Remember when I showed you the Double Gauze Dress and asked if you wanted a full pattern and tute? The reponse was affirmative, so here it is. It’s definitely a bit different, but trust me, this way is much easier.

With a neck tie, there’s no worrying about getting the strap length justright, and with the snap closure, you can get it on and off without a zipper. And you’ve been clear that you’d rather just avoid the zippers if possible (we hear that).

I can’t wait to hear what you think and see some reader versions! I hope it lives up to the expectations and is simple to execute. Let me know in the comments! And in addition to dropping mad knowledge bombs on all of us Prudent Mamas, your comment could win you that train-tastic fat quarter up there on the left!

Get the Snap Wrap Dress free pattern and tutorial after the jump…

Prudent Baby Snap Wrap Dress
I made this dress with the ridonk-awesome Naomi Ito for Nani Iro 2010 Fuccra Eggplant which is a double gauze, but it would work for a lightweight fabric like voile or cotton lawn (Alexander Henry has amazing cotton lawns available here). Just don’t do it with a regular quilting weight cotton. Well actually you could, it might just be a little stiffer and definitely more poufy and less flowy. Who am I to tell you how to live? Make it how you want it.

1. First download and print out our pattern. You can download it here: Prudent Baby Snap Wrap Dress Pattern. This pattern is three pages, so print them out:

Then you need to cut them out and tape them together at the X’s like so:

2. Now, you can cut out two pieces just tracing the pattern, but that would waste fabric, and we are too prudent for that. So to make this whole dress out of one yard, do it this way: Line up the pattern on the fold (as marked) with the top x at the top of the fabric, like so. Trace it:

Then right beneath that do it again, i hope you can see my tracing lines here:

Then cut those babies out:

Then use the scraps leftover to trace the straps. Leave a little just below the x for your seam allowance. Pile the two scraps on top of each other and trace twice, so you get four straps, like this:

And cut them out:

You also need the skirt portion of the dress. That is just a big rectangle. Use the width of your fabric yard (so 44″ or so – doesn’t have to be specific) and cut it the length you want your dress plus one inch. I cut mine 19″ for my extra tall 2.5 year old.

3. Now take your two bodice pieces and lay them right side up. Pin a strap to each side of each piece, right side down:

Here’s all four of them pinned on:

Sew them in place with a straight stitch:

Then trim your threads and iron the seams open:

4. Now take one complete bodice piece and lay it right side up. Lay the other piece right side down on top, so right sides are facing. Pin all the way around the entire thing except the bottom (straight) edge:

Sew all the way around the top of the bodice and straps with a straight stitch, and leave the bottom flat edge unsewn:

If you need to trim your edges, do it now. You can also make score marks around the curves if you like, but not 100% required. Sorry, I don’t have a picture.

5. Now it’s time to turn it inside out. Turning the straps inside out is a little tedious, just use the eraser side of a pencil to push them through if you need to, and gently tug them to turn. Push the seams out and iron flat (I folded it up here just to fit it all in the picture):

6. Now iron the bottom unfinished edge under about 1/4″ or 1/2″ all the way around:

Fold your bodice up, isn’t it cute?

Set it aside for a minute.

7. Now take your big rectangle of fabric and finish each short side edge by folding to the wrong side 1/4″ and ironing, then another 1/2″ and ironing, then sewing in place with a straight stitch:

8. Now normally we would wait to hem the length until the very last step, but since we are going to gather this skirt, I think it’s easier to do it now. So take the bottom edge of your fabric panel (pay attention to which direction your pattern is to choose the bottom edge) and finish it by folding to the wrong side 1/4″ and ironing, then another 1/2″ and ironing, then sewing in place with a straight stitch:

9. Now along the top unfinished edge of the panel sew a basting stitch. Make sure you pull a nice long length of thread out of the machine before you start. To sew a basting stitch, use a straight stitch set to the widest width your machine will allow, usually a 5. Baste all the way across, then leave a long length of thread at the end:

Open your bodice and lay it out flat. Pull the bobbin thread on your basting stitch to gather the fabric until the skirt panel is the length of your bodice:

Snip the corners at the top of your skirt panel at an angle (so they will fit into the bodice):

Choose which side of your bodice is going to be the front (the side that will be away from the kid’s body and show) and lay that side up. Lay the skirt right side up as well. Fit the skirt into the bodice and pin. Make sure the gathers are evenly spaced and use lots of pins, it helps with sewing it all in place, especially with double gauze:

Double check that your basting line is not showing, that it’s nicely pinned inside the bodice:

10. Sew straight across the bodice at the edge to secure your skirt in place:

Eeek! Fold your little dress up, so cute!

11. But we still need to actually close it. There are so many options. This is what you are working with:

Because we overlapped the fabric so much, I think just securing it along the bodice edge is enough to keep little girls covered but also allow them freedom to move. It works best with leggings or a matching diaper cover underneath. Now is the time to try it on your wearer if you can, to mark where your fasteners will go. You could do a button on the bottom panel (maybe a matching fabric covered button?) and a buttonhole on the top panel. However, I like snaps because you can put them in a few spots to allow for sizing (the dress could grow into a top as kiddo gets taller). I hand sewed three set of snaps, one on the inside point, one on the outside point, and one in the center. I sewed them only to the inside layer of the top of the dress, so they don’t show, and also so I could remove them later and move them when she grows bigger.

YOU ARE SO DONE AND SO PROUD RIGHT?!!?!

Look at that little monkey…

I think she likes it!

What do you think, did this tute live up to the hype? It’s a little different then the original but much easier to size and sew. I hope you like it.

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