Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Party Dress Remix {TUTORIAL}

I had so much fun re-mixing the Cottage Home's Party Dress for Project Run and Play and I wanted to write a tutorial because I'm really happy with the way it turned out! To make my  tutorial happen you will need Lindsay's pattern and tutorial here. If you didn't get a chance to read my previous post about this dress here.

She's cute and she knows it!

The back is my favorite!

Without further ado....Party Skirt with Suspenders

Cut out all of the skirt pieces, including the skirt band and sash pieces. Collect 2 smallish buttons, flat is best. You will also need your child's waist measurement. Measure around the fullest part of the tummy, generally around the belly button. Write it down for later. For the suspenders, you need to measure your child from the front waist, over the shoulder and across the back to the back waist (imagine suspenders when you are doing this) and add 3".  Cut 2 pieces of fabric that length X 6 in.

Assemble the skirt according to Lindsay's instructions up to the step where you top-stitch the skirt band and press the stitches.

Skip the bodice section and do the step where you gather the skirt.

This is where we change it up!  Assemble the sash by sewing the two shorter pieces to each end of the longer sash piece, right sides together.  At this point you can finish the two long edges of the sash with a serger (this isn't required, but gives a nice finished edge later). Fold the sash in half length-wise, wrong sides together and making sure to match seams*, press. If you'd like diagonal edges to your sash fold in in half short-ways and cut the edges at an angle.  Mark the center of your sash. Unfold.

Match Seams

Mark Center

Cut on Diagonal

*If you are working with slippery fabric, like I am, pinning is the only way to make it match up successfully.  Before you press the seam, pin the long edge together starting from each seam working out to the edge and in to the middle.  This will give you a nice clean pressed edge and matching diagonals on the ends of your sash.

Lots of pins!

The tie will be the closure for the back so you can cinch or loosen for comfort. Take your child's waist measurement and add about 2" for wearing ease. Divide this number in 2. Fold your sash in half, right sides together, matching seams (if using slippery fabrics, pin as above). Using the mark you made at the center of the sash, measure out 1/2 of the waist measurement from each side of the center and mark that as well.

Mark from center 

Mark from center on the other side

Sew around the edge of the sash beginning at the the short diagonal end and ending at your mark. Pivot at the corner and backstitch at each end. Repeat on the other end of the sash.  This will leave an opening for you to put your skirt into.

Start at the pointed corner

 Fold the edges of the opening 5/8" to the inside and press. Trim the short end seams to 1/4", clip corners, remove pins and turn your sash right side out. Press.

Trim corners and clip short seam

Pull up the gathers on the skirt to fit the opening in the sash. Insert the skirt into the sash hiding all the basting stitches (about 5/8") and pin in place. Set aside.

Next, we'll tackle the suspenders.

Fold your suspender fabric in half long-ways, right sides together and sew the long edges, leaving each short end open.  Turn the tubes right side out. Press.

 On one end of each suspender fold the fabric inside the short edge 1/2" and topstitch in place.

Fold the ends

Mark where you want your suspenders to be on the skirt. Make sure the two suspenders are an equal distance apart from the centers. The suspenders will be farther apart on the front and closer together in the back. Insert the suspender end with raw edges  into the front waist band 1/2" on the INSIDE of the skirt. Pin in place.

More pins!
Topstitch 1/8" from the edge making sure to catch all the layers (sash, suspender, skirt, sash) backstitching at each end.

Fold your suspender up at the front waist band and press. Hand tack the suspender to only the inside of the sash, so it doesn't show through to the front.

Fold them up

Hopefully, your stitches will be just a little neater!

To attach your suspenders in the back, sew a button to the sash just below the top INSIDE edge, on each side where you marked.  For strength sew through both layers of the sash in matching thread.

Inside waistband

Outside waistband
To make the suspenders adjustable, make 3 button holes on each of your suspenders 1", 1-1/2" and 2" from the short end.


You're done! Here are some more pictures.

Your little girl will have a ball in her new party skirt!



  1. How adorabel she is...And you did a wonderful job onher dress..I miss the days of sewing for my daughter. When she was smll I made her the most prettiest dresses and outfits. Now she wan't touch it if it is hand made. The joys of a teenager....Enjoy sewign for her as much as you possibly can.

    1. Thanks Tammy. I already dread the day when she refuses to wear my home-made clothes. Hopefully, it won't come too soon.


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