There are several things I like about summer. The heat, ice-cream, long days…and since I have children, also the fact that we make less clothes dirty. In the morning we just put on their summer hats and that’s usually the only thing they need to wear. The summer is also ideal for sewing simple airy clothing like this dress. The double gauze is a big hit this summer, I found some with this amazing pattern of tiny flowers and I knew I wanted it for this dress. It’s the material perfect for hot days.
I made this summer beach dress from two pieces with a tunnel around the neckline with a ribbon to tie a bow on one shoulder.
As for the length of the fabric you’ll need – I think you might need about 1 meter (width 150 cm) up to the age of 6 years but it’s just my estimation. First measure properly:
A – width between shoulders times two
B – desired length from shoulder
C – the widest part of the dress, it depends on you but the width I made is 2A
D – I recommend you to make pretty large armholes, you can measure your child’s t-shirt and make the armholes at least twice as wide.
Add 0,5 cm on all sides for seams and hemming.
First draw half of one of the pieces on a paper and cut it out. Fold the fabric in half and place the long straight side of the pattern on fold and cut out. Now you have one side of the dress. Repeat the steps and you’ll have both sides. The double gauze is a fidgety little rascal, so pin, spray it with water, iron, do whatever you need to keep it in place while you cut it.
So now you have both sides. Put them right sides together and stitch them together from the armholes down (marked red in the picture). Turn the dress right side out, fold the armholes inside and hem to prevent frazzling.
Cut out two stripes for the tunnel. The stripe won’t be straight, it should follow the shape of the neckline marked A in the first picture:
A – same length as in the first picture + 1 cm for hemming
B – 5 cm (including 0,5 cm from both sides for hemming)
Hem the short sides.
Stitch the bottom of the stripe to the neckline (place the stripe right side facing the right side of the dress side, align the edges). When you stitch them together, you should have a 0,5 cm seam on the wrong side.
Now turn the dress wrong side to yourself, fold the stripe inside and stitch it to the new seam. Follow the same steps to create a tunnel on the other dress side.
Now both front and back side of the dress should have a tunnel around the neckline.
To make the ribbon cut a stripe from the same fabric as follows:
A – width between shoulders times two + 50 cm (or more if you want it longer)
B – 5 cm
Fold 0,5 cm of the short side inside and hem them to prevent frazzling.
Fold the longer sides to the center and iron. Now the stripe should be 2,5 cm wide.
Fold it in half, iron and sew the edges. The ribbon is done and it’s 1,25 cm wide.
Pass the ribbon through one tunnel, use a safety pin. Then pass it through the other tunnel, both ends should be at the same side so you can tie a bow.
This is the view from above. You will have the sides stitched from the armholes down but as you can see, you won’t stitch the upper part of the dress. The ribbon is the only thing connecting the sides.
As for the hemming of the skirt part, or you can just fold it or you can use a ribbon (I used madeira). Place the right side of the ribbon on the right side of the skirt aligning the edges and stitch them together.
Turn the ribbon right side up and iron.