Last month I shared a tutorial on the Sewing Rabbit blog explaining how I made these super cute knit heart dresses for my girls. Today I am posting the tutorial on my own blog. I had Valentines Day in mind when making these but it is a perfect little dress for year round! My girls love wearing them as just the dress around the house or with some leggings if it’s chilly outside. Enjoy!
- Ready to wear dress or shirt with sleeves
- Knit fabric
- Scrap woven fabric
- Scrap fabric for heart
- Heart template
- Stretch needle
- Coordinating thread
- Take your ready to wear dress and pin the sleeves inside the dress so you can easily see the curve of the arm hole. This will make it easier to cut the same shape with your fabric for your new dress.
- Fold your fabric making sure the stretch goes from left to right. Cut around the ready to wear dress leaving a 3/8″ seam allowance. Do this for the front of the dress as well as the back of the dress. Make sure your head opening is big enough to fit over your child’s head.
- Repeat for the sleeves
- Take your scrap fabric for your heart (making sure it is large enough to fit your heart template and an approximately 3/8″ seam allowance) and cut along the same angle as the dress
- You should now have a dress front and back, two sleeves and heart fabric
- Make sure you install your stretch needle and turn your machine to your “lightning bolt” stitch or stretch stitch. On my machine it is stitch #3
- With RST pin the shoulders and sew using a 3/8″ seam allowance
- Finish your seams with your serger (optional since the edges of knit fabric does not need finishing)
- Lay the dress front and back with right side up. Fold one of the sleeves in half and find the middle. Pin the middle of the sleeve to the shoulder seam with RST. Finish pinning the sleeve to the dress and sew. It is okay to slightly stretch the fabric in order for it to fit.
- Repeat with the other sleeve
- With RST pin the sleeve and dress front and back and sew
- Repeat on the other side
- With RST pin and sew the fabric for the heart
- Place your heart template on your fabric making sure you place it where you would like it to be sewn onto your dress. I wanted my heart just barely extending to the back of my dress so I have my side seam to the right side of my heart.
- Cut out your heart leaving approximately 3/8″ seam allowance
- Place your scrap woven fabric on top of the right side of your dress. Pin the heart template to the top layer of your dress only. Make sure you place your heart exactly where your cut out fabric heart will go. I folded the side of my heart template where the seam is on the fabric heart to make sure I lined up the seam of the heart with the seam of the dress perfectly.
- With a fabric pen trace around the heart template and sew on the line using a straight stitch. You could also leave your heart template pinned to your dress and sew just to the right of the template making sure not to sew the template to the dress. Make sure you are only sewing through one layer of the dress.
- Cut out the center of your heart making sure you don’t cut the back of your dress. Clip the corners and curves.
- pull the scrap fabric through the center of the heart and pin to the wrong side of the dress. Try your best to not stretch the fabric while pinning to keep the original shape of the heart. Sew the scrap fabric down using about a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Cut the excess fabric off as close to the stitches as possible without cutting through the dress.
- Finish the edges on your heart with your serger or using a zig zap stitch. Place the heart over the heart opening and pin to the dress making sure to pin through only one layer of the dress. Turn the dress right side out and top stitch around the heart making sure not to stretch the heart as you go so it keeps its shape.
- Measure your neckline
- Cut a strip of your fabric the same length as your neckline and 1.5″ to make a neck binding. Make sure the stretch of the fabric goes from left to right.
- Fold in half RST so the short ends are together and sew.
- Find the middle of the back neckline and pin the seam from your neck binding you just cut out. Finish pinning all the way across the neckline. Sew using your “lightning bolt” stitch.
- Fold the neck binding under halfway and then fold under again and pin and sew.
- Your neckline should now look like this.
- Fold your hem up 1/2″ and then again another 1/2″ and sew.
- Repeat this process for both sleeves
- You are FINISHED!! Enjoy your adorable new dress! Wear it just as it is in the warmer months or pair it with some leggings in the cooler months. It also makes the PERFECT Valentine’s Day dress without being too over the top.
Here are some photos of my girls wearing their new dresses. They love them! The super cute fedora my daughter is wearing was made from the E&E Fedora Hat pattern!
I hope you love these dresses as much as my daughters and I do! Happy sewing!