I meant to get this post up a bit earlier in case anyone was interested in making a Christmas dress for their own little girl, but after I took the pictures I kind of forgot! However, obviously this dress style is suitable for all year round, it’s just the fabric that makes it Christmassy.
This dress was made for Nicole’s first Christmas concert. Of course, an hour before the concert I was down in the craft room finishing the last bits! But it was done in plenty of time and she was very excited to show it off. The best part, in my opinion, is that because it’s cottons she can play away in it. She’s worn this dress about every other day for the last week or so, mainly with jeans underneath. It’s got some nice twirl to it, but not so much that you could see her underwear if she were to twirl with nothing else underneath.
The formula for the dress is pretty simple. It starts off with this peasant top tutorial, but I chopped a good 3 or 4 inches off the bottom of the shirt. (For a size 4, I had three fabrics and half a meter of each. I still have enough scraps to make an Olivia-sized tunic, although it’s a bit late since it’s Christmas already.)
This is more of a guideline than an actual tutorial… use the sizing for the bodice for the top, and for the height of the tiers, use your own taste. Because this is a winter dress I made it tea-length, but for summer I’d have likely made shorter tiers and had it hit below the knee. As to the width, I think the widths I give you here would likely work for up to a size six or seven, possibly even eight, and down to a two (it would just be super gathered on both tiers, but quite cute.)
For the top, use the plainest of your fabrics for the main bodice and the fabric you want to use for your first tier for your sleeves. You can sew the bodice up to completion here, don’t forget to do any topstitching you’d like to do as you go along.
For the second tier, I used the full 45” across from selvedge to selvedge. I didn’t gather this tier so much as sort of vaguely pleat it as I went along, since it wasn’t hugely ruffled. It would have probably looked better had I ruffled it, but I was running out of time. For the bottom tier, I did 1.5 the distance from selvedge to selvedge. To save time, I just ripped the piece twice and then ripped one of the two pieces in half.
First I sewed the two pieces for the bottom tier together to create one long circle, then I hemmed it. I went with a wide hem because that’s what I like the look of. Then I also sewed the top tier into a circle, gathered the bottom tier, and sewed the two tiers together. Finally, I sewed the skirt part to the bodice.
This is where I did a few finishing touches. I sewed a matching ribbon over the seam between the bodice and the skirt. I top stitched the bottom tier. Then I made a long patchwork sash, measured on my daughter where the sash would hit on her sides, and then stitched the sash on to the side seams of the dress. This made the sash slightly tighter than the bodice in the front, keeping it in place nicely.
Let me know if you’d like a real tutorial rather than this basic guideline. Nicole and I both really like this dress on her, so I’ll likely be making it again!