Dresses for little girls often have a whimsical element to them that is seldom present in grown women's clothing. Fancy party dresses, in particular, can be designed with small touches of costume style to create a playful look for a child. Some styles of fancy dress for girls may call to mind the look of small animals, such as rabbits. You can make your own fancy rabbit dress for a child to wear to spring events, or simply around the house for dress-up or costuming.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Large paper
- Dress fabric
- Pins/safety pins
- Home sewing machine
- Zipper foot
- False rabbit tail
Measure the distance around your child's bust. Also measure the vertical distance between the bust and hip.
Add 1 inch to the bust measurement, and 1 1/2 inches to the bust to hip measurement. Cut a rectangle of fabric in these dimensions. This will be the bodice.
Fold one bust length edge under 1/2 inch, then another 1/2 inch and pin it in place. This will be the top of the bodice. Stitch along the lower folded edge.
Measure the distance around your child's hips and double it. Also measure the vertical distance between the hip and the knee, then add 1 1/2 inches.
Cut a rectangle of fabric, using the dimensions in Step 4. This will be the skirt.
Fold one hip length edge of the skirt under 1/2 inch, then another 1/2 inch and pin it in place. This will be the hem of the skirt. Stitch along the upper folded edge.
Gather the opposite edge of the skirt, which will be the waistband edge. Adjust the gathers to fit the skirt to the bottom edge of the bodice. Match the center back edges and pin it in place.
Sew the skirt to the bodice at the waistband edge, 1/2 inch away from the raw edges.
Match the center back edges of the skirt together. Pin them together, stopping 5 inches from the waistband. Sew the pinned area together 1/2 inch away from the raw edges.
Turn the dress right side out. Fold the remaining center back edges under 1/2 inch and pin them in place.
Pin the left side of the zipper tape to the left folded edge, and the right side of the zipper tape to the right folded edge. Make sure that the tape is on the inside of the dress.
Sew each side of the zipper to the dress, using the zipper foot on your sewing machine.
Have your child put the dress on and mark the placement for dress straps with pins. Remove the dress.
Cut four pieces of ribbon that are 7 inches long each. Sew one end of each piece of ribbon to the inside of the dress at each pinned mark. When the dress is worn, tie the ribbons together in bows.
Pin or sew a false rabbit tail to the back side of the dress at the waistband. You can also create the illusion of a tail by looping several pieces of 2 inch wide white ribbon into a "snowball" formation and sewing the loops together.
Pair the dress with white gloves and a rabbit ear headband for the classic rabbit look.
Tips and warnings
- If you want a looser fit in the bodice, use a stretch knit fabric. You can also choose to incorporate another bodice pattern into the fancy rabbit dress.
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