DIY Quick, Cheap & Easy Baby Dress

After the super involved baby layette series, I needed something quick and easy to change the pace.

Enter another contestant from The Remnant Bin.

Baby Dress
DIY Smocked Baby Dress

That’s right. That little number that looks like a summer wedding cake is all of $1.50 and took more time to photograph than it took to make.

This time of year, people are getting by-the-yard material that is pre-smocked with elastic thread to make quick dresses out of….at about $12 a yard. I found a 1/3 yard in the remnant bin in a length that would be appropriate for a 5 year old – but that certainly isn’t enough fabric to wrap around a 5 year old…but it was perfect for a 15 month old!

Quick Serger
Quick Serger

To cut the gathered fabric that isn’t exactly going to lay flat for scissors or a rotary, I snipped it at the length I wanted to cut off, and pulled the fabric so that it ripped along the length. Then I serged the bottom skirt, and split the removed strip into a ruffle size a strap size. In other words, I cut about 6 inches off the bottom, split that into a 4 inch ruffle and 2 inches to be folded into straps.

Remnant Dress
Remnant Dress

So far, all of this has been simple straight-line sewing. When sewing the ruffle to the top, just under the last line of smocking, I pulled the smocking tight and straight so that it would ruffle back up and keep its stretch.

Simple 1/4 inch serging and 1/4 inch turns for hems and serged it up the back – this will hold down the ruffle enough without having to top-stitch it down.

Serged Back
Serged Back
Serged Front
Serged Front

Robert had me stop and giggle…..

peek-a-boo
peek-a-boo

Baby was napping while I made this, so I pulled out a dress in a similar length to guess about where the straps should go and their length.

Guesstimate
Guesstimate

Add some bows from the leftover chenille blanket binding

Bow Detail
Bow Detail

…and baby test!

Checking Bows
Checking Bows
Gardening Test
Gardening Test
Professor Zoe
Professor Zoe
Sew Happy Baby
Sew Happy Baby
Standing Ovation
Standing Ovation

So, check those remnant bins! Rethink how things are supposed to be used. People are doing it all the time…Aesthetic Nest has a quilted skirt made out of ironing board fabric and Becky at Adafruit is making wearable LED clothing like this skirt and omg, this FLORA Angler Fish embroidery I’m geeking out over. I figure if they can do that, I can rethink something simple like pre-smocked fabric!

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