Friday, July 13, 2012

Fat Quarter Friday: Bubble Dress for Baby or Toddler

This week's fat quarter project is this freaking cute little bubble dress. I love it when Ada wears dresses, but she hates them because they get in her way when she's crawling and playing, so I came up with this simple bubble dress. It's kind of like a dress and a romper had a baby. This tutorial is for a 12 month size, but could easily be adjusted for bigger and smaller sizes.
 It stays put while your little girl is on the go!
2 fat quarter
Thin elastic (I used 1/8")

Step 1: Cut each fat quarter into two strips 8 1/2" x 16" so you end with four rectangles.
 You're now going to sew your strips together along the long ends alternating fabrics (I used a 1/4" seam throughout this project). I did a topstitch on the top 1/16" from the seam. You don't have to do this, but it gives your piece a more finished look.
 Step 2: Once you've got all of your strips sewn together, you're going to sew the last two long edges together to make a tube.

 Step 3: We're going to make the little top edge ruffle now. Take whatever fabric you have left from one of your fat quarters, mine was about 5"x18". If yours is wider than 5" that's great because it'll make a bigger cutie ruffle. Cut it in half so you have two long strips.
 Sew the short edges together (right sides together) to form a ring. Then fold up one of the edges 1/4" and then 1/4" again and sew in place to make a hem.
 Step 4: Take your dress body and arrange it so that one of the panels is centered like so.
 Take your ring that you just made and fit it around the top edge of the dress body. Make sure that your raw edges are lined up and pin in place. Sew the two edges together with a small zigzag or serge it.
 Step 5: Fold the serged or zigzaged edge down over about 3/8" on to the back. Pin in place and then sew right along the serged or zigzaged edge leaving a 1" opening to feed your elastic through.
 Cut your elastic, I did mine about 20" and then feed it through the casing with a safety pin. Adjust your elastic to be the length you want it and then tie or sew your elastic together. Sew the casing closed.
 Here's how your dress should look at this point.
 Step 6: We're going to make the shoulder ties from your other fat quarter leftovers. Now the way I did this is definitely not the best way to do it, but I'll show you what I did anyway. Take your leftover strip, mine was about 18"x5" and cut it in half so you have two long strips. I sewed them so that I had two long tubes.
 Turn them right side out and then cut them in half so you have four shorter strips. I was going to use these, but I felt like they were too wide, so
 I folded the strips in half and sewed the edges so that they are thin yet sturdy strips.
 Step 7: Now we're going to sew the ties on. Position the ties on the inside seam at the edge of the casing. Sew each in place and backstitch a few times.
 Your seam you just sewed will not show up because it will be hidden by the ruffle.
 You're done with the top half of your dress! I took some inspiration from Make it Love it for the top half of this dress.
 Step 8: Now if you wanted, you could just hem your bottom edge and keep the dress a regular old dress. But if you want to make the bubble dress we're going to make another casing. Fold the raw edge up 1/4" and then 1/2". Sew it in place leaving a 1" opening for your elastic. Cut your elastic, mine was about 18" and thread it through the casing with a safety pin. Position the elastic and pull it to the length you want, tie or sew the ends together and then sew the casing closed.
 You're all done!
 Bubble cuteness!

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