A Simple Summer 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 Design IN THE ARTICLE • Instructions ON THE CENTERFOLD • Embroidery Design and Stitch Key MATERIALS Pattern • Dainty Designs from Sew Beautiful available from Martha Pullen Co. Inc. (View 2) Fabric • 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 Notions • Four mother-of-pearl buttons • 1/2-inch elastic for bloomer waistline • 1/4-inch elastic for bloomer legs Supplies • White 80 wt heirloom sewing thread • Size 60 or 65 machine needle • Starch Found On the Pullout Design Pullout Section 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 6-3/4” Front Figure 1 Back DRESS 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 armhole. 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 seam. 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. BLOOMERS 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.
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