Poppy Play Dress: 30 Days of Sundress Series | Occasionally Crafty: Poppy Play Dress: 30 Days of Sundress Series

Monday, June 3

Poppy Play Dress: 30 Days of Sundress Series

Welcome Melly Sews readers!  I'm thrilled to be part of the 30 Days of Sundresses!  I hope you'll take a few minutes and look around my blog when you're done checking out my sundress.  My sister Laura and I love making all sorts of things and sharing them with you- so there is bound to be something fun you'll like!

Today I am sharing the Poppy Play Dress.

This is based on a Simplicity Pattern- Pattern A1647.

There are some amazing seamstresses coming up in this series- and while I love to sew, I would not call my self amazing.  I need a pattern to work from or I am hopeless!  I know many of you readers are the same.  So, check out the pattern and get to work!

If you are an amazing seamstress, this pattern is quite simple to replicate on your own.  It consists of a front curved bodice, two straps that are gathered at each end and in the middle, a straight elastic-back bodice, and of course, a skirt front and back.  Both the front and back bodices have facing.

Because this dress is based on a pattern, I'm not going to give you a step by step tutorial.  The directions found in the pattern are easy to follow (which you know isn't always the case!)  So here is a basic overview, along with some spots I wanted to make sure to show in pictures.

First off, measure your child.  My daughter is 8 years old, but is so tall and skinny that I had to cut a size 6, then add length to each skirt piece.  I also chose to shorten the straps by about an inch to make it higher in the front.  

Once your pieces are cut, start assembling them per pattern instructions.  The front skirt is gathered, then attached to the bodice front.

The bodice back is then assembled.  When you are finished, you'll have your straps sewn nicely in between the bodice back and the back facing.  Following the pattern directions, sew casing for the elastic.

This pattern requires two elastic pieces.  Have you ever tried to feed a 2nd piece of elastic through a casing when it is already bunched up?  Don't!  Do them both at the same time!  I attach a safety pin to the ends of my elastic

then carefully feed both pieces of elastic through the casings together.  

I pull on one, then the other.  When you get to the end, baste the elastic in place.

Sew the bodice back to the skirt back.  I know, I know- in the pattern you're supposed to do this BEFORE you do the elastic.  But I wanted just a slight gather in the back as well, so I pinned the bodice back to the back skirt at the notches, then pulled the bodice back taut as I sewed them together.

Worked great! :)

Now this part is a little tricky to visualize.  We need to attach the straps before we add the front facing.  Right sides together, pin the straps to the bodice front, matching small dots.  This is what it should look like.  I didn't feel the pattern was very clear telling you which side of the bodice the straps should be placed.

Sew the straps in place.  Then add the front facing to the bodice front on top of the straps- right sides together.  Sew, flip facing out, and understitch.  (All directions in pattern).

Then, you're supposed to flip the front facing OVER the back of the dress before you sew up the side seams.  My poor little non-seamstress brain could not figure out the purpose of this craziness!  It took me some time to figure out that DUH- your facing needs to be sewn into the side seams too!  So just trust the directions and do what they say.  Novel concept, right?

Just make sure to match up the notches in the facing with the ones in the side of the bodice pieces.   Then sew up those side seams.

The last thing to do is fit the dress, make adjustments, and hem.  I wanted the sundress to be just above her knees, so I gave it the smallest rolled hem possible.

I love how it turned out.  This is a quick project, and she'll be able to play in it all summer long.

Then when fall comes (assuming it still fits my quickly-growing daughter!) she can transition the dress with a little shrug and boots.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts on this pattern.  This is a great place to start if you want a cute sundress but are still working on your sewing skills.  I also have plans to use the bodice and strap pieces, but make a maxi skirt for the bottom!  It should be really cute!

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to visit Melly Sews again tomorrow to find out what the next awesome dress will be!

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  1. I LOVE that dress! What a gorgeous little model, too! Thanks for the mini tutorial!!

    Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns

  2. Love the Mini tutorial any little bit helps us pattern using girls.... LOL
    Your daughter is definitely model material if the business wasn't so cruel!!!! Precious

    1. Oh- that's so nice of you to say! Yeah- I think she's too sensitive to ever get into that stuff, but I love using her as my little model!
      Thanks for taking the time comment!

  3. Such a cute dress, and your daughter is a cutie too!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I appreciate you taking the time to come in and comment here too!

  4. So adorable - thanks for participating!

  5. You said the dress is based on a pattern, where can I get the pattern? This is an easy Tutorial to follow, thanks for the great lesson. Your daughter is a beautiful little model, she makes the dress shine.

    1. Daisey- I got the pattern at Walmart, actually. But since it is Simplicity, you should be able to find it at Joann Fabric, Hobby Lobby, etc. Good luck- and thanks for your kind comments!

  6. That's adorable! And she'll totally be able to wear it with leggings/tights and a cardigan once it's cooler.

  7. This may sound really stupid :( But I have the pattern and was searching for how to sew it since I am new to sewing. Could you please explain how to gather the front of the dress and the straps. Thanks :)

    1. Amy- I hope you see this since you are a no-reply commenter (ie I can't email you back!)
      An easy way to gather is to set your stitch length as long as it will go (called a basting stitch). Leave the ends long, then sew as directed. Make sure not to backstitch at either end. When you are finished, pull on the bobbin thread, and the material will gather. Go slowly, and just pull a little at a time, then spread the gathers out evenly until the fabric pieces is the length you need.

      If you are just a touch more daring, you can also gather by setting your machine's tension (mine is a numbered dial that you turn) to the tightest/highest it will go, then again making your stitch length the longest it will go. As you sew the gathering stitch, the fabric will automatically gather for you. You then just have to even it out and make sure it is gathered to the right length.

      I hope that helps. There are some easy visual tutorials out there if you google it or search on Pinterest. And if you leave me your email address I can answer any other questions you might have. Good luck!

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