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I don’t know about you, but I find traditional-looking little girl’s dresses very elusive when shopping in stores for my daughter. My little girl is six and I don’t want her to look like a teenager or even a tweenager just yet. We have plenty of years of crop tops, skin tight pants and miniskirts ahead of us, and I’m determined not to start them just yet! So this Easter, I have decided to make a beautiful dress for her to wear for the ubiquitous Easter Egg hunt and, of course, the wonderful photo opportunities that go along with it!
I used the adorable Fairy Tale Dress pattern by Oliver + S. It has just the traditional full skirt and pretty bodice I look for when searching for clothes for my daughter, and as it is fully lined with a small bow detail at the waistline; it is irresistibly cute.
I started out by tracing off the pattern from the paper onto tracing paper. I will likely use this pattern many more times and in larger sizes as she grows. Tracing off a pattern means that you have the original pattern and all the sizes intact for future use. I used Swedish tracing paper to trace my pattern, but you could also use freezer paper or tracing paper.
When I cut out the traced pattern, I usually leave an extra ½” around the outside on my drawn lines. I pin the tracing paper to my pre-washed fabric and cut out the tracing paper and fabric at the same time along the marked lines. This helps with more accurate cutting.
The bodice on this dress has front darts on the main and lining fabrics. To get a smooth dart, do not finish the sewing of the dart seam with a back and forth motion on your machine. Instead, stop at the marked point and leave long threads hanging loose. Remove your project from the machine and tie these threads in a knot. Snip the loose threads.
Trim and clip all seam allowances when necessary, with a small, sharp pair of scissors. I used my Fiskars Stitcher Scissors No. 5
I decided to add a pretty ricrac detail to the collar and sleeves of my dress. In order to do the same, pin the ricrac to one collar piece and baste in place. Put the second collar piece on top and pin in place per the pattern directions. Flip the collar pieces over and use the basting stitches as your sewing line guide. Remove the basting stitches, turn the collar right side out and press.
I used the same technique to add ricrac to the edges of each sleeve.
Next, I continued to follow the pattern directions to complete the dress. There is an invisible zipper at the back.
The dress is finished with a hand stitched hem which is quicker to complete than you might think and worth the effort to give the dress an extra fine finish.
I think this dress is beautiful and my daughter loves it (as you can tell!) The skirt’s fullness is created with the help of a layer of tulle between the lining and the main fabric. I had never used tulle in a garment before, but I love how it looks. She is ready for her Easter Egg hunt - I do hope she’s not going to get chocolate all over her pretty new dress, though she probably will.
Fabric according to requirements
Fairy Tale Dress pattern by Oliver+S