Yesterday I shared how we cut out peasant dresses quickly and efficiently, and I probably should have done this first, but I want to backtrack a bit and talk about how to choose fabric for these dresses.
First, a bit about fabric...
100% cotton works best. It is durable and will hold up to a lot of wear and tear.
We usually hit up Joann's red dot clearance sales when they have 50% off the clearance price. We also try to get a coupon for an extra 20% off when possible. Also, if you agree to take the end of the bolt they will give you the remnant price for an additional 50% off. I keep a tote in storage and we stock up throughout the year. We also accept donations of fabric.
It is important to make sure the fabric is good quality. I make sure that it is not too thin or too light. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see your hand through the fabric, it won't work. Please try to remember that often these girls do not have undergarments. Also, if the fabric is too light in color it will get dirty and stain faster. We try to choose bright, bold colors and prints as they seem to be very well received. Recently, I am also trying to remember that prints that contain words or animals might be confusing or offensive to other cultures.
The dresses require 1 to 1 1/4 yards. We often make contrasting sleeves. Also, if we don't have enough fabric for the full length, we sometimes add a contrasting band on the bottom. We usually use solids or small prints for the sleeves and accents.
Last thing: trims...
We often add lace or ric rac to the hem of the fabric. I am now trying to add the lace just above the hem so that it doesn't catch or get dirty as fast. It isn't always possible to attach it that way, though. It isn't necessary, but it makes a nice, little touch to make the dresses more special. We usually purchase the trims at thrift stores and yard sales.