A Simple Summer Slip Dress By Jennifer Weske

A Simple
Slip Dress
By Jennifer Weske
Wearing an heirloom dress is
serious business that requires
proper behavior, and no matter
how much it pleases you to see
your toddler in her lacey finery,
it’s unlikely you’d ever send her
out to play in the culmination of
your hard work. Fortunately,
there’s no reason her play
clothes can’t be heirloominspired. This vintage take on
a sleeveless dress and bloomers
is just the kind of easy-towear set little children wore
for play in the 1920’s. Sweet
in a cotton print, it’s suited to
toddler affairs. Dressed up in
batiste, the design is perfect for
a summer Sunday school frock
a child doesn’t have to change
out of in the afternoon.
For either approach, use the Dainty
Designs sleeveless dress pattern (View
2) from the Sew Beautiful pattern
collection. Cut the back piece on the
selvage instead of the fold, and use the
square neckline option. The Dainty
Designs pattern includes bloomers,
which would be fine if a back seam
did not hinder embellishment. For a
pattern that has no back seam, a better
option is the bloomers from “Franny” by
The Children’s Corner. This provides a
place to showcase some fun and fancy
work for the one part of a toddler you
see more than any other – her back!!
54 Sew Beautiful
Design: Open-Backed Dress and Panties
From Dainty Designs
Embroidery: Free Hand Embroidery
• Instructions
• Embroidery Design and Stitch Key
• Dainty Designs from Sew Beautiful available
from Martha Pullen Co. Inc. (View 2)
• Batiste or pima cotton lawn
(See pattern for yardage.)
• Lining or slip fabric*
Dress Lace
• 1/2-inch lace insertion
2-3/4 yds size 6-9m
3-1/4 yds size 12-18m
3-3/4 yds size 2T-3T
• 3/4-inch lace edging
2 yds size 6-9m
2-3/8 yd size 12-18m
2-3/4 yd size 2T-3T
• 1-1/2 yds 3/8-inch narrow lace edging
(all sizes)
Lining Lace (optional for hem and back opening)
• 3/4-inch lace edging
2 yds size 6-9m
2-3/8 yd size 12-18m
2-3/4 yd size 2T-3T
Embroidery Supplies
• Silk floss
• Milliner’s needle for bullions
• Crewel needle for shadowwork and
stem stitch
• Wash-out marking pencil
• 5-inch hand embroidery hoop
• Four mother-of-pearl buttons
• 1/2-inch elastic for bloomer waistline
• 1/4-inch elastic for bloomer legs
• White 80 wt heirloom sewing thread
• Size 60 or 65 machine needle
• Starch
On the
Center front embroidery design
* If using a lightweight fabric like Swiss batiste, you
will need to make a lining layer. The blue dress slip
is made in the same batiste; the print dress slip is
made in white batiste. A lining is not required for
heavier fabrics, like cotton piqué.
The blue Swiss batiste dress is embellished
with an heirloom touch of shadowwork,
bullions and stem stitches framed with lace
insertion (embroidery design is available on
the pullout centerfold). The outer edges of
the dress and slip are finished with flat lace.
Also shown is a floral cotton lawn dress,
made with no embroidery for a no-fuss,
quick summer frock edged in lace.
Back of bloomers
Sew Beautiful 55
Back neck closure
Figure 1
1.Cut out front dress and slip pieces
on fold using square neck shape.
2. Cut out back of dress and slip on
selvage to create two back pieces for
each. Use either round or square neck
shape on back pieces.
3. Draw lace insertion guide on
front: Make a mark at hemline 6-3/4inches on each side of center front.
Draw a straight line from this mark
up to corner of square neck seam line
(fig. 1). Lace will be shaped to inside
of this line.
4. Trace embroider y design on
center front. Hoop and embroider
completely before adding lace insertion.
5. Apply lace insertion to front
guide lines with lace positioned inside
marked lines.
6. French seam front to back at shoulders.
7. Shape narrow lace edging to armhole with header of lace along seam line
of armhole. Zigzag along header edge.
Clip and press fabric seam allowance
back and zigzag once more. Trim seam
close to stitching. Repeat for other
8. French seam both side seams.
9. Draw a lace guideline 1-inch
from bottom edge and 1-inch from
back edges. Shape lace insertion to
this line with inner edge of lace to line;
miter at back corners.
10.Zigzag stitch along inside header
of lace only. Press fabric away from lace
on wrong side and zigzag stitch along
join once more. Trim off fabric close to
stitching on wrong side.
11. B utt and zigzag 3/4-inch lace
edging to remaining edge of lace insertion, mitering at back corners. NOTE:
Slight shaping is required along curved
edge of hem.
56 Sew Beautiful
Figure 2
12. Apply narrow lace edging to neck
in same manner as armholes. Fold and
stitch raw ends of lace at center back
edges; refer to figure 2.
13. Hand stitch two chain button loops
to left lace edge and stitch two tiny buttons to lace join (fig. 2).
LINING or Slip
1.Stitch front to backs at shoulders
with a French seam.
2. Finish neck and armhole edges with
a hand-rolled scallop stitch, or a machine
scallop stitch.
3. Sew side seams with a French
4. Mark a lace guideline 1-inch from
bottom edge and 3/8-inch from back
edges. Shape and apply 3/4-inch lace
edging as on dress. NOTE: To save lace
expense, simply hem raw edges or finish with
a machine scallop stitch.
5. Hand stitch two chain button loops
to left lace edge and stitch two tiny buttons to lace join.
1. To sew a lace bow, tie 24-inches of
lace insertion into a bow. Adjust loops
evenly and leave a 5- to 6-inch tail on
each side.
2. Place bloomers on a lace-shaping
board and pin knot at center back. Flatten loops, allowing lace to cross as shown
in detail photo. Pin tails in same manner.
Starch and press bow over pins. Pin lace
flat to fabric and remove from board.
3. Zigzag stitch around inner and outer
edges of bow shape. You may remove
fabric behind lace or leave it to offer
better coverage over a diaper. -SB
About the Designer
Jennifer Weske is the full-time mother of four who inspire
and fill her passion for sewing. She has been teaching
smocking and heirloom sewing in Memphis, Tennessee since
2003. Jennifer is self-taught in smocking, construction and
heirloom sewing for children.