Monday, August 23, 2010

A Homemade Birthday Gift

Last month one of my daughter's friends celebrated her 6th birthday. I wanted to give her something special this year as a gift. I know they all love their toys and clothes are not high on the list. But this little friend loves "fashion" so I took the plunge and made this cute dress and handbag outfit.
The handbag pattern was from a fellow blogger It's called the buttercup bag. Very cute and easy to make. If you like it you can download the pattern here.

The dress is my version of a "pillowcase" dress. Instead of using a pillowcase I used 44/45 width cotton fabric. Took one of my daughters dresses for a length measurement. Cut straight across the fabric (folded selvage to selvage) the length I needed. Then I cut in from selvage up the length of fabric on an angle to give the dress some shape. (I followed the angle of one of her dresses again) And lastly I cut "J" shapes on either side of the top edge for the armholes.
The armholes were fine for size but I was trying to think of an easy way to hem the edges. I decided to just turn the fabric over twice - about "1/4 each time- and stitch it in place. I did clip the curves a bit on the first turn. Then I turn under the top edge (twice- 1/4" then 3/4") for a casing for the drawstring.

I did the side seams as french seams. Meaning I stitched the dress together wrong sides together first, turned and stitched again with right sides together. This leaves no raw edges.

Then I made the drawstring - 1 1/2 strips - 44/45"of a contrasting fabric cut 2" wide, ironed 1/2" edge down into center on both long and short sides, then folded together, ironed and top stitched.

The ruffle length was cut approximately 2 1/2 times the wide of the dress which was 44/45". So that was about 110" and the height of the strip was 4 1/2". I stitched the strips together, then I turned down one long edge 1/4" twice, then top stitched. Now you can "ruffle" the strip by your preferred method - I like to run a long stitch across the edge and pull the threads. Then I attach it to the dress spreading the ruffles evenly. And lastly I overlapped the seam with a zigzag stitch.

Hope this inspires you to create your own homemade gift for someone special!


  1. Love it!! That is a great little bag pattern - I've made that one a few times. I have not tried the dress yet - but I'm thinking I might have to for my little one while she's still "into" wearing them!!

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