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The beginner sewist - super simple sundress

I've been on a bit of a roll with my sewing journey the last few weeks.

Straight after finishing my skirt I picked up more

gifted fabric from Lindsey (How lucky am I!?!) And started a dress. This time I made a cropped version of the Night Garden PJ top and then added a rectangle for the skirt and elastic under the bust to pull it all in. It is a great make for a beginner sewist as there are minimal seams, no pockets and no zippers. And if you haven't noticed yet I do opt for super simple clothes. This is probably due to my beginner skill level, but also that is actually what I like to wear. I'm at the beach year round or checking out all the latest playgrounds with the kids or ferrying them to activities. So to be perfectly honest I like cool, easy, summery clothing. And I know I'm going against the grain here but....

...I do NOT LIKE pockets!!!

To me I see pockets as added bulk and somewhere the kids will then stash their 'treasures'. No thanks!

Anyway, back to the make. In truth I messed up what was supposed to be the front. I wanted it as a V neck, however I didn't consider the facing and seam allowance etc and it just didn't work, so the front panel became the back and where I had attempted it but failed got covered up by a nice big label 😂

Then when putting it all together I realised that I should have also lengthened the crop top section by another 1". I'm still happy enough with this make, but I'll definitely change that for the next make. Oh and just as I sit back to admire my finished dress I notice the big issue....the straps have been sewn on twisted!!!! So I unpicked the topstitching on the back of the dress where the strap was connected, corrected the strap position and topstitched over it all again, doing a few extra stitches each side and making sure I had backstitched too, so hopefully it won't all fall apart now! What a newbie error!

Here comes the overview:

  1. Use the Night Garden PJ top pattern, but shorten to crop length. Don't bother hemming it but I did use the overlocker on the bottom.

  2. Use a rectangle piece of fabric to your preferred length to create the skirt. I measured under my bust (as that's where it was going to sit and then added a couple of inches for the width.)

  3. Sew up the seams and overlock or zigzag the edge.

  4. Measure and cut elastic (this time I took my under bust measurement and reduced it by 2" for the elastic measurement.)

  5. Fold down top of skirt by approx 1", then iron. Fold down again and iron again. This is to create the 'tunnel' for the elastic. Sew this fold down right at the bottom but make sure you leave a gap to thread through the elastic.

  6. Insert elastic (I attach a safety pin at one end and start threading through.)

  7. Once elastic ends meet overlap them and sew to secure.

  8. Close up the gap

  9. Match the top bottom and skirt top right sides together and sew along the elastic to secure to top. Make sure to pull the elastic whilst sewing it, and don't forget to quarter it and pin in place first so that you get an even amount of elastic all the way round!

  10. Hem the skirt

  11. You should be done!

As a beginner I always think after a make that I should just stick to the original pattern and not change things up, but I just can't help it. And getting creative with our own clothes is what sewing is all about, right? What do you think? What is your favourite type of garment to make? Something quick and easy or prefer to be challenged?


Hey y'all!

Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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