This post is part of a month long series called 'Pattern Makeover Month.' I took a simple pattern (The Sweet Dress by Leila and Ben) and 'made-it-over' into many different styles. For more information, go here.
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I always seem to have a hard time finding dresses that are long enough for my skinny legged girlies. So, I thought I would turn the Sweet Dress into a maxi dress.
Cut the main dress pieces out, adding an extra inch to the length of the hemline. At the neckline, cut straight across from the highest point to the fold, making the top straight across instead of curved. Do not cut sleeves. For the ruffle, cut two pieces that are 5-7 inches wide and 2 times longer than the hemline. (For example, with 5T it is about 20 inches across one side-- the ruffle strips should each be 40 inches long.)
Finish the top of the neckline on each side with a rolled hem edge.
Time to shir. Wind your bobbin with elastic thread, stretching about 50% as you go. Thread your machine with normal thread on top. The easiest way to make sure you make straight lines across your dress is by using plaid or striped fabric, like me! ;0) If you want to be exact, you may want to mark your lines with a dress makers pencil.
Start about 3/4 of an inch below the top of the dress. The next stitching line should be about 1/2 inch below the first. Continue down until you have about 3 lines under the bottom of the armhole.
Sew the side seams together. Sew your ruffle strips together then hem one edge. Gather the other edge and attach to the bottom of your dress.
Cut your FOE into two strips that measure about 11 inches. (You can also use bias tape.) It might be best to measure your child or one of your child's garments from underarm seam along the sleeve seam to the top of the shoulder. Multiply by two but don't add a seam allowance, as the stretch of the FOE makes up for that.
Start at the underarm seam and pin the FOE into place, overlapping the end just a hair. Stitch into place using a wide and long zigzag stitch.
Stitch into place using a wide and long zigzag stitch.