Americana Dress Three Ways (+ tutorial)

Friday, March 23, 2012

My sweet friend Katy spotted this Americana dress on Pinterest and sent the request for one my way. Go check out the tutorial on Heart Break Kids then come back to see how I made my version. I ended up making this dress for Katy’s oldest daughter, and with the leftover fabric I jazzed up one for her youngest and one for Tandy.


Here is the dress I started with from Walmart in three different sizes. Cute, but there is always room for improvement. I also used 1 yard of red interlock jersey and a white tee.


First, I cut an old white tee slightly bigger than the skirt portion of the dress.


Then, I ruffled up 4” strips of red knit yardage and sewed them on to the white base roughly 2” apart. Make sure your last piece lines up with the hem of the white base.


I came in 3” from each side hem and down 1” from the top of the skirt and drew a triangle on the dress. In the photo, you can see my drawn line on the left and where I started to cut on the right.


Next, I folded each side of my cut in 1/2” and pressed the fold. I used a twin needle to sew close to the fold. I tapered the fold at the peak of the triangle as needed. This step is optional since the knit fabric will not fray at the cut, but I think it finishes the look.


I used my serger to trim up the ruffles to match the white base. If you don’t have a serger, just trim with scissors and zig-zag the edge to keep everything in place.


Next, I sewed the ruffled base to the inside of the dress at the side seams keeping the stitches within the existing seam allowances. Make sure the bottom of the last ruffle lines up with the bottom of the dress hem.


I stitched the top of the ruffle base to the dress at the waistline using my twin needle. If you don’t have a twin needle, use a zig-zag stich here, so the dress can still stretch without breaking your thread.


Finally, I cut two 2” strips and attached them at the side seams on either side to tie in a bow.


All bustled up.


The last thing I did was remove the cheesy little bow on the dress front.


I ran out of red fabric to do a bustle on the other two dress, so this one got a bow upgrade by just gathering one rectangle of fabric and wrapping it with another rectangle. I just sewed down the middle rectangle. Then, I added a 2” ruffle around the bottom of the dress.


For Tandy’s dress, I added a ruffled bib front. Basically, I just attached two ruffle scraps from the previous two dresses around the neckline.


I know these are pretty brief tutorials, so feel free to ask me any questions. For $5 per dress, plus around $6 for for the red knit, I think we’ve got some knock out Americana style. I’m hoping Katy thinks so anyway!

I’m linking up to Tatertots & Jello.

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