I found this free pattern on Pinterest while trawling for things to make the babe. It's a lovely easy make designed by Climbing the Willow and I made the top for her a while ago...
I made up the size 18 months but it was a tad on the small side and didn't last her long. Ever since making it I've been meaning to make another.
This time I thought I'd cut the age 4 size, to make sure it fit, and extend the length of the top to make it into a dress. And I found this fabric in the form of a size 22 pair of pyjama bottoms in a charity shop for £1! I loved the colour and fabric pattern and thought I could make it into a bag or something, then I remembered this top pattern which I already had cut out.
Because of the inner and outer leg seams I didn't have the width to get the fabric cut on the fold so I decided to try pattern matching. I cut the inner leg and crotch seam to open out the fabric. Then worked out which pattern pieces would fit where.
The bodice section is fully lined so I needed to cut two of the front and two each of the two back pieces. I managed to get one of the front pieces on the fold and then went into a panic that I wasn't going to be able to get all the pieces cut out since the skirt part should be on the fold but couldn't meaning I had to cut two fronts and two backs to sew together. (Is this making ANY sense???)
And I was also trying to line up the patterns on the back hence the pattern piece had to sit in a particular place on the fabric.
Ultimately I could have cut the inside lining pieces from another fabric entirely since they wouldn't be seen, but I had enough in the end. I was very relieved when it was all cut out!
The pattern starts by sewing the bodice main and lining pieces together at the shoulders and then sewing the lining to the top bodice piece.
There was a lot of pinning and ironing involved in this bit but it was still quite quick to construct.
Here's the top front...
And the back with the button hole tab attached.
Then, because I wasn't able to cut the skirt pieces on the fold I had two pieces to attach for the front and two for the back piece, then both had to be attached at the sides. My pattern matching on the skirt front and back centre isn't great, mostly because I didn't have the amount of fabric to play with, but I'm not sure it matters much! Here is the front (left) and back (right). Not sure what happened to the back!
The skirt was then gathered and pinned to the bodice. This took time but wasn't difficult.
Once this was done I tidied up the edge, tried it on her to measure the length and hemmed it. Done!
The pjs came with a ribbon drawer string and I was going to use that to trim a pocket to add to the skirt but I decided that it might distort the shape so left it out.
This is the final dress. She loves it!