Our family's theme for this Halloween is Peter Pan. My kids love the movie and were so excited to get to dress up as characters from Peter Pan.
My 5 year old daughter wanted to be Wendy Darling and couldn't wait for me to make her dress. I wanted to find an easy pattern of a dress that could be pulled over her head and didn't require a zipper or button closure.
I found Simplicity pattern 1722, and with a few modifications it made a very cute and easy Wendy dress.
She loves it, and I love how easy it was to make.
Step 1: Supplies
-Simplicity Pattern 1722- I made and modified Dress A. Watch for sales, Simplicity patterns regularly go on sale for 99 cents at JoAnn Fabrics.
-Light Blue Fabric- measure the person for whom you are making this dress, and look at the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope to decide how much fabric you need. I bought 2 yards of light blue cotton fabric.
-Matching light blue all purpose thread.
-1/4 inch Elastic- enough for the neck and arms of the dress. I used about 1 yard of elastic for my daughter's dress.
-Blue Ribbon- for waist tie, and hair bow
Step 2: Cutout Fabric
My 5 year old daughter is normal height for a 5 year old, but very slender, so I cut out a size 3 dress, but to the length of the size 5 dress.
-Find and cut out pattern pieces 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (4 and 5 are for measuring the elastic, I didn't end up using these, I used my own measurements). If the pattern pieces have a lot of wrinkles that make it hard for the pattern to lay flat, you can iron the pieces flat. Mine were pretty flat, so I just used them how they were.
-Lay your fabric on a flat surface, folded in half lengthwise with the selvage touching.
-Following the diagram in the pattern for the width of your fabric, lay out your pattern pieces on the fabric. I had enough fabric that I was able to lay mine out in an easier way with piece 3 under piece 2.
-Lay pieces 1 and 2 along the fold. Depending on which direction you are facing piece 1, or piece 2 will need to be turned over to lay on the fold.
-Pin pattern pieces in place on the fabric and cut out the fabric along the dark edge line.
-Cut a notch at each triangle marking, this will help in matching the pieces up correctly when pinning them together.
-Lay piece 3 with the grain line parallel to the fold edge and selvage of the fabric. To make sure it's running parallel measure from one end on the grain line on the patter to the folded edge or selvage of the fabric. Then measure from the other end of the grain line to the fold or selvage. If it is parallel, the two measurements will be the same. If they aren't the same, adjust the pattern piece until the are.
-For piece 3 I added a little extra to the bottom of the pattern to make the sleeve a little longer.
-Pin piece 3 to the fabric and cut out on the dark line. Make notches where it has the small triangle marks.
Step 3: Sew the Dress
-Lay fabric pieces 1 and 2 on to of each other with the right sides facing in and wrong sides facing out (a.k.a. Right sides together).
-Pin the sides of the dress, making sure to match up the notches.
-Sew a 5/8 inch seam down both side edges of the dress.
-Iron both seams open.
Step 4: Sew Sleeves
-Fold one of the sleeves in half with the right side together and matching up the underarm edges.
-Sew a 5/8 inch seam down the underarm edge. Do the same thing to the other sleeve.
-Iron the underarm seam open.
-Fold up the bottom of the sleeve 1/4 inch toward the inside and iron.
-Fold up again 1/2 inch and iron. (So it should be double folded.)
-Sew around the bottom of the sleeve 3/8 inch from the bottom edge leaving a 1-2 inch opening where you start and stop. This will create a casing for the elastic.
-Turn the dress inside out, and turn the sleeve right side out. Put the sleeve inside the dress so that the right side of the sleeve, and the right side of the dress are touching each other.
-Pin the sleeves to the dress around the armholes, and sew a 5/8 inch seam along the armhole.
Step 5: Sew the Neck Casing and Hem
-Fold the neck edge 1/4 inch and iron.
-Fold over another 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch and iron.
-Sew around the neck 3/8 inch from the neck edge creating the casing. Make sure to leave a 2 inch opening at the beginning and end so you can put the elastic in.
-Fold the bottom edge 1/4 inch and iron.
-Fold it over again 3/8 inch to 1 inch (your choice, I did 3/8 inch for a small rolled hem) and iron.
-Sew around the bottom of the dress close to the inside fold leaving an opening of about 1-2 inches at the beginning and end.
Step 6: Add the Elastic
-Cut neck elastic using pattern piece 4 (or cut to your own liking).
-Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it into the neck casing where you left the opening. Thread the elastic through the whole casing and out the other opening of the neck casing.
-Pin the two ends of elastic together and try the dress on the person for whom you are sewing it. Adjust the elastic so it fits how you want it to. Re-pin it and have them take it off.
-Sew the two ends of elastic together where you pinned them, and put the seamed elastic inside the neck casing.
-Sew the neck casing opening closed. I also sewed a line to indicate where the back of the dress is.
-Follow the instructions above for adding the elastic to the sleeves.
-Cut sleeve elastic using pattern piece 5, or measure the person's upper arms and add a couple inches to get your measurement for the sleeve elastic.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
-Cut a long piece of blue ribbon for the waist tie, and a shorter piece of ribbon for the hair bow.
-Run a match flame along the cut edges of the ribbon to melt them so they don't fray.
-Put on the dress with the ribbon around the waist and tie the other ribbon in a bow around a ponytail, and Ta-Da, it's Wendy!