Gracie Dress Tutorial May 19, 2014 – Posted in: dress, girls clothes, sewing, tutorial

Do you know what it harder than sewing a dress for a 2yo? 
Taking pictures of that 2yo wearing the dress.
I tried being sneaky and taking pics when she wasn’t looking.
Gracie Dress
Her sisters tried to help…
Gracie Dress
She even said, “I’m not cooperating!” and sat down in the grass with her arms crossed.
Gracie Dress

Even bribery didn’t work. This one is stubborn!
Unlike the picture-taking, she did not voice her opinion on the dress. So I got to do things MY way! I originally wanted a wide, high neckline with cap sleeves and a full skirt. I wanted each neckline to be very different, though, so in one of my many phone calls to bounce ideas off of my Mom that week she suggested a square neckline. I started out just squaring the back, but changed it as I was sewing. Decisions are not really my thing.
Gracie Dress
There are green, vintage buttons in the back and I tied the sash in the front for added interest.
Gracie Dress
I love the pretty, vintage 1950s style of this dress. I want one for me! 🙂 I did manage to piece together a tutorial if you want to make a girls version, though. OK?
Gracie Dress Tutorial
Back to the “trace a Tshirt that fits” method for this dress. Now originally I was going to do a wide neckline and switched it up partway through, but you can square it off to begin with.  To be completely honest, this dress fits her perfectly, but the wide neckline causes some gapping in the front when she moves around a lot. And she moves around a lot. So, you might not want to go quite so wide. OK? Add 3/8″ seam allowances to the arms, shoulders, and sides.
Gracie Dress Tutorial pattern
For the back you just need to add an inch in the center for the buttons.
Draft a little cap sleeve. It will look like a little semi-circle.
Cut one front bodice (on the fold), two backs, and two sleeves from both the main fabric and lining. Ignore my non-square neckline in the front. I changed my mind after I started sewing. Pretend that the cap sleeves aren’t already sewed together, too. I got a little ahead of myself before taking pics.
Gracie Dress Tutorial pieces
Sew the cap sleeves with the right together on the straight edge and press as shown above. Sew the shoulders of the main fabric and lining pieces together. Line up the center of each sleeve with the shoulder seam of the main fabric and sew the sleeve in place at the arm opening.
Gracie Dress Tutorial
Sew the lining and main fabric bodices together at the neckline and arms, but be very careful to keep the sleeves out of the way. It might be a little tight.

Gracie Dress Tutorial
Clip the corners of the square neckline and the curves of the arms before flipping right side out.
Gracie Dress Tutorial
The inside at the arms will be all neat and tidy now.
Gracie Dress Tutorial
Press well and topstitch around the neckline. Sew together under the arms and serge or zig zag over the raw edges.
Now for the skirt…
I used the bottom of the sheet (no hemming! hooray!) but you do whatever you want. Make it at least twice the width so that it is nice and full and cut the length as long as you would like (but add a little for hemming at the bottom if needed.) You may need to cut two rectangles for the front and back and sew them together if your fabric isn’t long enough. You will also need a lining, so cut that about 2 ” shorter than the outer skirt.
The lining has a petticoat ruffle built in for added fullness. Directions for that part are found HERE.
Gracie Dress Tutorial
For the button opening in the back, I left my top few inches unsewn. If you are using two pieces of fabric to make your skirt, you can just make a slit like I did for THIS dress and keep the seams at the sides. Pin the outer skirt and lining together. Sew two long basting lines parallel to each other and pull the bobbin threads to gather the skirts, making sure the sides and centers will line up with the bodice.
Gracie Dress Tutorial

Make a button placket like I explained HERE. Make buttonholes and sew buttons on the back. For the sash, I bought a half yard of green chiffon and did a rolled hem edge on my serger all the way around. 

Gracie Dress Tutorial

That is it! There are so many variations you could do with this dress- flutter sleeves, no sleeves, different necklines,… 
Gracie Dress Tutorial

My tutorials are for personal, non-commercial use only. If you make one, I would love to see a picture!  Also, here are the other dresses in the series if you want to check those out:

    Lydia's Sweetheart Dress

One more dress to go!

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out…

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