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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To cut this dress out, cut the sleeves as normal. Cut the bottom of the dress pieces out about 3 inches below the underarm seam line. Then you will need your tiers. For the size 5T, I cut 7 inch wide strips. If you are making a smaller size, measure from a couple inches under the armpit to the length you want the dress on your child. Divide that number by 4 (for 4 tiers) and add 3/4 inch to the number for your seam allowances.
Now, for the length of the strips, I have made enough of these that I kind of have a set number for each tier length. It works on skirts or dresses-- anything with tiers. And since a two year old isn't much narrower around than a 5 year old, I use the same length for all ages, from 12M to 5T. The top of your dress or the waistband piece of your skirt should measure around 30 inches. The next tier should be about 44 inches (width of fabric), then about 60 inches (1 width of fabric and a half of a width), then 90 inches (2 widthes of fabric) and 120 inches for the fourth tier (3 widthes of fabric). This makes it nice and easy to cut and measure.
Sew your dress and sleeve pieces together as directed, without making a casing on the sleeves. Finish the bottom edge of the sleeve and make the casing on the neckline.
To create the skirt portion, stitch each tier fabric strips together into one long strip. Make a rolled hem on the bottom tier. Then gather the top of the tier to match the third tier length. Stitch the bottom tier to the third tier and finish the seam with a serged edge or a zigzag stitch. Continue up the skirt until you finish the first tier. Now sew the skirt portion together into a circle, matching your seams as you go.
Gather the top of the skirt and match to the top of the dress. Stitch into place. Thread the elastic into your neckline casing.
A great way to use all those fabulous fabric out there!