Fabric Yo-Yo’s over at Zakka Life. I added some felt and buttons to mine before sewing them to the straps and around the bottom of the dress. I also recently learned how to do an blind stitch which came in really handy here.
I was really happy with how it all turned out. More importantly, my daughter loved it and couldn’t wait to wear it!