Saturday, July 9, 2011

Luau dress Tutorial!!

This past week I did a guest post over at The Country Chic Cottage for the Beach Bash, but in case you missed it here it is! This dress is a girl size knock off of this American Girl dolls dress. ( I really love all of the dolls dresses!) I fell in love with this dress over the winter and wanted one for Sweet pea too.
This dress has a comfy halter knit top and a light breezy skirt nice for a hot summer day at the beach!

Without further ado here is the tutorial!

**what you will need**
1/4 -1/2 yard of a light weight knit fabric
1/2 - 1 yard of flower print fabric
1/2 - 1 yard of solid coordinating fabric

Step 1; cutting out your pieces!
*halter top,
This will be a rectangle fabric piece. Measure the chest of your little girl and subtract 2" from this. (mine was 20"  so the measurement I will use is 18") The knit fabric stretches so by taking off the 2" will make the top fit nice and snug. The next measurement for the top you will need to measure from the underarm area to the bottom of the waist and double this measurement. (mine is 5" double is 10") next add 3/4" to this. (10 3/4")
So  cut out a 18"x 10 3/4" piece of knit fabric.
* halter ties,
cut out a 2"x 24" piece of knit fabric ( for older girls you can make this longer)
*Solid skirt fabric
measure the waist and (x) this by 1.75 for the width (mine was 17" x 1.75= 29.75")
for the lentgh measure from the waist to just below the knees. add 7/8" to this. cut two
*for flower fabric skirt
same as above but take 2" off the bottom measurement.
cut 2
*for the flower ruffle
measure the waist and x this by 2. (34") x 3" wide
cut 2

**Sew in a 3/8" seam allowance**

Step 2; take the top tie fabric and fold the outsides to the center and press. Now fold the piece in half and press. (just like bias tape)

Step 3; Sew a straight line down the open side of the tie using a 1/8" seam allowance.

Step 4; fold the halter piece in half so it makes a skinny long rectangle and mark the center top (where the fold is).

Open up fabric.

Step 5; Fold the tie in half and pin just below the center mark. (the center mark is where the blue pin is at) Stitch in place. This is the right side of the fabric. Where the tie is sewn will be on the inside of the top.

Step 6; Fold the halter top in half from the chest measurements with right sides together. (the tie will be on the inside when pinned together. Sew together. I sewed mine together using my seger but if you don't have one you can sew it using a small zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

Turn right side out with seam in the back. The stitching for the ties are on the inside of the bodice.
Step 7; Take the two skirt pieces and place right sides together, pinning at the short end. Stitch then serge or zig zag stitch the edges. press open.

The bottom hem is a narrow hem, to make this press under a 1/4", then press under again a 1/4". Stitch the hem in place. Repeat with the solid skirt and the ruffle pieces.

Step 8; Pin the solid skirt to the flower skirt at the top.

Step 9; run a gathering stitch 1/4" on the top edge of the

Place over the top of the flower skirt and gather. pin in place. stitch all three fabrics together. Now run a gathering stitch on the top of your skirt sandwich. When I did this I put my machine on a wide zig zag stitch with a very loose tension.

Step 10; Pin the skirt to the halter top with right sides together, matching the front center of the skirt to the front center of the halter top and match up the back center of the skirt to the halter back seam. When gathering the skirt be sure that the side seams of the skirt are on the sides of the halter top.
Sew in place using a zig zag stitch.  Serge the raw egdes of the skirt. If you don't have a serger sew a line 1/8" from the previous line then zig zag the raw edges. That's it!

Now that you are done it's time to enjoy your dress at the beach!




  1. So pretty, I might just have to try and make one for my baby!

  2. So cute...and perfect for the beach! I love the fabrics you chose.

  3. cute lovely photos I have a one gran-daughter and I can see her in this too

  4. So cute and comfy looking! I am saving this to try later, thanks!

  5. Thanks for sharing my sister Beach Basher!! I featured you today!

  6. lovely dress. thank you for the detailed tutorial!


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