The Hour Dress
Because the best dresses are simple ones that can be made just as fast as girls stain and outgrow them. Our Hour Dress requires no pattern, sews in under an hour, and can be adjusted for a variety of looks.
- Sewing thread
- Elastic thread
Calculate how much fabric you need:
- Decide on the depth of the ruffle, then add 1/2" for hem and 1/4" seam allowance. Ours was 4" for the youngest, and 7" for the oldest. (note: we cut two more ruffles for the oldest's dress.
- Decide how long you want the sleeves, add 1" for a double fold seam top and bottom. Ours were 7" for both girls.
- The remaining part of your fabric is the dress. Decide how long you want the dress to be, don't forget to subtract your ruffles.
Add all these measurements together and you'll know the yardage you will need. For us it was 1 yard for the youngest and 1 1/2 yards for the oldest.
Cut these pieces from fabric as shown above.
Trim off corners of sleeves cut as shown. We folded our sleeves in half and then cut so that both sides matched perfectly.The length of the bottom of each triangle measured 4" for us, and we cut this at a 90 degree angle. You can play with this length, but we found this was a great universal size.
You will also need to trim the upper corners off the dress as shown. You'll want these to match up to your sleeves. Again here the bottom or hypotinose of my triangle was 4".
Next sew the sleeve sides you just cut to the matching dress sides, making a semi-square, with a square hole in the center.
Then fold in half, so that the dress pieces are right-sides together. Then sew up the two side seams for the dress.
Attach the ruffle at the bottom and hem up neckline.
Now when all that is done, using elastic thread, shirr 1-2 rows around the neckline, bottom of sleeves, and where you want the waist to be.
Buy elastic thread. Hand wind it onto bobbin. Do not pull the elastic while winding.
Use regular thread on top, elastic bobbin, set thread tension to the highest setting (most machines are 9). Sew as normal, making sure to back stitch at beginning and end.
The variations of this are endless. Make it shorter and you've got yourself a shirt, use heavier fabric and make the sleeves longer for cooler weather, make it into a short dress, lower the elastic for a drop waist dress. Once you get this down, you'll be sewing a different one for every hour of the day!