Ok, fine. It's not REALLY a dress. Sorry if you feel duped. It's really a skirt and shirt combo. But "My Cheery Valentine Skirt and Shirt Combo" didn't fit on the above photo and it wasn't as catchy. So I called it a dress. So sue me.
I don't have a tutorial for you, but it's extremely easy to create this look. I made her shirt out of an old shirt of mine. Basically, you just cut it down to size using a different shirt as a pattern and matching the hem and the sleeve hems to save yourself some work. It's this idea, but with a shirt, not a sweater.
After I sewed the shirt all up, I decided it needed something else. I cut a deep v in the neckline and made it fairly wide at the top so it would have kind of a boatneck look. Then, I cut a triangle of the original big red shirt that was slightly larger than the v neck line. I cut strips from my two different skirt fabric prints - 6 strips at about four inches wide and double the length of the v neck at its widest. I ruffled the strips by folding them in half (right side out) and sewing a basting stitch. Then I just gathered, pinned the ruffle to the triangle piece and sewed them on in lines - slightly overlapping each other and starting at the top. Then just trim off the excess length of ruffles. After the triangle piece had ruffles all over it, I just pinned it to the inside of the v neck and sewed it down. I decided to use yellow thread to tie into the yellow skirt, so I actually sewed ALL the way around the neckline - across the back too - so that the contrasting yellow stitching was visible all around the shirt. I also sewed a line of yellow stitching around the bottom hem of the shirt. I left the neckline rough and unhemmed because I liked the look of it rolling over a bit.
The skirt is very simple and essentially a combination of this post (from Simple Simon - (which talks about how they get their skirts so nice and full) and this idea (from Hickety Pickety Handmade - which talks about how to make a skirt without having to hem it. I hate hemming).
I just cut a rectangle out of the first pattern that measured the length I wanted the skirt to be minus about 5 inches and 3 times the width of mini's waist. Then I cut a strip of the other print that was about ten inches in length and also 3 times the width of mini's waist. I ironed the striped piece in half the long way with the right sides out. I sewed the striped folded/ironed strip to the bottom of the other rectangle - right sides together - then ironed the seam flat. Bam. No hem. Then I sewed the short sides of the rectangle together - right sides together - to make a tube. I sewed a casing in the top and ran my elastic through. Bam. Skirt.
It's a little longer than I meant for it to be, but that just means she gets to wear it next year too! I paired it with her red tutu for these pics, but I've got a little crinoline coming and I'll use that instead (just like Simple Simon!)
And now, the question that's been burning on everyone's mind: is mini crying through this photo shoot, or not?
I swear I don't torture my kids.
Unless you consider sitting through that hair style torture...
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