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Crafts for summer: Haley Dress Sew-Along, kids craft ideas

Dress, Sewing  |  August 20th 2011  |  0 Comment

Crafts for summer: Haley Dress Sew-Along,

kids craft ideas

Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing this project in pieces so you can sew along with me. So grab your supplies and let’s get started!

Supplies for this project (this is for a 2t/3t dress):

  • 1 yard cotton fabric
  • 1/2 yard coordinating cotton fabric
  • 1/8″ elastic
  • 2 buttons
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Rotary cutter and mat (or scissors and ruler if you’re REALLY careful)
  • Iron and ironing board

For the first part of our sew-along, we’re going to talk about creating the dress pattern. If you want to make a 2t/3t dress, you’re in luck. I happen to have created a pattern and instructions for assembling the pattern for you to downloadHERE ! The pattern includes seam allowance and fits my tall 2-year-old. If you would like to make a different size, don’t fret friends, I’ll show you how to make your own pattern below.

I hope you’ll look past the fact that I’m self-taught and may not know all the correct terms for the different fabric pieces, so in those cases I substituted my own :) Hopefully you’ll get the general idea, I’ve tried to make things as simple as possible. And if you have any questions, ask away! I answer every email (just make sure you include your email address!)

Making Your Pattern

Step 1: Create your back piece

First, find a dress that fits your child well (one with spaghetti straps would be best). With the front facing you, line up your edges and fold the dress in half so that the front of your shirt is folded inside the shirt and the back is on top.


Tuck any straps or sleeves behind the dress. Line the dress up with the side and bottom edges of a piece of paper — I like to use a large drawing pad or card stock because it’s thicker so it’s easier to trace your pattern onto your fabric. If you’re using regular paper, you may need to tape a few pieces of paper together to fit your whole pattern. Next, trace a straight line running from the neck to 1/2 inch past the shoulder of the dress, then trace around the arm holes as shown below. Now, trace down the side of your dress to the bottom 1/2 inch outside of  it for seam allowance. Make the bottom of your dress a straight line.


Cut out your pattern. This will be your back piece. Mark this as “back piece” to help you remember which is which.

Step 2: Create your front piece

Now, because the top is gathered, you need to include some additional fabric to account for the gathers. Take the pattern for the back piece you just made and place it on another sheet of paper about 2 inches away from the edge. Trace from the edge of the paper and around your back pattern piece all the way to the edge to include the extra 2 inches for gathers.

Cut out. This is your front piece. Mark this as “front piece.”

Step 3: Make your yoke

The yoke is the rectangle of fabric on the top of the dress that encases the gathered front piece.

You want this piece to be as long as the neckline of your back piece. Measure the neckline of your back piece and double it for the length. My neckline measured 3 1/2, so my final rectangle length was 7 inches. For the width, your yoke should be about 3 inches wide. Draw and cut out a rectangle with these measurements. Mark this piece “yoke.”

Step 4: Make your front and back hem facings

Lastly, your hem facings. The hem facing is the bottom, decorative rectangle on your dress.

You’ll need 2 rectangles in 2 different lengths since the front piece is bigger than the back. Measure the bottom edges of both your front and back pieces then double them. These are your lengths for each rectangle. Length for my back piece was 6 3/4 inches (or 13 1/2 inches total), and the front piece measured 8 1/4 inches (or 16 1/2 inches total). The width for each rectangle should be 2 1/2 inches. Make 2 rectangles total, one of each length, and with a width of 2 1/2 inches.

Mark each respective piece as “hem facing front” and “hem facing back.”

So to recap what we just did, you should have a total of 5 pattern pieces that look like this: