Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School Dress - Tutorial - Guest Post from Adithis Amma Sews

Dear Readers of Creating my Way to Success'',

First of all, I would like to Thank Jill for having me over here and be able to share my views and ideas with you! Thanks Jill!

I am Lakshmi AKA Adithi's Amma from Adithis Amma Sews - Cute Confessions of a Sew Addict. My blog is about Sewing, Fashion, Trends and Pattern Making. I enjoy sewing and feel it is quite therapeutic! I sew to fill up my Family's (Read Darling Daughter, Dear Sister, Mom & MIL and bit for hubby and self too!) Wardrobe! and also love making handmade personalized gifts to near and dear ones, thus started this adventure into sewing, which i soon realized to be my passion!

I was introduced to sewing by my aunt when i was about 12 yrs and have been sewing on and off till my college days, after graduation and post-graduation i had weaned off sewing! Got Married, had my darling daughter, took a sabbatical from the Boring S/W engineer job (No offense to all techies out there, i didn't enjoy my stint as S/W Engr, that's all !) Viola! it was a blessing in disguise, during my free time i started to sew and was drawn into it, deep enough to take up a short-term pattern drafting course, and then there was no looking back! Adithi's Amma Sews was soon born and has loads of tutorials already on board. In fact you can find almost all of basic Indian Clothing tutorials like Saree Blouse, Salwar, Dhoti Pants/Cowl Pants, Angarkha, Anarkali alongside generic ones like Cowl Neck Drafting, No Pattern Skirt , to name a few.  Please do check them out!

Now enough of my blah blah, let me get on to what i have got for you readers today, a tutorial on how to draft and sew an Back to School Dress" for your tiny tots!  It is an Adjustable Summer Dress!

Would you like to have a look at what are we going to make today ! Here we go !!!

Entire Dress set with Headband and Belt!

I saw Lonsdale Dress @ sewaholic and was inspired by it. It was quite easy to knock off the look for my darling daughter, the actual pattern of it (from what i saw of the sketch) is quite different from what i have drafted (my draft does not have seams at Center front and does not need gathers at busline as we are sewing for tiny tots!)

First let us see the pattern Drafting Part of it,

Now that we have drafted the bodice, lets get on to Cutting of pattern pieces on fabric

We would need 1 front bodice piece cut on fold, and 1 back bodice piece cut on fold

For the skirt part, you can have plain rectangle fabric (width = 1.5 times your waist * length as desired) or you can also have circle skirt or in fact any style of skirt. In this tutorial i am using plain rectangle fabric cut for 15"length across the entire width of fabric (42" inches), the excess will be pleated to match the waist round of bodice!

Cut pattern pieces marked with stitch lines!

Now lets get on to sewing part ...

First we shall finish front bodice, to let the Tie Straps go in we need to have a slit, so we shall make a buttonhole at Center front right beneath the stitch line at top! Let us interface this area to make it stronger once it is slit open!

Finished ButtonHole at Center Front


Now let us finish the open top edge using bias strip

Now let us move on to the Back Bodice, all we need to do here is create a casing for elastic and also create 2 loops for the straps to pass through at the back

The following step is a bit tricky, and if you can't get it out, don't worry, this is just to ensure the stitch does not show on right side where the loops are attached, so you can directly just fold the loop and tuck in raw edges on both ends and pin it in place and top stitch on the right side, easier way of doing it, but the stitch shows on the right side, though it will not be easily visible once the elastic is pushed through the elastic casing and the back becomes gathered! You need to flip to the RS of back bodice, then to get the raw tucked edge top stitched upon, without catching the top layer of the loop, carefully slide the presser foot, through the loop as shown below,

Now let us insert the elastic into the casing!

Now that the back bodice is also finished, it is time for us to join the front and back bodice at side seams!

You can finish the seams in whichever way you would prefer, i have overlocked them and have also overlocked both the top and bottom end raw edges of the skirt.

Instead of serging raw edges, it can also be just folded twice and get a clean finish, simple!

Now that we have finished the hem, let us join the seams of the skirt (you may as well join the seam and then finish the hem, it is up to you!)

Time for us to join the bodice and skirt pieces together at the waist line. Please notch the Center as well as sides of Skirt portion, the seam will be joined at Center Back of the bodice. 

Did you notice the gap or the excess of skirt fabric in above picture, once they are all pinned up to matched notches! you can gather or pleat as per your wish! I have chosen to pleat and have pleated at opposite direction to get box pleat at both Center Front and Center Back

Finished Outfits Back & Front View on the Wrong Side

Finished Outfits Back and Front View on the Right Side 

Now it is time for us to make the Tie Straps and add them to the dress

Fold the Tie strap into half along its length and then sew the seams, use a safety pin and turn them over the Right side, you get a 

Slide these straps through the button hole and there you have it! Back to School Dress - Adjustable Summer Dress !

Action Shots!

Before adding the flower!

To add bit of zing to it decided to add flower and headband and a belt!! 

Close up of the flower !

Look who is all Dolled Up!!!

Had already made 2 dresses in this style and here are the snaps of them

In Bright Cheery Yellow Printed Cotton ! with brownish silk belt and ties!

The below one was the first dress i made in this style , fabric is Teal Blue Cotton with floral prints and has a brownish green silk fabric strap and belt!

Hope you liked this Tute, for more Sewing and Pattern Making Tutorials, please check out Tutorials page of Adithis Amma Sews and do leave your valuable feedback.

You can mail me @ adithisamma[@] OR lakshmi.aditi[@] Do not have a button yet once i have it, will share it with Jill !  And here it is!!

Thanks once again Jill for having me here, and giving space on your blog for this big a post!


  1. she's so cute! thanks for the tutorial, unfortunately I don't know how to use the sewing machine. I want to learn though.

  2. A beautiful post, love, greeting.

  3. that is such an adorable dress!! i love it!! i used to love to sew things when i was younger with my grandmother; clothes for my dolls and pillow cases and i ventured making a quilt once. it's been a long time, but i have the fabric ready to go to make a few new pillows to highlight an accent in a couple of rooms in my house ... thankfully, it's not something you forget! it's like riding a bike ... right?!? LOL!

    stopping by from the friday "boost my blog" hop and your newest follower! hope you stop by and visit us!

  4. Adorable dress! I love it!
    New follower from hop. Stop by and visit me when you can. HAve a great Day! :0)

  5. Lakshmi, it looks like you enjoy making tutorials as much as you enjoy sewing! I love your neat stitches and wow you started sewing at 12!

  6. great tutorial, and your models are adorable!!!

  7. Such a cute dress! I'm a new follower from the blog hop:)

  8. Thank you all for such wonderful Comments. Thanks Jill for hosting me.

    I will surely pass all the compliments to my darling daughter! Hope to see you all on Adithis Amma Sews

  9. i simply adore and worship ur blog thanx for the wonderful and elaborate tutorials. love u very much.


I love comments and try to respond to them all. Thanks for taking the time !