Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Attire and a Big Bow Dress How-To

Last week when I got the text from Annee about her inspiration bow dress, and after I pinned the inspiration dress to my Make for Grace board, I knew I needed to make one.  Part of the excitement of sewing is figuring things out.  I wanted to not only figure out how to make the bow dress, but I also wanted to full line it.  I can't remember why the lining because such an important aspect of the dress for me, but it was.  And made a sample dress on Wednesday night, and I figured out the bow and the lining.  I was so excited about the prospects of a cute Easter Bow Dress, and then I got a vision of my boys wearing seersucker pants along side her.  I held on to the vision, and away I went Thursday to my JoAnn's for some fabric.

Then it was a matter of just getting things sewn.  Last night around 10 p.m. I put the finishing touches on my boys trousers.  I'm not going to lie.  I was totally giddy last night.  When I finished Grace's dress on Friday night, I was really nervous that I wasn't in love with it being all yellow.  However, after I finished my boys outfits last night, I was so excited.  I had a vision of what I thought it would all look like together, and in the end I really feel like I created the look I was going for.

Henry sported a little yellow on his back yoke to match his sister.

George was thrilled with new pants.  I was really nervous about the fabric being bothersome (note: JoAnn's seersucker is expensive for the crumby quality of fabric), but George didn't even notice.  It probably also helped that I used the same pattern for his pants that I used for pajama pants, so the cut is very comfy.  

Grace's dress, in my opinion, stole the show.  But, if you ask Grace she wasn't happy with it.  It wasn't fancy enough for her, and she claimed it wasn't modest.  Quote, "Mama, I just really don't feel modest in this dress."  I've ruined her by making her wear leggings to school every day.  I think she wanted leggings, but I took care of the tears with the promise of some Easter candy.

Do you want to make your own Big Bow Easter dress??  Easy peasy.  Start by purchasing this pattern, Simplicity 4927.  It's the best $3 pattern you could buy.  It's a basic A-line pattern, and the options are endless for what you could turn it into.  The pattern runs 1 to 1 1/2 sizes large.  Grace wears a size 5, but I used the size 3 pattern pieces for her dress.  I added 2 inches to the length, and I also took an inch off the armholes.  In the picture below I cut off the brown line making my armholes bigger and the neckline not so boxy.

Next when I cut the front dress piece, I placed it two inches away from the edge of the fold.  This added 4 inches to the width of my dress.  Now Annee only placed her pattern piece one inch away from the edge.   My box pleat is a little big, so this is all a matter of personal preference.

**I forgot to take a picture of this with my yellow fabric, so I had to do a special photo shoot just to show you what I did.  Don't let the orange fabric fool you!**

Now in the inspiration photo, the dress has two pleats in the front.  Annee in her blue bow dress just did one pleat, and I agreed with her that it looks just as cute, and therefore, I did only one pleat.  To make my pleat, I place a pin at the top edge of the neckline where I added the extra fabric.

Then I opened up the pleat and ironed it flat.

Then I opened up the pleat.

On the outer most creases, I made a buttonhole large enough for a 3/4 inch button.  The bottom of the buttonhole is 2 1/2 inches from the top of the neckline.

Sorry, the buttonhole picture is blurry!

Then I folded my box pleat back up, and did a basting stitch to keep it in place.

I then finished my dress.  Now I did figure out the lining, but that is a how-to for another day.  After basting the box pleat you would just follow the rest of the instructions that come with the pattern.

To make the bow, you need two rectangles, 10 inches by 6 inches.  Sew them right sides together leaving an opening on one side for flipping.  Turn right sides out, and topstitch around the bow.  Sorry, no pictures of this step.  Then as your final step to the dress, carefully slide your bow through your buttonholes.  And, then you have your own Big Bow Dress!!

I recognize this isn't the greatest how-to.  If you need more help or have any questions, please leave me a comment.

For a girl who was really disappointed with this dress, Grace really knew how to hide it.  

I added a zipper to the back of my dress.  This was the first zipper I put in a dress.  Well, second if you count my sample dress.  I'm sure it's not technically correct, but I think it works and looks fine.

And that's an Easter attire wrap!  Whew.  It was just a little bit exhausting getting everything together, but in the end any lost sleep was worth it.  I think!?!

Stay tuned.  It's my week to post here on Made on Maple.  I've got lots of fun things to share.  Get sew excited!


Danielle said...

Love it! I will be making this at some point! I'm so about to pin this too!

Amanda said...

amazing. you amaze me. I too had my boys in seersuckers... but I bought mine at target. yep.

Cassie said...

I love the dress! I get giddy when I sewing project I am working on comes out so well too. Great job!

E J said...

LOVE the dress - hoping I can create something similar for O.

Did you see the last knock - off craft featured in this post:

You did it much better!

Sew Spoiled said...

I have linked to your great sewing tutorial. Thank you for sharing it.

Allie Bobe said...

OMG, OMG, thank you so much. I am not a dress sewer at all. Well I do make a mean t shirt dress, lol. I have been asked by a co-worker to make this for her daughter, and I was so trying to avoid paying money for the pattern. I love how yours turned out, and now I get it button holes, ahh-haa! I will make this hopefully this week and link it back to your site on my blog!!!
Thank so much, your instructions were great. Now to just follow them :)
~Allie @

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