When planning my daughter Indy's last photo shoot before starting Kindergarten, I knew I wanted two things for sure: a fresh flower crown and to make her dress myself. For her flower crown, I simply followed Tawni's DIY Succulent Crown tutorial using real fresh flowers instead of succulents. As for her dress, I started by buying fabric that I thought would be pretty and went from there. I made the dress about an hour before the shoot and it was so simple I thought I should share it as a DIY.
Supplies I Used:
1 1/2 yards Ivory Cotton Fabric
2 yards Ivory Lace Fabric
1. I started by measuring my daughter. She is 4 1/2 years old and very petite so make sure to take your own measurements as well.
These are her measurements:
- Total length of the dress: 25" long. (from the top of her chest to her ankles)
- Total for the top bodice: 4 1/2" long.
- Total circumference for top bodice: 21" (I decided to make the dress a tube top, so I wanted the bodice very tight.)
- Total for the lace skirt bottom: 21" long x 45" wide.
2. After taking these measurements I started cutting. I began with the cotton fabric.
For the bodice I needed to cut a piece 4 1/2 L. x 10 1/2" W. I folded the fabric in half and cut 2 pieces at a time.
The ivory fabric I bought was a bit see through so I needed to make the dress double layered. If you are using a darker color or a thicker fabric you can skip to step 4.
3. You will need to cut another 2 pieces. 2 for the front and 2 for the back to make it double layered. Once you made your first cut in step 2, just lay that piece on the fabric and cut again.
Now you have your front and back for the bodice!
4. Next we can cut the fabric for the skirt portion. The skirt is also two layers. The bottom layer is the cotton fabric and the top layer is the lace. I laid the lace fabric on top of the cotton fabric so that I could cut them together. Now I cut both fabrics together 21" L. x 45" W.
Now that we are done with cutting, We can start sewing!
5. Let's start with the bodice, If you are doubling up the layers, we need to sew them together individually first. Take 2 of the 4 pieces we cut in the beginning, pin them together and sew along 3 of the 4 sides a 1/4" seam leaving the bottom unsewn. Now turn it right side out. Repeat with the other 2 pieces.
*If you are not doubling up your fabric, start by folding down the top of your 2 pieces of fabric 1/2" and iron. Then sew a 1/4" seam.
To finish the bodice pin the 2 finished pieces together along the left and right sides and sew together to create a tube.
You can leave the bottom of the bodice unfinished because the lace skirt will be sew on top.
6. Next we can attached the bodice to the lace skirt. Start by pinning the lace and cotton we cut earlier to the bodice in the back. I pleated it 1/2" apart to make the dress flow better all the way around. The skirt will start to overlap. This will help the dress close in the back.
7. Now start sewing the top and bottom together.
Here you have the sewn bodice!
8. Now we have the zipper, first you need to trim your zipper to the length you want on the dress. I trimmed mine to about 11". Fold your dress inside out and unzip the zipper. (not all the way.. the zipper will come off!) lay the zipper on the dress and cut a straight line down the back of the dress about an inch from the end of the zipper. Now pin your unzipped zipper to the dress and sew.
9. For a little extra cuteness I added a little strip of lace to the front of the bodice. I didn't want to sew to much on the lace so I sewed it along the sides and a a few stitches in the middle.
10. Viola! We have a little lace dress. The dress was exactly what I imagined and it looked adorable on Indy! I hope you enjoyed following along in this tutorial! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or need help! Check out our stylized photo shoot featuring this dress. Find me on Instagram under @kristaandleaves or @needlesandleaves.