DIY Spring Floral Babydoll Dress

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Red was the flowers in bloom. Blue was the open sky before me. Cool against my skin was the breeze coming through the windows in the quiet hours of the morning. These are things I think of when I see chiffon fabrics printed with florals. I hope this floral babydoll dress will take you back to spring whenever you wear it.

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I don’t keep to a single style. Instead, I drift between structured dresses and ripped jeans. With this dress, I played off the delicate texture and colors by layering the dress over a chiffon top. The combination gives the illusion that the whole set is a single long sleeve floral babydoll dress instead. The pink oversized cardigan I picked up from a local thrift store makes for a great cover up while the warm weather is still trying to settle in. And what better way to trek through the vast Blogosphere than with some comfortable heels?

U Crewneck Long-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Ezy Ankle-Length Pants
U Crewneck Short-sleeve T-Shirt
HEATTECH Extra Warm Turtleneck
HEATTECH Fleece Turtleneck Long-Sleeve
U Crewneck Long-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Ezy Ankle-Length Pants
U Crewneck Short-sleeve T-Shirt
HEATTECH Extra Warm Turtleneck
HEATTECH Fleece Turtleneck Long-Sleeve
U Crewneck Long-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Ezy Ankle-Length Pants
U Crewneck Short-sleeve T-Shirt
HEATTECH Extra Warm Turtleneck
HEATTECH Fleece Turtleneck Long-Sleeve

Materials

Sleeveless shirt

2 Yards chiffon fabric

2 Yards lining

3 Yard decorative elastic

1 Yard elastic

Basic sewing tools


Making the Pattern: The Bodice

There are two bodice patterns.
Pattern A: Front bodice
Pattern B: Back bodice

STEP 1. To create the front bodice (Pattern A), trace out half of a tank top. Create a V-shaped neckline. Shorten the length according to your measurements. 

STEP 2. Repeat Step 1 to create the back bodice (Pattern B). The neckline should be slightly rounded and dip lower than the front by 1 inch. Make sure the side seams of both the front and back are the same length.

STEP 3. Mark a point on the center front that is two inches above the waistline. Draw a line connecting this point to the side of the bodice. This will create an inverted waistline on the front. If two inches creates too high of a waistline, lower the point as needed.

STEP 4. Add ½ inch seam allowance to the neck and armhole. 

STEP 5. Add 1 inch seam allowance to the waist. This extra seam allowance will be used to create the casing for the elastic. So if you’re using a wide elastic, increase the seam allowance accordingly.


Making the Pattern: The Skirt

There are four skirt patterns.
Pattern C: Main skirt, front
Pattern D: Main skirt, back
Pattern E: Skirt lining, front
Pattern F: Skirt lining, back

A set of base patterns without seam allowance will be created first. This set will be used to create the final four patterns. 

  • The skirt lining has one set of base patterns. 
  • The main skirt has two sets of base patterns.

STEP 6. Transfer the waistline of the front and back babydoll bodice onto new pattern paper. Do not include the seam allowance because there will be some adjustments to the pattern in the next few steps.

TEP 6. Transfer the waistline of the front and back babydoll bodice onto new pattern paper. Do not include the seam allowance because there will be some adjustments to the pattern in the next few steps.

TEP 6. Transfer the waistline of the front and back babydoll bodice onto new pattern paper. Do not include the seam allowance because there will be some adjustments to the pattern in the next few steps.

STEP 7. Draw a vertical line down the side to however long you want the skirt to be. Mine was 20 inches. 

STEP 9. Cut out two copies of each base pattern. The first set will be used to create the lining, and the second set will be used to create the main skirt.

STEP 8. Connect the bottom of the vertical line to the center. This should create one pattern in the shape of a pentagon for the front (Pattern C and E) and one in the shape of a rectangle for the back (Pattern D and F). 

STEP 9. Cut out two copies of each base pattern. The first set will be used to create the lining, and the second set will be used to create the main skirt. 


Making the Skirt Lining

STEP 10. Take the lining base pattern and remove two inches from the bottom. This will make the lining shorter and prevent it from showing beneath the main skirt. If removing two inches makes the lining too short, adjust as needed.

STEP 11. Fold the pattern lengthwise into four equal parts. Starting from the bottom, cut along the folds. DO NOT cut through the top. Instead, leave it intact to create a hinge.

STEP 12. Tape down the center of the skirt onto new pattern paper. Spread out the remaining three pieces and tape them down. 

The fullness of the skirt depends on how wide the pattern is, so spread your pattern accordingly. Make sure the width of the front and back patterns are equal. Otherwise, you may end up with the front being more full than the back or vice versa.

STEP 13. Trace out the final skirt lining patterns. Add ½ seam allowance to the side and bottom. Add seam allowance to the waist according to Step 5 for the casing.

STEP 14. Take the main skirt base patterns and cut in half lengthwise. Space out the two halves. This will create a wider pattern for a gathered skirt (Pattern C and D). The more spaced out the pattern is, the more gathered the skirt will be and vice versa. 

STEP 15. Tape the pieces onto new pattern paper and trace out the new shape. This makes up the second base pattern for the main skirt.

STEP 16. Repeat Steps 11 to 13 to create the final pattern for the main skirt.


Putting it Together

Cut the following on fold:

  • Pattern A (Bodice, front): 1 fashion fabric & 1 lining fabric
  • Pattern B (Bodice, back): 1 fashion fabric & 1 lining fabric
  • Pattern C (Main skirt, front): 1 fashion fabric
  • Pattern D (Main skirt, back): 1 fashion fabric
  • Pattern E (Skirt lining, front): 1 lining fabric
  • Pattern F (Skirt lining, back): 1 lining fabric

STEP 18. With right sides facing together, attach the fashion fabric of the front bodice (Pattern A) to the lining. Sew along the neckline.

STEP 19. Make small cuts along the neckline at one-inch intervals. Take care not to cut through the stitched seam. The small cuts will add ease to the neckline and allow the layers to lay flat.

STEP 20. Fold the seam towards the lining and topstitch. Make sure to sew only to the lining and not the fashion fabric. This will prevent the lining from showing and create a clean neckline when the dress is worn. 

STEP 21. Flip right side out. 

STEP 21. Repeat steps 18 – 21 for the back bodice.

STEP 22. Attach the front and back of the babydoll bodice together. Sew along the shoulder and sides. The bodice is now complete.

STEP 23. Sew the front skirt to the back skirt. Do this for both the main skirt and lining.

STEP 24. Gather the main skirt so that the waist is the same length as the waist of the skirt lining. 

STEP 25. Pin the main skirt to the lining. Distribute the gathers evenly along the waist. Baste stitch to keep the gathers in place.

STEP 26. Attach the skirt to the bodice. Because of the inverted waistline, the front waist of the bodice and the front waist of the skirt will be pointing in opposite directions while they are being attached. Match up the center points and try to maintain the shape of the inverted waistline as much as possible.

While sewing, periodically check that the bodice lining is smooth and that all layers are being sewn. Remember to sew with a 1 inch seam allowance so a casing can be created for the elastic.

STEP 27. Finish the raw edge of the seam allowance either with a serger or a zigzag stitch. Fold the seam allowance towards the skirt and topstitch in place to create the casing. Leave a two-inch opening. 

Keep in mind that the main skirt is gathered. Sew with the main skirt on top so you can see the gathers. Sew slowly over them and smooth them out so that they fall straight down when the dress is worn. 

STEP 28. Thread the elastic through the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together and close the casing.

STEP 29. Hem the skirt lining either with a serger or a zigzag stitch. Fold under once and topstitch.

STEP 30. Finish the armhole and main skirt with the decorative elastic. 

Sew it Yourself is a series where I create chic garments from scratch. Check out Thrifted Revamp to upcycle existing garments into chic clothes!

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Momo C.

Hello there! I am a new blogger and sewing enthusiast. By documenting my journey through the Blogosphere, I hope to help fellow new bloggers out there. All reports are based on my own findings and things I have tried myself. Because I have a soft spot for clothes and writing, you will find them sprinkled throughout Her Petite Closet.

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