So, in Part 1, we got the shirt prepared, and the skirt material ready...now it's time to really start sewing!
Put a pin in all four "corners" of the fabric on each end. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of this step. Basically, you hold the back seam in one hand, and lay the fabric smooth to find the exact middle of the front. You put a pin there. Then you line up the front pin with the back seam to find the two exact sides. Put a pin in each side. Do this to the top and bottom of both pieces of fabric.
Put your machine onto the longest straight stitch setting, and the tension knob to the highest number to gather. Stitch as close to the edge of what will be the bottom of the top skirt as you can. The closer to the edge you are the easier it is to hide the stitching in the seam if you don't end up being able to pull all the stitching out later. (There will be more clarification later!)
|The process of stitching starts the gathering.|
|Match up the pins.|
|See the non-gathered area? That's why you leave the strings - so you can pull them and gather it up more as needed!|
|The top skirt fabric is all gathered and the bottom skirt fabric is flat.|
|Notice that the owls look upside down. The top of the brown is at the top of the picture, while the top of the owls is at the bottom of the picture since the brown goes inside the owls. I hope that made sense!|
|A close up. The brown is the under skirt and is still nice and flat, while the owls is the top layer and is all gathered.|
For the first option of how to do this step: Gather the top of the top skirt the same way that you did the bottom of the top skirt. Then pin it to the bottom layer at the four corners, tighten up the gathering until there is no slack between the two, and pin the layers together, keeping the four corner pins in and adding more pins to it to keep the gathered layer and bottom layer together. Stitch the two layers together, keeping the four corner pins in. After the two layers are stitched together, do a gathering stitch to make both layers gather up. (Still keeping the four corner pins in.)
For the second option of how to do this step (and the option that I went with): Put a pin in each of the mid points between the pins marking the four corners in both layers. Pin the two layers together matching up all of the pins together - There should now be 8 pins holding your two pieces of fabric together. Put the fabric in the machine with the gathering stitch on, and scrunch the top layer fabric in the space between the needle placement and the next pin as you feed it through the machine. Both of the layers will be gathered at the same time this way. And if you have some experience with gathering, and feeding hand-scrunched fabric in the machine, this way seems to take a bit less time.
|Notice that you can see the owl fabric coming out from under the brown? That's because the brown was made to 7.5 inches, while the owl was 8 inches - remember?|
Add the pretty bow to wherever you want (I played around with putting it in several different places. I had SUCH a hard time deciding!!)..and try on your cutie patootie!
|Bunny Baby wearing her new dress and playing with the hologram costume-fabric cut offs.|
Note on sizing:
I would adjust the "width" of the fabric you cut (which becomes length once it's in dress form) by 1/2 - 1 inch up (with BOTH pieces of fabric!!) with the higher up in sizes you go, but continue to do about 4x the width of the bottom of the shirt for the "length" (which becomes width once it's sewn into dress form).
If sizing down in size I would adjust the "width" of the fabric by about 2 inches, and cut off the entire hemmed area of the shirt (instead of taking out the seam and just cutting off the folded area). Since smaller babies likely aren't walking yet it would probably get caught up when they are crawling around. With the 12 month sizing Baby Bunny gets a little tangled in it, but she's also on the verge of walking, so I didn't want to make it any shorter.
You could also fairly easily convert a onsie into one of these. I can make a tutorial on that too if I get enough requests....Or if I have a reason to turn a plain onsie into a cute bubble skirt dress!
Note on timing:
I made this in two nap times + Baby Bunny and Puppy Girl showering together. I'm not entirely sure how much actual time that was since Baby Bunny doesn't take consistently timed naps. But they are typically between 1 and 2.5 hours. Also, since this was the first one ever, it took a little longer. The next one(s) I make will take MUCH less time since I've already figured out how long/wide to cut the fabric, and figured out the best way to do the construction. (Much to your benefit!)
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment, or email me.