It’s been very, very cold here in NYC and while I want little miss M to be cozy and comfortable in her clothes, I sometimes wish those cozy clothes could be something a little more exciting and stylish than sweatpants and sweatshirts.
Fleece is soft and warm, somewhat stain resistant, and easy to sew since you don’t have to finish your seams. All great reasons to sew a fleece dress, so I came up with the Chic and Cozy Fleece Dress.
It’s comfortable to play in because it’s short and has a looser fit, it’s intended to be worn with warm leggings and it even has pockets!
We will need:
- The bow&bubble dress pattern that we drafted last time, or, if you happen to be sewing a size 3/4 you can download my pattern here.
- Paper (a few small pieces, one large piece, recycled, up cycled, green…whatever you have on hand, really)
- Pencil, eraser and marker
- Fleece fabric (the kind that stretches)
We begin with the front piece. Mark a line, 1″ away from the paper edge, place the bow&bubble dress front pattern piece on the line and trace the neck line
Mark a line a 1/4″ from the first line and shift the pattern piece to the right. Re-trace the neck line. Trace the shoulder, armhole, side seam and hem line.
Mark a line a 1/4″ to the right of the side seam
and extend the armhole to match
Now smooth out the new, extended neckline. If, like me, you like to “clean-up” your final pattern, don’t erase the top 1/2″ of the line we marked 1″ from the edge.
Label your finished front pattern piece!
To create the back piece place the bow&bubble back pattern piece on the paper edge and trace the neckline
Now place the front pattern piece we just finished drafting on the paper, aligning the edge with the 1″ mark on the front piece, and trace around it
Your back piece is done! (easy, right?!)
For the sleeve, mark a line a a 1/4″ from the paper’s edge. Place the bow&bubble sleeve pattern piece on the line and trace around it(sorry about the blurry picture, it was the only one I took of this step).
Now shift the pattern piece a 1/4″ to the right and re-trace
Smooth out the lines, Label your pattern piece and you’re done –
We can now move on to cutting our fabric.
For this dress you will need to cut:
- 1 front piece – on the fold
- 1 black piece – on the fold
- 2 sleeve pieces – on the fold
- 4 pocket pieces (2 in each “direction”) – you can make the pockets in any fabric that you like, it doesn’t have to be fleece and it doesn’t have to be stretchy.
- A neckband piece: I’ve made this dress twice so far, with two different necklines. Since I love both of them I’ll include both in the tutorial so you can choose which one you would like to use.
For the pockets I asked my daughter to place her little hand on a piece of paper
and I traced around it to create a half heart shape
add some ease and seam allowance to your pocket
and you have your finished pocket piece
and 4 pocket pieces
on your front main piece mark the center point
measure and mark an inch on either side of the center front
fold and pin the front piece on the mark 1″ from the fold
mark the front piece 1″ down from the neckline and sew 1″ away from the fold, down to the 1″ line. The dotted line is where your seam should be.
pin down the pleat you just created,
and baste it in place
pin and sew at the shoulder seam
mark sleeve centers
and pin from the center out
sew the sleeves
on your front dress piece measure and mark about 3″ down from the armhole (this marks where you should place your pocket piece, so it’s a good idea to have your child place her hands into some imaginary pockets to make sure your pockets won’t be too high or too low, especially if you’re making a dress smaller than a size 2 or larger than a size 5).
measure and mark the same distance down from the other armhole. Repeat for the back piece. Pin all 4 pocket pieces to the dress, right sides facing.
sew the pockets to the dress along the edge.
press the pockets outward
and pin, matching front and back
sew around the pocket
pin and sew the side seams
cute finished pocket 🙂
fold the sleeves under 3/4″ and the hem 1 1/4″
sew the sleeves using a zig zag stitch to preserve it’s ability to stretch and the hem using a regular straight stitch
Moving on to the collar… our first option is an overlapped collar, inspired by this lovely “Split Cowl Collar” tutorial on off the cuff ~sewing style~
measure around the dress’ neckline. add 4-6″ to that number and cut a rectangle that length and 5-8″ high, depending how wide you would like the finished collar to be. For example, my neckline is 14″, so I added 6″ and got a 20″ length. I cut my rectangle 20″ long and 7″ high.
fold the rectangle lengthwise and pin both ends
top stitch around the collar (this step is optional, although it does help the collar lay flatter)
mark the center point of both the collar and the dress back
and overlap the two ends to create a circle the length of your neckline. Turn the dress inside out.
“drop” the collar into the dress’ neckline and shift the collar’s center point either to the right or to the left of the back center point,
and you’re done!
Our second option is a simple straight neckband. Cut a rectangle 2 1/2″ high and as long as your neckline measurement. Fold it in half and sew the end closed.
fold the sewn band in half lengthwise,
mark the back’s center point
and pin around (you might have noticed that the dress is right side out this time so the neckband is pinned onto the dress.)
sew, and you’re done!
I absolutely love how this dress turned out!
Both versions of it 🙂
I think the next tutorial will be the last winter dress tutorial since it’s time to start sewing for spring 🙂
I also signed up for the Kids Clothes Week Challenge! I don’t really need reasons to sew more kids clothes, but what’s not to like about dedicating at least an hour a day working on my projects?
I’ve been a huge fan of KCW for years, not surprising, considering how much I love sewing little clothes, but this is the first time I have a blog to post my creations on!