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sewn

w it h

C la ss ic P a tt e rn
s fo r
C h il d re n ’s C lo
th e s a n d A c c e
ss o ri e s

F io n a B e ll

Button-Through Dress
This is a great “everyday” dress, as it can be worn over jeans
or leggings to make it more practical. It looks as pretty worn
with cute clogs or soft pumps for summertime playing as it does
layered over a long-sleeve T-shirt or with a cozy cardigan for
colder days in the fall.
Cotton voile or poplin are ideal fabrics for a summer version
of the dress, while a soft baby corduroy is a good option for
a winter version. The contrast of the chambray yoke can lend
itself to a number of other fabrics, such as denim, corduroy, or
even a print that contrasts with the main print of the dress.

Materials
Paper for pattern
Plain chambray for yoke and
button plackets
Printed cotton voile for main
body of dress
6 buttons
1 in (2.5 cm) wide broidery
anglaise trim
Basting thread
Matching sewing thread
Sewing machine and sewing kit

STEP 1

Making up the yoke
With right sides together, match the notches at the shoulders and pin the
front pieces to the back. Baste and then machine stitch along the shoulder
seams with a 1⁄4 in (5 mm) seam allowance. Repeat for the yoke lining. Press
the seams open, then fold and press the bottom of each yoke 1⁄4 in (5 mm)
to the wrong side. With wrong sides together, baste the yoke and lining
together around the neckline.
Pin and then baste a length of broidery anglaise trim along the bottom
edges of the front yoke pieces. Make sure the right side of the top edge of
the trim is facing the wrong side of the bottom edge of the outer front yoke.

Sewn with Love

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STEP 2

Making up the skirts and attaching them to the yoke
With right sides together, pin and baste the two front pieces of the skirt to the back
piece. Machine stitch along the side seams, then overlock the seams or press them
open and finish the raw edges with zigzag stitch.
Sew two rows of gathering stitching along the top of the back and front pieces of
the skirt. Do this as follows: Use a long stitch on the sewing machine, or sew running
stitch by hand, and leave long threads at each end; sew one row of gathering stitching
1
⁄4 in (5 mm) from the edge and a second row 1⁄8 in (3 mm) below the first. Hold one
end of the threads tightly on the same side of the fabric and gather up the material
until it is the same width as the bottom of the corresponding yoke pieces. Ease the
fabric gently to evenly distribute the gathers.
Push the 1⁄3 in (8 mm) seam allowance of the back skirt into the back yoke,
between the outer fabric and the lining, and topstitch along the folded edge. Repeat
on each front panel, making sure the broidery anglaise trim is secured in place when
you topstitch.

STEP 3

Making the button plackets
Fold and press the short ends of the button plackets 1⁄4 in (5 mm) to the wrong
side. Press the strips lengthwise into thirds, but leave one edge 1⁄4 in (5 mm) wider
than the other. With the right side of the placket to ­­­the wrong side of the dress,
align the raw edge of one placket with the inside edge of one of the front panels
of the dress. Pin, baste, and then machine stitch with a 1⁄4 in (5 mm) seam allowance.
Flip the folded side of the placket to the outside of the dress, and topstitch down
both sides. Repeat on the other side of the dress.
Make six vertical buttonholes down the length of the placket on the right of
the dress, making the first 1⁄2 in (1 cm) from the top and edge, and spacing them
approximately 23⁄8 in (6 cm) apart. Sew six corresponding buttons onto the placket
on the left of the dress.

4

Playtime

STEP 4

Making and inserting the sleeves
With right sides together, pin and baste a length of broidery anglaise trim to the bottom edge
of the sleeves, then machine stitch 1⁄4 in (5 mm) from the edge. Overlock the raw edges, then
fold the seam allowance to the wrong side of the sleeve and topstitch over the fold.
In the same way as you gathered the skirt (see step 2), loosely gather the cap of each sleeve
at the shoulder. With right sides together, fit the sleeve into the armhole, aligning the shoulder
seam on the yoke with the center of the sleeve; pin, baste, and then machine stitch with 1⁄3 in
(8 mm) seams. Overlock the raw edges and then press the seam to the wrong side.
Fold and press the seam binding into thirds. From the end of the yoke, machine stitch the
seam binding onto the edge of the armhole, with right sides together. Flip the seam binding to
the wrong side of the armhole and topstitch along the inside edge of the binding and all the
way around the armhole, catching the sleeve’s overlocked seam allowance in the stitching.

STEP 5

Finishing the neckline
Fold and press the trim in half on the cross grain. Fold and
press one side of the trim 1⁄4 in (5 mm) to the inside. With the
right side of the trim to the inside of the neckline, align the
raw edge of the trim with the edge of the neckline and pin,
baste, and then machine stitch 1⁄4 in (5 mm) from the edge. Flip
the folded side of the trim to the outside of the dress, and
topstitch around the neckline.

STEP 6

Making the pockets­
Fold and press the rectangular pocket piece in half lengthwise, then press the long
edges 1⁄4 in (5 mm) to the wrong side. Loosely gather the top edge of the curved
pocket piece so that the width fits into the rectangular piece. Pin and then baste a
length of broidery anglaise trim along the top of the gathered edge. Fit the top edge
between the two folded edges of the rectangular portion and topstitch along the
folded edge.
Press the 1⁄4 in (5 mm) seam allowance to the wrong side of the pocket edge and
topstitch around the sides and bottom, making sure the two pockets are placed at
the same distance from the side seams and hem.

Hemming the dress
Fold and press the hem 1⁄4 in (5 mm) to the wrong side. Fold and press the hem an
additional 3⁄4 in (2 cm) and machine stitch.

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Dirndl skirt
Dirndl shapes are adored by little girls, and this skirt, made up
of four gathered tiers, is nearly a full circle of fabric, making it
wonderful to twirl around in. It looks great with a pretty printed
blouse or dressed down with a simple vintage T-shirt. When made
up in hardwearing denim, it is as useful as throwing on a pair of
jeans, whereas lighter-weight chambray fabric gives it a prettier
feel, especially when the hem has been embellished with a piqueedge trim, as shown here. This versatile skirt can also be made in
soft, lightweight twills and baby cord, both printed and plain.

Materials
Paper for pattern
Plain chambray
5
⁄8 in (15 mm) wide piqueedge trim
1
1 ⁄2 in (4 cm) wide elastic
Basting thread
Matching sewing thread
Sewing machine and sewing kit

Sewn with Love

7

Tailor your tyke’s
wardrobe with
25 sweet apparel projects

Construct charming and fashionable children’s clothes with the
classic designs of Fiona Bell, the founder of Their Nibs, the popular U.K.-based
children’s clothing shop and label. An eclectic and unique collection of patterns
and designs, Sewn with Love showcases Fiona’s well-known work with retro
styles and prints with a distinct influence from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Twenty-five gorgeous projects, from a boy’s classic shirt and playtime dungarees to a girl’s pretty party dress and sweet summer pajamas, are ideal for
sewists eager to dive into classic sewing techniques with contemporary results.
Divided into four sections (babies, playtime, parties, and bedtime), each pattern has easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful photography.

Start sewing with love today!

Fiona Bell opened Their Nibs, a children’s shop and label with clothes, accessories,
and homeware in 2003. Her couture sewing expertise and eye for fashion have allowed
Fiona to bring her range of gorgeous clothes to online retailers and various stores and
boutiques around the world, including Mothercare, John Lewis, Harrods, Bon Marche,
and Avoca. Fiona lives in London, England.

Paperback with flaps and CD with full-size patterns, 9¼ x 9¾, 144 pages,
ISBN 978-1-59668-349-5, $26.95, Available October 2010