Sunday, July 7, 2013

The As American as Apple Pie Dress

 I hope you had a fabulous Independence Day and are enjoying the long weekend! On Thursday, I showed the outfits I made for my kids for the 4th of July and promised a tutorial for Miss Bloom's Apple Pie Dress. I know I'm a few days behind... But now, here it is!

I started her dress with the bodice. I drew a halter top for the front and two rectangles to button together in the back. Because the gingham fabric was so thin, I decided to line the bodice. For each bodice piece, I cut an identical piece from my white lining fabric.

For extra interest, I added piping around the halter top with my blue lining fabric. I measured around the halter neckline.

Then cut a piece of cord to the same length. My cord is a little thick, so I used just a third of it.

Next, I cut a rectangle of my blue trim 1" wide and the length of my cord. After pressing my blue fabric in half, I placed the cord in the middle fold and pinned it.

Then I sandwiched it between my inside and outside fabrics (right sides facing).

See how the piping is peeking out between the two fabrics?

And sewed together the bodice outside and lining fabric, leaving the bottom open. Turn it right side out and press the seams flat.

Then I sewed the back rectangles together, right sides facing. Again, leaving an opening for turning it right side out.

Clip the corners. And turn it right side out. Press the seams flat.

To finish the bodice, I pinned and sewed the back rectangles to the bodice front, right sides facing.

And topstitched around the edges.

Then I looked through my button box and searched for four matching small blue buttons. This can be a challenge but I don't mind spending a little time with my button collection. It's the simple joys, right?

I added three buttons and button holes to the back. And one button and buttonhole to the halter. Bodice complete!

Now, on to the skirt. To make a tiered, gathered skirt, I cut out six rectangles. Two blue 18" x 3". Two red gingham 28" x 13". And two more blue 44" x 4". I sewed each pair of rectangles together along the short sides to make three tubes.

The longest blue tube is going on the bottom, so I folded it over 1/4" and pressed it. Then another 1/2" and pressed again. I stitched along the pressed edge to create a nice, clean hemline.

Along the un-hemmed edge, I sewed a basting stitch and gathered it until it was the same length as the red tube. Then I pinned and sewed it to the red tube, right sides facing. Next, I gathered the other edge of my red tube and attached it to the smaller blue tube.

Now, I had a gathered skirt. I pressed the edges flat and did a topstitch along the edges.

To attach the bodice to the skirt, I placed the bodice inside the skirt, right sides facing, so that the bottom of the bodice lined up with the top of the skirt. Pin and sew them together. Flip it right side out and press the edges.

Again, I topstitched along the seam. I really like the look of nice topstitching.

Finally, the last step! Shirring. To sew a shirred stitch, you will keep your regular cotton thread on top and use elastic thread on the bobbin. If your machine has a side-loading bobbin, you need to wind the bobbin by hand. Don't worry. It doesn't take long.

For Miss Bloom's dress, I made 15 lines of shirring on each side of the back of the bodice.

 Steam the fabric with your iron and that elastic thread will scrunch right up!

All done!

With a matching headscarf to finish off her outfit.

My All-American girl!

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