July 4th dress

My 4yr old is a proud American but I think that’s mostly because she really just likes being different from the rest of us (and she likes singing/shouting all those patriotic songs I don’t know any of the words to). Anyway, she requested a stars and stripes dress to wear for July 4th and I wanted to share with you what I came up with.

I didn’t use a pattern but started with a basic bodice and skirt shape which came together really nicely.
I started by shirring a bodice piece, which is a very simple technique yet oh so effective. Look it up if you have never tried it ~ there are plenty of tutorials online.

I just serged some basic armhole shapes not really knowing if the stitches would hold the elastic, but it worked out perfectly.
I also put in an elasticated band along the top piece of the bodice. This isn’t necessary, but the fabric will ruffle outwards at the top if you don’t do this. Some people like that look, but I prefer the fabric to sit flat against the body.
Next, I made some bias tape and stitched it to the armholes keeping the ends longs so that they can be used as ties.
I then cut some rectangle shapes for the skirt which I cut longer than the length of the bodice and gathered it before sewing it to the bottom of the bodice.
Finally I put a bit more bias tape along the bottom, mainly to save myself having to hem the thing (I still haven’t come across a fool-proof hemming technique ~ can anyone help me?)
And there it is! I think I’ll have to make a Union Jack one next, just to even things out a bit.

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