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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Girl's Halter Top Sundress Tutorial

I'm excited to be sharing my Girl's Halter Top Sundress Tutorial with you today!  

My friend, Melissa from Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), is hosting her ever popular series of 30 Days of Sundresses, and I get to play this year!

I had no trouble deciding exactly what sundress I wanted to make for this series.  In fact, I've been wanting to make this halter sundress since earlier this summer when I participated in Elegance & Elephants Knock-it-Off Series.  You see, my Girl's Halter Top Sundress is my version of the Halter  Dress from Kelly's Kids, but I made it for a fraction of the cost!

Halter Dress from Kelly's Kids
For my Girl's Halter Top Sundress Tutorial, you can make a size 5T version using the measurements and details I have provided.  However, you could easily make one in any size if you have a peasant top or pillowcase dress pattern in your child's size plus this circle skirt tutorial from Made.  

Here we go!

Download the Armhole Cutout Pattern Piece (affiliate link).  Fold the Front Bodice piece so it is now 15" x 9" and align the armhole cutout pattern piece straight edges with the open edges of the bodice (not on the fold).  Trim away these pieces of fabric to form the armhole openings for the halter top.

Next, finish the Tie by following the directions in the picture below, then complete the Back Bodice as described.

Before you press and sew the casing for the Tie on the Front Bodice, either hem the armhole openings with a 1/4" hem or trim the opening with bias tape.  I did the latter.  I cut strips of fabric 2" wide x 12" long for each side and pressed to make double fold bias.  I then sewed each bias strip onto the armhole opening to encase the raw edge.  Trim off any excess length of bias before proceeding.

Once you've finished the armhole openings, then create the casing for the Tie by following the instructions below.

To create the skirt of the Girl's Halter Top Sundress for a size 5T, I used one yard of fabric.  First, fold the fabric so the selvedges are lined up.  Next, fold the yard of fabric in half so the length is now 18" long x the width of the fabric.  You'll have a fold on the left and at the bottom while the top and right side are open.  Now trim the excess fabric from across the top so you create an 18" x 18" square.  Take your ruler and mark a radius of 18" from the folded corner of your box.  Alternatively, rig a marking pen or pencil to a piece of string and mark the 18" radius by firmly holding the string at the folded corner while marking the fabric from the bottom right edge up and to the left to meet the top left corner of the fabric square.  Trim along this line.

Using either method above, mark and cut out the fabric for the skirt top as instructed below.

If you choose to make a size other than the 5T, you'll need to determine the radius of the circle to cut out for the waist opening.  To do that, wait until you've completely assembled the bodice, then measure the length of the front plus the back bodice at the bottom (this will be circumference).  Take that number and divide it by 6.28 (which is 2 x Pi).  The resulting number will be the radius of the small circle to cut out for the waist.

Now all that remains is to run the Tie through the Bodice casing and hem the skirt.  I am not fond of pressing curved hems, so I opted to used a package of narrow double fold bias tape.  It is very important to calculate the yardage of bias tape you'll need before you begin.  For the 5T version like I made, approximately 113 inches or 3.14 yards of bias tape are needed.

And there you have it!  A lovely Girl's Halter Top Sundress just perfect for twirling in the summer sun!

Ella loves wearing this dress, and I think it looks so feminine and sophisticated on her!  She looks ready for Sunday brunch!

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you'll decide to come back again.  I'd love to have you follow along through Bloglovin' (just click the button below) or any of the other social media links shown at the top right of the blog page.  Also, be sure to check out my giveaway and a special coupon offer for clothing size and care labels.  Giveaway ends at midnight CST on June 18th.

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And for more great, free sundress tutorials, follow along with the 30 Days of Sundresses Series at Melly Sews!  Thanks again, Melissa, for inviting me!

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  1. A completely gorgeous dress! well done

  2. Love this sewn with the polka dots, Veronica. I've pinned this one...

  3. Yay!!!! This dress is awesome! Great tutorial and I love the pics around the fountain!

  4. Great job, Veronica! I think I want a circle skirt for myself on a sundress. Thanks for participating!

  5. Love the twirl of a circle skirt! Very sweet dress.

  6. Excellent directions. Thank you. I would really appreciate it if your directions were downloadable in a pdf format. Makes it economical to print.. I can't bring my computer to my sewing area and at my age, memorizing the directions just isn't an option. Thanks

    1. Glad you like the free tutorial, Maureen! You should be able to print out the entire post, but it will also print the ads and comments. Another option for you is to highlight the items you want to print, copy them, and paste them into Notepad or a Word document to print. Thanks again!

  7. Thank you for sharing this beautiful dress! I made it as a birthday gift this weekend, and the birthday girl LOVED it (especially the "twirliness" of the skirt!) The only difficulty I ran into was that my front bodice was around 2" too long to line up with the back piece correctly- but a quick trim and all was fine!

    1. I'm so pleased to hear the birthday girl loved her new dress! As far as the bodice length, do you mean the distance from the cutout to the bottom or the measurement across the front? I've never had anyone report a problem with either measurement before, but I will definitely double check it the next time I sew one up. Thanks!

    2. It was the distance from the cutout to the bottom, though I was sewing late into the night, so it could have very well been an error on my end! I'll have another chance at it though, because my niece saw me showing off pictures of the dress, and has now requested one for herself :) I'm posting pictures of the completed dress on Craftsy now!

    3. Please let me know if you encounter the same issue again! Also, where on Craftsy did you post the pictures of your completed dress? I don't see them under the pattern as a completed project. If you want, just email me directly at sewvery (at) gmail (dot) com. Thx!

    4. I posted it under the completed projects- you should be able to see it now! I will definitely let you know how round #2 turns out :)

  8. This dress is adorable!! Thank you for the detailed tutorial. Has anybody tried this with knit fabric? I have some cute knit fabric that I'd love to try this dress with, but I'm not sure how it would turn out.


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