Confession: This was totally not my idea. I saw a dress on Zulily last year and thought, "I could totally make that." So I pinned it and forgot about it.
But not any more! Time to move that pin from Sew This to Pinned It And DID It! You do follow me on Pinterest, right?
Okay, so to make the Candy Corn Dress, you need a peasant top pattern. I used a Simplicity pattern, because that's what I had on hand, but any peasant top or peasant dress pattern will do. In fact, a quick search for "Free Peasant Top Pattern" shows plenty of hits, so you can get directions for making your own pattern, if you prefer.
I started with a dress for Hannah. Now, I was using a size 4 pattern for my size 6 girlie, so I knew I'd have to add to it a little. I placed my front and back pattern pieces 3/4" from the center fold of my fabric, and added about 3/4" to the sleeves. I drew a line across my front and back pattern pieces where I wanted to shorten the bodice. Hannah's line was 6" below the armpit, which seemed a bit long to me, so when I did Katie's, I shortened it up a LOT. For Katie's size 4 dress (which is really more of a "tunic," since it's short) I drew the line 3" below the armpit.
Assemble the white bodice, all except on sleeve/side seam. You're going to gather to the bottom while the dress is open on one side, but the front and back pieces are connected on the other side.
For the orange and yellow stripes, I cut 9" orange and 6" yellow for Hannah. When I gather the snot out of something, I can get a bit more than 2.5 times the original length. So I cut 2 strips, the full width of my 45" orange fabric, 9" high. I cut several strips of yellow, not knowing how many I'd end up needing.
After sewing the two orange strips together, and all the yellow strips together, I set my serger to the narrowest double needle setting, turned the knife off, lengthened the stitch to the maximum, and set the gathers to maximum. I ran the long orange strip through, then the long, long yellow strip through.
Next, I set the serger to the widest possible double needle setting, the idea being that we run over the first serged stitches, and they don't show. It's a nice theory, anyway. I sometimes have to hit a couple spots with the sewing machine afterwards to make stray serger stitches disappear.
You want your orange piece face up, with the previously serged edge going into the serger a second time under the white bodice, which is face down. Keep the white fabric taut as you feed it, and allow the orange fabric to feed through faster, increasing your gather.
Cut off the extra orange when you reach the end of the white bodice. Then flip the orange to face down, and serge the yellow face up underneath it. Again, hold the orange layer taut and feed through the yellow generously as you serge.
You're almost done!
Sew the armpit/bodice seam all the way down the side, closing up the dress to the hem, and cutting off any extra along the side.
I decided to make the girls a couple of bows to go along with the dresses, and while I was working on those, I remembered having a cone of variegated serger thread that would be just perfect for this project.
The thread is orange/yellow/white. I used it to do a rolled edge hem on the dresses.
Katie's dress went together even easier than Hannah's, because all the yellow layer was "leftover" from the first one, so it was pre-gathered. Katie's orange stripe is not as tall as Hannah's, and I took off about 1/2" on the yellow when I hemmed it, and I think that shortening all 3 layers was a mistake, with such a small difference in size between the two of them. Fortunately, Katie can wear hers with leggings or bike shorts. She's cute enough to get away with a short skirt at this point.
The yellow fabric, I had on hand from something I was going to make last year and didn't. I bought one yard each of the white on white (it's dots) and the orange. I used 1/4" cotton elastic for the sleeves and necks. Size 4 dress got 16" elastic at the neck and 10" at the sleeves. Size 6 dress got 17" at the neck and 11" at the sleeves.
After the dresses were done, I decided the girls needed necklaces to go with them. So Brianna and I stopped at JoAnn's after dropping Sam at football one Saturday and picked up some beads.
There's 3 sizes of the white/orange/yellow beads. The two necklaces are different in sizes, but the same alternating pattern. The spacers are silver tone, and the necklaces are strung on clear elastic cord.
I haven't had Katie try hers on yet, but Hannah looks like she's all ready for a trip to Apple Hill to pick out a pumpkin!
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