Jolly Holiday dress+cummerbund tutorial

So, here it is! The Jolly Holiday dress that I vowed to make. Actually, it pretty much got made that next day, but then we were waiting for the hat to arrive, and then Sadie didn’t feel like modeling/eating candy….blah dee blah. I am super happy with how it turned out! I used this dress as my guide.
She looks pretty darn cute in it, I’ve gotta say.
Of course, the circle skirt is very spin-worthy!
I love the trims-on the sleeves, and cummerbund.
With bows on the skirt. ๐Ÿ™‚
She looks very ladylike in this shot, lol!
…and here’s the hat we waited for. Not entirely the look I was going for, but oh well. Sadie was insistent on a hat, so I got her a hat! It’s her birthday, so how could I say no?ย 
So, I used this tutorial for the basic dress construction.ย 
Exchanged the sheer fabric for the sleeves and lengthened them. (and added trim)ย 
Left off the waistband, but made a cummerbund. (instructions below)
I made a simple “bib” by sewing two rectangular pieces of my sheer material right sides together, on 3 sides. Turned right side out, and sewed closed the bottom, turning raw edges in. Then I gathered it down the middle, sewed it to the dress, and then tacked it down at each corner with a few stitches, and added the ribbon bow.
Now for a few pics and notes about how I made the cummerbund.

First I cut out two pieces shaped like this, that came to a point in the middle, and were wide enough to fit around her waist. I ended up cutting some off in the end, but that’s easy to do later.

On one piece, I laid out 5 pieces of ric rac like so, and then sewed them down, sewing straight down the middle.

Then I took some pre-made piping, and pinned it along each edge, with the piping towards the middle.

I clipped the piping at the bottom there a little bit, to fit better around the little point.

Then, using a zipper foot, I sewed AS CLOSE as I could to the piping. Like, really close.

Then I pinned the other red piece right sides together, and sewed (with my zipper foot still) close to the piping again. It wasn’t hard to tell where it was, I just manipulated the fabric a bit so it would stand out better. Leave the ends open.
No pics of the rest, but I turned it right side out, checked my piping to see if I needed to restitch anything, and then pressed it. Then I figured out where I needed to place my velcro to fit the Sadester. I cut it where I needed, serged the ends, turned them under and stitched over the ends, then sewed on my velcro. All done!


  1. It turned out perfect!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Soo lovely !!
    And you’re so lucky to have a girl like Sadie
    she’s my favorite little model

  3. Oh that’s so wonderful! Practically perfect in every way!
    My granny made me a Snow White outfit when I was about 4 (20 odd years ago) and it was wonderful! I wish we had kept it, but it seems to have got lost in house moves. I would have loved to have given it to my children. You are so talented and I am very jealous!

  4. absolutely fantastic. x

  5. Adorable! And she looks so happy wearing it.

  6. SHe is so adorable in this dress!! I haven’t seen a child’s party with this theme and I think it’s a wonderful idea!Happy nBirhtday Sadie!

  7. That is such a cute dress!! Good job! :0)

  8. So cute! What a fun little dress. I especially love it with the hat.

  9. Oh Jess, this is amazing!! So creative!! Hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration!

  10. The dress is beautiful! And Sadie looks absolutely adorable. Good job!

  11. AHH!! Jess!! It turned out GORGEOUS!!! I bet she loves wearing it!!! What a good mama!!

  12. You did a great job!
    Now I will be singing Jolly Holiday for the rest of the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. beautiful!

  14. You should make the parasol as well! This would make an adorable Halloween costume!

  15. Oh my gosh! That dress and that little girl are so stinkin’ cute! I hope she has an amazing birthday party!

  16. Adorable! You are one crafty lady. Her party is gonna rock.

  17. Amazing! Before I even saw the title I thought “That looks just like Mary Poppins dress! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Christy stole the words right out of my mouth….I was going to mention how much she looked like Mary Poppins!

  19. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  20. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  21. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  22. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  23. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  24. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  25. So impressed! I think “Mary” would be proud!

  26. SO cute! What an adorable little Mary Poppins you have! Will sidewalk chalk art be a party activity? ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Oh my gosh! I love it! Happy birthday Sadie!

  28. Beautiful! I love the way that you capture the spirit of a very structured style while still making it comfortable (and flexible) enough to play in.

  29. I have been a Mary Poppins fan forever and I seriously want one of these in my size for Halloween! SO cute!

  30. The first thing I thought was…MARY POPPINS! You know where they jump in the painting? LOVE IT! You are an amazing seamstress!

  31. Oh my goodness, that is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Very cute, and yes, you would just have to spin and spin with that circle skirt :o)

  33. So, so, so cute! You have to be the best mom EVER!

  34. Hi Jess! I love your blog! I saw this post just as I was working on the same dress for my daughter as part of a surprise for my sister (Mary’s) wedding ๐Ÿ™‚ I used a couple of ideas from Sadie’s dress for my daughter’s dress….Thanks so much for the info!


  35. I know this is an older post, but I’m trying to make a similar style dress!
    You said you didn’t add the waistband that’s in the circle skirt tutorial, but did you use elastic? Whenever I make a dress for my daughter I always seem to make it too tight to fit over her head!!! I’m new to this!

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