You can find the pattern HERE. Word of warning this pattern was a bit big for Evie. I would say it very well might be perfect for an almost 2 year old who is on the small side, otherwise known as a regular 18 month old haaa!
What you need:
1.5 yards of fabric
1/3 yard for a belt (optional)
2 short lengths of elastic for arm bands
1 longer length for around the waist
After you have cut out the piece from the pattern you are going to need to cut out 2 rectangular skirt pieces. These will be exactly the same size. You need to determine how long you want your dress to be and how much you want it to gather with the elastic. My waist ended up being 28 and the length changed a few times after trying it on her, hemming it etc. so I don't have an exact measurement sorry :) Once you have your skirt pieces cut out you can set them aside. We are going to make the top first. Take your 4 front bodice pieces. Lay them in pairs with right sides facing each other. You are now going to sew along the neckline and down the 90 degree angle. Do not worry about the shoulders or the arm portion. Once done you are going to flip them right side out. Now I topstitched what I just sewed EXCEPT on the straight down portion I topstitched almost an inch back from the edge, giving that part of the bodice a little more bulk and definition. You should now have two pieces that look like this:
Now take your two back bodice pieces. Place them right sides together and sew along the neckline. Turn right side out and topstitch. I gathered mine a bit because I could tell already it was going to be to big, you don't have to do this unless you need to :)
We are now going to attach the front bodice pieces to the back along the side edge. I wanted my front pieces to overlap just at the bottom edges so I kept that in mind when pinning the back to them. Once you have them pinned where you would like sew along the two side edges.
Set this part aside and grab your 4 sleeve pieces. Lay two of the sleeve pieces right side together. Sew along the straight bottom edge.
Now flip the sleeves right sides out and press. Topstitch what you just sewed. Now you are going to make a little pocket for your elastic. Line your sewing machines foot up with the topstitch line you just created. Sew a straight line from one side to the other. Repeat this process only this time matching your foot up with the line you JUST created.
Now you can take the thin pieces of elastic, attach them to a safety pin and feed them through the little pocket you made, gathering the sleeve in the process.
Now fold your sleeve in half, right sides together, matching up the two ends of elastic and sew down the side, making sure to back and forth a few times as you sew over the elastic. Turn your sleeve right side out and voila!
Repeat with the other sleeve. Once you have two sleeves you will need to attach them to your bodice. Line up the seems right sides together and sew all the way around the raw edge. (I am sorry I totally forgot to take a pic of this step ek!) It is starting to look like something no? Now I wanted a nicer finished edge on the neck but didn't want a floppy collar or anything. So I made one of my useful bands that I am ALWAYS making. If you need directions on how to make this you can read HERE. Essentially cut a long strip of fabri and iron over the raw edges. Then fold the atrip in half lengthwise and iron so you now have two long finished edges. Take your long strip and measure it to the neck of the dress. Trim the strip so that it is a little longer then the neck, then iron in the ends so you have finished edges on either end.
Take your strip and you are going to slide the neckline of your dress up into it, matching the two finished ends with the edge of both pieces. Pin it around. Now you are going to topstitch as close to the edge as possible all the way around. Do this slowly. You want to make sure all 3 layers are being sewn together. Also the closer to the edge you sew the nicer the collar will lay. This can be tricky though so take your time.
At this point I tried it on Evie and found the waist was going to be big so I made two little darts in the front
Take your two skirt pieces and lay them one on top of the other. Right sides facing up. Now fold them in half widthwise so that you have 4 raw edges together. Sew up this side.
Now flip this skirt portion inside out. Slide it up over the bodice you made so that right sides are facing each other and the raw edges line up. Put the seam you just made in the back. Pin all the way around
Now sew all the way around the raw edge, connecting the skirt to the top. Once you are done flip the skirt so that everything is right sides out. Topstitch what you just sewed. Now once again line your foot up with the line you just sewed and sew around creating a little pocket for the waist elastic.
Flip your dress inside out. Unpick ever so slightly the back skirt seam where you created your pocket so that you are able to feed your elastic through.
Feed it through all the way around. Sew the two ends of elastic together and let them slide back into the "pocket". hand stitch up the little hole if you like. Turn your dress right side out.
Now attach three buttons on one side of the collar. I did not making corresponding button holes but you are more then welcome too. Laying there just does not do this dress justice. It is so cute!
I especially love adding the little sash in olive green. Out of the scraps from the dress and some scraps from Finn's tie I made Evie a little clip in an attempt to tie everything together.
I am absolutely going to make this dress in a slue of colors and maybe just maybe even use some of my precious patterned fabric :)