Fat Quarter Friday {The Dahlia Dresses}

This week for Fat Quarter Friday I thought it would be fun to share with you my favorite use for fat quarters lately…dresses. And more specifically pillowcase and peasant dresses. I made these two dresses the other day to participate in Pattern Remix Challenge over at Me Sew Crazy. How many of you are following along? Isn’t Jessica great and how lucky are her little girls?! I mean really, they are the best dressed girls I have ever seen and all of their outfits were made with love from their momma! Seriously that momma has some mad sewing skills as well as being one of the sweetest girls in blog land!

If you get a chance head on over and check it out the series, she has had some amazing guests.

So when it came time to remix a pattern I new I was going to remix the infamous peasant and pillowcase dress. Mostly because I don’t know any other patterns as well as these and also because my two girls are only one size apart right now. So these types of dresses make it possible for my girls to share both dresses…LOVE that! I used a pattern that I purchased a few years ago from Whimsy Couture (which are great) but there are also a ton of free tutorials out there as well. Here is a great tutorial for making a pillowcase dress and here is a good one for making a peasant dress. Due to copyright reasons I will not be able to show you the measurements and the templates that I used to cut out my dresses, so you will be following your pattern to give you those and then once you have determined how to measure and cut out your pieces then that is when I mix things up a little with my dresses and can start showing you step by step how I did it.
So who wants to learn how I remixed the peasant dress and pillowcase dress into these sweet little Dahlia Dresses?
So lets start with the peasant dress and I will walk you through the basic changes that I made in order to make my Dahlia Peasant Dress.

The Dahlia Peasant Dress Tutorial
Here is what you will need:
*Cotton knit fabric (2 fq or more depending on size of child)
*elastic (refer to pattern for amount)
*fabric scraps for making flower embellishment
*button for flower embellishment
*basic pattern for a peasant dress

When cutting out your fabric for the peasant dress make sure that the knit cotton fabric is cut so that the dress stretches width-wise when pulled. In order to make the edges lettuce ruffled they need to be stretched. So once all of your pieces are cut out, sew the sleeves on and sew the sides of the dress together. Now take the raw edges on the sleeves, neckline and bottom of the dress and sew them using a lettuce edge ruffled trim. Here is a great tutorial on how to make a lettuce edge ruffle if you need one. It really is easy to do and it makes the cutest little ruffles.
All the edges should now be ruffled.
Now take the top of the dress and fold down about 1 1/2″ and pin in place. Normally you would fold the unfinished edges the other way to hide them, but you don’t want to hide the pretty ruffled edges on this dress.
Sew around top of dress using the ruffled edge as the guide and place the left side of your foot on the ruffled edge. Make sure you leave a 1″ opening to feed elastic through. Cut elastic per length determined in your pattern.
Feed elastic through neckline hole and sew up seam.
Pretty easy right? Now skip down a bit to see how I made the cute little dahlia flower.

So now I will show you how I made changes to the pillowcase dress.

The Dahlia Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

Here is what you will need:
*cotton knit fabric (about 2 fq or more depending on size of child)
*1 fq cotton fabric for ties and bias tape for arms
*elastic (refer to pattern for amount)
*button for dahlia embellishment

Cut out your pillowcase dress per pattern direction, just make sure that you cut out the fabric so that is stretches width-wise. You need to make sure that the bottom hem and neckline stretch in order to make the lettuce edged ruffle trim. Now that you have your two pieces cut out sew them together at the sides, right sides facing. Now use the lettuce edge ruffled trim technique on the bottom hem line and the neckline, do not do the arm holes. Those will be covered up with bias tape. Here is a tutorial on how to make a lettuce edge ruffled trim if you need one.
Now that your edges are ruffled, make some bias tape out of one of the fat quarters. Measure the length of the arm hole to determine how long to make it.
Pin bias tape onto arm hole and sew in place.

Now repeat with other arm hole. Once those are finished fold down the top of the dress about 1 1/2″ and pin in place like shown. Repeat with the back piece.
Sew in place by placing the left edge of your foot even with the ruffle trim.
Now make your tie with the remaining fabric or use a ribbon. I made my tie about 30″ long.
Slide tie through the front and back of dress and make sure tie is lined up on one shoulder. Put on your little one and tie in place.

Now that the dresses are finished gather your remaining scraps and lets sew on those pretty little dahlia flowers.

Adding dahlia flowers to the dresses:

Using your scraps cut out some pieces like above. The two biggest sizes will be used on the pillowcase dress while the smaller pieces will be used on the peasant dress. Cut out about 10 pieces of each size.
Line up your petals to get an idea of how you want your layout to look.
Now take one petal and sew in place on the dress. Keep overlapping each petal a little until you have a dahlia flower. Then add a button in the middle.
If you have more scraps why not make a little lettuce edge ruffled trim headband too.

So whatcha think? Is this a great way to remix the infamous pillowcase and peasant dress? Got a great remix idea of your own? Make sure you head over to Me Sew Crazy to enter to win some great goodies and while your there make sure you check out all of the amazing remixes that have been shared. Thanks Jessica for a great series and for inspiring us with your amazing creativity!

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  1. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    You are so sweet! Those are such kind words – just made my day :)

    And you know how I feel about these dresses already – I LOVE them!!! They look so nice and comfy, I want one for me – lol.

  2. So CUTE!!!

  3. ZiaMaria says:

    This looks like a couple of fun projects, you sold me with the adorable pictures, sweet.

    Thank you for taking the time to share.

  4. Ahhh… I want to squeeze those girls. They're just too adorable. Cute dresses!

  5. I so wish I had little girls so I could do this!

  6. Gorgeous girls and divine dresses :) I love love love it!! :)

  7. elizabeth says:

    I seriously love Fat Quarter Friday. And I LOVE how you put the casing on the OUTSIDE of that pillowcase dress….you are genius.

  8. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [11 Jun 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  9. Super cute!

  10. Aubrey Leong says:

    These are so sweet!! Thanks for sharing!


  11. sweet european dreams says:

    thanks SEW much for sharing this tutorial! I can't follow a pattern to save my life, but a good tutorial goes a long way with me! my daughter will love this! -diane

  12. adorable!

  13. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    The judges chose this as one of the top Ten in the Pattern Remix Challenge. Now its time to vote :)


    Good luck!

  14. Kayla A. says:

    These dresses are danged adorable! I made a pillowcase dress a few months ago for my niece and it turned out… weird. I definitely think I might have to try your version!

  15. Sew Stella says:

    Great job!!! I am still alive and checking in occasionally–just hired some neighborhood girls to come play w my little ones 2x/week, so I should be updating and sewing again soon… probably not in that order!!!

  16. Great tutorial… I'll have to have a go at this for sure!


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