The wee boy is getting bigger and not needing all his Aden and Anais swaddles so I decided to make something else out of them. The fabric is lovely and they are a good size blanket giving me plenty of yardage to work with. Although the Sweet Pea dress is a dress it also works nicely as a tunic top. It has raglan sleeves and an easy fit which seems quite fitting for the lightness of the fabric. It also allows for a lot of flexibility in sizing. My daughter wore the ones I made her for quite a long time.
Pattern: Sweet Pea Dress – on Threadbias (Also available on Etsy)
Fabric: Aden & Anais monkey print swaddle, brown slub jersey
Prep: Since I’ve washed the swaddle a few times it has developed this nice waffle texture, great for a blanket but not so good for cutting so ironing it first. I’m also removing the A&A tags so they can be added back as a reminder of where the fabric came from.
Cutting: The swaddles are not very stable so I like to use underlay to keep it from shifting around. The trick to using underlay is to use a paper that is more stable then the one you are cutting. I’m using jersey for the band and to make things simple I’m putting on the fusing before I cut the pieces out. Both have to be cut anyways just this way the jersey is stablized before cutting instead of after.
I guess I have to get my sewing machine set up, something I haven’t done yet since moving.
Sewing: Even though I wrote the instructions I’m still having to follow them since it’s been a while since I last made one of these dresses. A trick for sewing fused placket facings: if you want a clean finish on the open edge, seam the fusing to the facing along that edge (wrong side and glue side out) and fold glue side in before ironing. The seam allowance ends up under the fusing leaving a nice clean edge. (see the picture.)
To cut down on how flouncy the pleats are, (this dress if for a boy,) I tacked the pleats for the first 1 1/4″ leaving 3/4″ visible once the band is on.
I opted to use french seam since the fabric is so light (serging may just pull out), makes for a soft inside and gives it a heirloom feel.
I stay stitched the edge of the band facing to make it easier to fold and more stable.
Finishing: I finished it with elasticized sleeve hem, a wide bottom hem and snap closures.
Want to see what I did with the leftover fabric? Check out the Leftovers skirt, a tutorial.