Sewing a Girls Maxi Dress – Drafting to fabric & Cutting

Now that you have got your basic pattern we are now gonna turn that into a basic summer maxi dress.

What you will need

  • Fabric (I’m using a jersey knit as it flows nicely)
  • fabric scissors
  • tailors chalk
  • measuring tape
  • ruler

Now let’s get started. Firstly you want to get your fabric and fold it length ways once you have this then you need to fold it width ways to the desired width for the bottom of the dress. I used a width of 40 cm for my nearly 4-year-old which i already had from an off cut of a different project.

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Now that we have laid out our fabric we need to lay our back bodice piece onto the fabric along the fold line, this will give us a starting point for our dress.

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Using your tailors chalk draw around your bodice pattern, then get a ruler and draw a line from the corner of your pattern to the bottom corner of your dress, you should now see that you have a dress drawn out that we can cut it out along the lines.

NOTE: I prefer to do all this on a hard surface as it is a lot easier, but due to my office being moved to another room to make way for the baby boys room, I have to do it on the living room floor.

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Once you have cut your pattern out it should look like this.

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We need to adjust the neck depth on the front piece we do this by separating the 2 patterns and using our front bodice paper patter aligning it with the front dress piece and drawing out the neckline so that we can cut it out. (sorry i forgot to photograph this part.)

With the excess fabric that we removed from our cutting we will use for the sleeves and to finish the neck line. If however this fabric is not enough then use any remaining fabric you have. Take your fabric and check to see if you have enough remaining for the sleeves fold it if needed and lay your sleeve pattern on the fold, now draw around your pattern and cut it out the same way you did with your dress pattern.

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We now should have our dress patterns but we need to make the necklines, there are many methods of doing a neckline but for this one we will do the one I feel is suited best for this type of dress, we will do a post separately on the type of necklines and how to use them another day.

For this neckline using any excess fabric we have fold it and align the neck of theĀ front bodiceĀ pattern on the fold, draw a line and cut the excess above this away.

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Now you have cut the top away we need to move the pattern piece so we can work with the fabric, using the measuring tape measure 1 inch down all the way around following the curve that is currently set, draw a line to create a curve and cut this out you should end up with a piece like this

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do the same for the back piece, we should now have 6 pieces to make the dress.

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Stay tuned where our next post will be to make the dress.

Sew & See

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Getting Started – Pattern Drafting -Childs Bodice

With any of my sewing projects I always start off with a basic pattern, In this post I will show you how I draft a pattern for many of my projects

What you need

  • Some paper, I used regular A4 for this pattern but sometimes you may need a bigger piece of paper so you can use just about anything including freezer paper or newspaper.
  • A Pencil
  • A Ruler
  • A T-shirt, one that fits the child or person you intend to make a garment for.
  • Paper Scissors

Set your paper down on a good work surface and fold your t-shirt in half then place it onto the piece of paper matching the folded edge with the edge of paper. Draw around the shirt, moving the sleeves to the side and following the sleeve seam.

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Once you have drawn around the T-shirt you should have the general outline of a t-shirt pattern, we need to add seam allowance to this. We add seam allowance for stitching, without this the garment will be tight. For beginners purpose we are adding more allowance then needed but for all future posts I wont be adding as much.

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I used a ruler and added 1/2 inch seam to the top shoulder, 1/4 inch to the arm hole and 1 inch to the side seams, if you are comfortable with adding less than do so, I normally add 3/8-1/2 inch seam allowance all around.

Now cut this pattern out twice, you need one for the front too which we will alter slightly

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Now we have 2 pieces we need to make a lower neckline for the front bodice, we are keeping it basic so we need to make sure this will fit over little ones head, For my daughter I need 2 inches more so I measure from the current neckline down the centre 2 inches and create a curve to the arm hole

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Cut the Curve out and you will have your front and back bodice finished, this bodice is a great starting point for any project.

Leave a little love and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

Sew & See