This blue dress was so simple on account of the working button detail on the shoulder. This allowed me to make the neckline smaller with pleats and still be able to get the dress on and off by just unbuttoning one shoulder seam.
pins, needle and thread
child's dress, t-shirt, or pattern to be used as a guide
decorative button (optional)
Begin with a t-shirt that has buttons already at the shoulder. If you don't have a t-shirt with this detail, you can still make the dress, but you will need to follow the back neckline detail of the pink dress in order to get the dress on and off.
Before I began, I decided I liked the overcast stitch detail on the t-shirt and I wanted to incorporate it into the design. I cut off about 3" from the bottom of the t-shirt and the sleeves to be used later for a ruffle.
Cut away the sleeves, allowing enough excess fabric to be able to turn it under and topstitch. I did this so that I could take advantage of the overcast stitch detail.
Figure how big you want the armhole openings to be (you might look at an existing t-shirt, dress, or child's pattern to get an idea.) Cut the sides of the t-shirt starting at the armholes and continuing to the bottom edge of the t-shirt so that your overall width is the size you want. Be sure to allow for a seam allowance. I also needed to cut a bit off the length and did so at this point.
It's time to start construction. I placed a pin at the center of the front neckline. Then I placed three more pins to each side of the center pin at 1" intervals. Repeat on the back neckline.
Starting with the pin to the right of the center, fold the neckline at the pin and bring the fold to the center. Pin in place.
Make a fold at the furthest pin and bring it toward the center to the next nearest pin. Pin in place.
Repeat on the left side.
You should now have four pleats pinned in place. Repeat the same process on the back neckline. Stitch in place.
Turn the dress right sides together and stitch the side seams.
Serge or finish the edges of the armhole openings.
Fold the excess fabric to the back of the armhole opening and topstitch in place.
Stitch the ruffle pieces together (the pieces you cut from the bottom edge of the t-shirt and the bottom of the sleeves.)
Gather the ruffle, pin to the bottom edge of the dress and stitch in place.
And that's all there is to it! Oh, except for a little button detail in the front, if you desire!
Click HERE to return to the original post of the dress.