Do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph a dress on a two-year old?! Next to impossible, which is why I ask you to please ignore the football. This was a really simple dress to make once I had it drafted, it is comprised of 4 rectangles. It should take you about 2 hours to complete.
Knit (one yard is perfect for a two year old)
One yard of 1/8″ elastic
ric rac (optional)
I’ll tell you how I came up with the measurements for my two-year old and you can recalculate for your little girl. My daughter’s chest measures 20″, wanting the dress to be able to be gathered slightly I made each piece (front and back) 15″ across, so the final chest measurement would be 30″. I measured her shoulder to where I wanted the empire waist to fall and it was 7″, so I cut the top to be 8″, allowing for seam allowance. Next I measure from the shoulder to her calf- where I wanted it hemmed and it was 27″, so I cut the length of the skirt at 20″.
Some things to remember about sewing knit, it is VERY forgiving so don’t sweat it if you mess something up! When stitching try not to pull or stretch the knit at all- just go slow and let the feed dogs do all the work. Everything is sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Cut two rectangles 8″ x 12″. I used chalk and a quilters ruler to mark the rectangles on my fabric.
Once you have them cut, lay them with right sides together and cut at an angle. Cut conservatively first, overlap them and decide if you want to cut deeper. When you lay them out, overlapped, it should be 15″ across.
Sew a rolled hem along the diagonal edges (I tried to find a good online tutorial for this, but didn’t find one that I liked. It is as easy as it sounds, roll a hem, pin it and stitch over it. If you have a rolled hem pressure foot for your machine- use that). After you have overlapped your bodice, make sure it measures 15″ across- adjust if you need to. Baste the pieces together.
Draft and cut your skirt. The top width of your skirt needs to be 15″ across, the bottom of your skirt should be 20″ across and the entire length of the skirt is 20″ as well. I drew the top and bottom width first and then drew a diagonal line connecting the two. You can see in the image above that I drew one straight line down the center of the skirt so I knew where the middle was.
Pin the bodice to the skirt with right sides together and stitch. Make sure you catch the little tail of the diagonal cut edge into the seam. Turn right side out and press.
Lay your front piece (with right sides touching) onto your fabric, you will use this as the pattern for your back piece. Pin and cut. Stitch the front and back pieces together at side seams *leaving a 5″ opening at the top for arm holes*, and shoulder seams.
Do another rolled hem for the back neck and armholes.
Mark the inside back of your dress along the waist (match it with the bodice seam on the front of your dress). This is to help you stitch your elastic on straight.
Cut a 20″ piece of elastic (or whatever length your chest measurement was), and mark it in quarters. Pin the elastic (using your marks) to the side seams and center front and back seams. Stitch with a small zig zag stitch, stretch the elastic as you sew, but try not to stretch the knit. Do your best to sew straight down the center of the elastic, this will help it not bunch and to lay flat.
I thought about adding a ruffle at the bottom, but decided against it. If you want to do this, cut a 2″ wide, 60″ long strip of fabric. Gather it and then stitch it to your skirt.
To hem the dress, fold up 1″ on inside (don’t worry about the raw edge, knit doesn’t ravel). I recommend stitching with a double needle if you have it, it gives the dress a very nice finished looking stitched hem.
After hemming I drew a chalk line 2″ from the bottom and stitched two rows of lavender ric rac with a straight stitch- being sure NOT to stretch the knit while I sewed.
Please email me if you need more clarification on anything.
If you make the dress I would love to see it! Leave me a comment with the link to your picture, please!