There was a ballerina, her name was Abby-roo. She loved to sing and dance, and spin around the room. With hair as blond as sunshine and a pretty little dress, she was the sweetest dancer that ever you could guess.
So when Ann Kelle asked if I would like to play around with some of her fabrics I said YES, and chose this sweet ballerina print called Girl Friends: Slipper, for Abby. Could it be any more perfect, I ask you? (You can see what else I did with some of her fabric in Abby’s donut skirt, aka, the Summer Whimsy Skirt).
I made a simple Paper Bag Dress for Abby because I wanted a quick, simple project that showcased the fabric and made Abby feel like the FUN little girl she is. This dress was just the ticket. Below you will find a simple sewing tutorial for making your own paper bag dress.*
- Main fabric: For a 3T size you will need 3/4 yard of cotton fabric, or whatever length you want the dress. The instructions below will yield a dress that is approximately 18″ long. If you want a longer dress, just add more length to the bottom. In fact, these cutting instructions can be used for many sizes (probably 18 months up through something like size 5), as long as you add or subtract length according to the height of your child.
- Contrasting fabric for elastic casing: A strip of fabric 1.75 inches by 36 inches, OR two strips of fabric 1.75 inches by 18 inches each.
- 3/4″ elastic: Take your child’s chest measurement and add 1″ to determine how much elastic you need. I used 20″ for Abby’s dress.
Add straps. For this dress, I created one inch wide straps by doing the following:
- Cut one long strip 2.5″ by 20″
- Fold the fabric along the long edge so the wrong side is facing out.
- Stitch along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end.
- Using a long tool (like a pencil) push one end into the tube until you can pull it out the other side. Pull the long straps so it’s right side out and press well.
- Topstitch both sides of the strap for a polished look. Cut the strip in half to make two straps, each measuring 10″ in length.
- Attach to the dress.
- TIP: Attach the straps closer together on the back for a sweeter look. This also keeps the straps from falling off the shoulders. Win win!