the Katy dress


I feel a little like I’ve lost my focus lately on the blog…like I need to churn out tons of kiddo clothes to be a good blogger. Not entirely true, but still, kids clothes are my favorite thing to make, and I felt like I was getting out of that habit. (plus, the kids REALLY need some fall/winter stuff)

So I set a goal yesterday to make something simple and easy. Bingo. This little knit dress was a nice project to ease myself back into clothing production mode. (though we’ll see….) 

I named it the Katy dress, after my oldest niece. Hi, Katy!

Also, today’s date is number one! haha. awesome. 11/1/11


 

As you can see it’s a pretty basic knit dress…with some interest in the ruched (gathered? elasticy?) sleeves. I added the tie-it’s from an old sweater of mine. (by the way, Sadie was “taking a picture” of me with that mirror, lol)

So here’s how I made it!

You’ll need:

some knit yardage. I was working with a huge piece of gray jersey knit I have, so I’m not sure how much I used. I’m guessing a yard and a half ish for a 3T size. The skirt I made extra long.

ballpoint needle
matching thread
paper to make your pattern (I use freezer paper, or medical exam paper, depending on my mood ;)
knit elastic-1/4″ wide

Click below for the full tutorial!

First off, of course, make your pattern! I folded a tee in half, then traced around like so. Add some seam allowance to the shoulder, side, and bottom, though knit stretches a lot, so you don’t need a lot.

Make sure to mark the back and front necklines, and I lowered my front neckline as well.

Now for the sleeve pattern. I hope this helps-in general with any kind of fabric this kind of pattern should work well.

First trace the arm hole…then draw down like so, across, then out from the shoulder, and join the two lines. The bottom of the sleeve pattern should slightly narrow as it comes out from the armhole.

This is what it will look like, a very rough sketch so far.

Then I go in and shape the pattern. It might be confusing with all the lines, so here’s a pic of the final pattern below.

I curved the armhole up a bit more, and smoothed out the awkward spot at the bottom of the armhole. I also used a ruler to get my straight edges actually straight.

So next cut out two sleeves on the fold (which would be the top of the pattern, I never label mine, oops)…and also one bodice front, and back, both on the fold.

My skirt I cut 16″ long x the width of the fabric, which I believe is 60 inches.

Now cut some strips fabric on the bias, no need for huge pieces, this is just for the bottom of the sleeves, and around the neck.

Fold in half lengthwise, press, then both edges in, then in half again. Using spray starch helps a lot with pressing knits!

Then sandwich the raw bottom edge of the sleeve in the bias tape, and pin.

Then sew the bias tape to the sleeve, right along the edge. Press after this step and repeat for other sleeve.

Then press each sleeve in half like so.

You’ll want a nice crease so you can see where to sew your elastic!

Then, cut two pieces of knit elastic (mine were 4″ long), and pin one end to the bottom of the sleeve. (on the wrong side of the sleeve)

Stitch and back stitch with smaller stitches to secure the elastic…

Then pull your elastic tight until it’s about 2″ from the top of the sleeve. Place a pin there.

Then lengthen your stitch, and, pulling the elastic taunt as you go, sew it up the middle of the elastic. When you get to the end of the piece, back stitch to secure.

It’ll look like this on the right side of the fabric. Nice and gathered and cute.

Then sew one shoulder of the bodice pieces right sides together. (I used my serger but you can use a plain straight stitch or zig zag stitch as well)

Use the rest of that bias tape to sandwich the raw neckline, and sew that on like you did the sleeves. Make sure to add a little label now if you have one!

Then sew the other shoulder seam together. (press with iron)

Next put in your sleeves. Lay out the bodice right side up like so, then fit in the sleeves, making sure the right sides are together.

Like so!
Then sew the sleeves into the dress.
Next, I succumbed to the “forgetting to take pictures of the rest of the dress” syndrome….(nasty little bug!)
So please excuse my lack of pics, the rest is pretty simple though!
Sew the sleeves and sides right sides together to make the bodice complete. Then sew your skirt panel into a tube, and gather the top to fit the bodice. Sew the skirt and bodice with right sides together, and you’re done! I didn’t even hem the bottom because Jersey knit rolls up so nicely!

Comments

  1. very nice dress, I love it so much!

  2. Looks SO comfy!

  3. Very cute, love it! And obviously very well named… ;o)

    BTW, good to see you on Sew Mama Sew today too

  4. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  5. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  6. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  7. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  8. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  9. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  10. I am loving gray this fall…and this dress is DARLING!

    {As usual….and as for the cranking out kids clothes….you were just giving the rest of us a break to catch up with you :) }

  11. So cute!!! One of these days I am actually going to be brave and make my own pattern to make my girls some dresses. Making and using your own patterns scares me. Is it really as easy as you make it look? I’ve been sewing for years but I have yet to make my own pattern.

  12. That dress looks so comfy and soft…I kind of want one for myself!

  13. The ruched sleeves are perfect. Great job, Jess.

  14. What a lovely dress!!! I am definitely going to try this one!

  15. The dress is great and I love the addition of the white bow!

  16. Darling and comfy. I will have to retry ruching. My first attempt was a total failure. :)

  17. Love this, Jess. It is very much right up my four year old’s alley. Adorable :)

  18. Thanks for sharing how you shape sleeve patterns! I’ve really been struggling with that :)

  19. Okay, how the crap do you keep your knit from pulling and becoming all wavy when you sew? Perhaps knit and I are never meant to be ;)

  20. Thanks for posting this! It’s great to see how you did the sleeves. I’ve been wanting to do this on leg warmers and I think I’m confident enough now! Thanks!

  21. It looks so simple and so comfy.I think my girls would get some good wear with this. your so great always include a tutorial. thanks for doing all the brain work.

  22. really cute dress! :)

  23. using the front pattern to creat the sleeve slope! thank you soooo much. I tend to sewpuff sleeves because my guessed-at sleeve patterns have so much room atop. luckly sewing for a daughter…ready to get more accurate sleeves. BRILL!

  24. cool!

  25. TOO TOO CUTE! Thanks for sharing! This will even work nicely for my bigger girls! :)

  26. This dress is so cute! I’m going to make it for my favorite 3 year old niece! One of the reasons I think this dress is because my name is Katy < --spelled like that! And I hardly see it spelled like that! (:
    thanks! (:

  27. thanks for this!
    it loock so comfy!
    my little girl will love…

  28. This is a really dumb question but… I love the belt tie around her waist in the first picture. Is that just a ribbon? Could I see some belt lop type things on the side to make outwit start on place or is that not really a concern? I love your blog, by the way. You inspire me to be more creative in my sewing attempts.

  29. Whoa! Sorry about those typos. I’m using my cell phone and not paying attention apparently!

  30. I used your gathered sleeve idea to make a dress out of a larger t-shirt–I love the result! Thanks for the inspiration!

    http://bethbeingcrafty.blogspot.com/2012/08/easy-t-shirt-dress-with-gathered-sleeve.html

  31. Does it just stretch on over her head? I’d love to make one of these for my baby, but just wonder if I ought to have it loop down in back a little and have a button/loop, or if I could get away with it just as is…? This dress is SO cute, and i admire your talent! I want to venture into creating my own patterns to make clothes, because I think paying $15 (or more!) for a bunch of tissue paper is a bit crazy.

  32. Hi – super cute pattern! Quick question about the sleeve pattern. When you trace the sleeve opening from your bodice to start the sleeve pattern, are you including the seam allowance? Or do you start with the shape from the sewing line? Thanks!

  33. your blog so inspiring for me, thank you for sharing the tutorial, and your girls is so cute.

  34. What a wonderful little dress for just hanging out! I have two little granddaughters and can’t wait to sew this for them. So many different ways this could be for a fall dress or summer, depending on what you use for fabric. Thank for rejuvenating my creative juices. I have the inspiration now just doing it will be the catch!

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  1. […] and rewrites that essay probably took to polish).  It is hard as a creative person to see others churning out cute outfits for their kids, throwing lavish parties or making pretty gifts (without remembering there is […]

  2. […] me find now (which is why I should’ve done this tutorial MONTHS ago. Shame on me.) However, this one looks like it would work out just as […]

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