Monday, March 11, 2013

Tutorial: Very Hungry Caterpillar Party Dress

I know it's been a long time coming but here is the tutorial for the dress I made for Boo Bear for her birthday party.  The easier version of this dress is HERE. Just a disclaimer, I am not a professional seamstress but self taught.  Most of the time I just wing it so there isn't a formal pattern and it isn't perfect. This will give you a good idea on how to make the dress.   With that said, isn't it just darling!  It's the same style as her Dr. Seuss dress from last year.

Okay, lets get started.  I used a shirt of hers to get an idea of how big and wide to make the top.  You can give yourself lots of room because it will be smaller once the elastic gets put in.  The top portion of the dress looks like this.   You will need two pieces.  You can zigzag the edges if you would like.

Now the sleeves are just long rectangles.  You want the width of the sleeves to match the width of the arm hole on the main body piece.  You are going to fold over the bottom portion of the sleeve and sew to create a casing.  String thin elastic through, pull so it scrunches and sew it shut on both ends.  Do that for both sleeves.  The last pictures shows how it is attached onto the main body of the dress.
Now you will create a casing all around the top portion of the dress where the arrow is pointing just like you did with the bottom of the sleeve.  Run elastic through, scrunch it up, and sew it closed.  Afterwards, sew down the sides of the dress.  The second picture shows how it looks afterwards.

Now the bottom portion is a circle skirt.  Not only is it easier to sew on but it gives the bottom a lot of body, borderline Toddlers and Tiaras.  You can find the tutorial of how to cut the circle skirt HERE.  In the second picture you will see the ruffle I created and sewed to the bottom of the skirt.  Not only does it look cute, but I avoided the pain of sewing the hem.

This step was a little hard to photograph but to attach the skirt, you will keep the main body and the skirt both inside out.  When you look under the skirt both the top and the skirt should be right sides together.

Pin and sew the two pieces together all along the top of the skirt. 

Turn it right side out and you have this.

Now you can leave the dress just like this, but I like for the waist to fit her snug.  To do so you need to create a casing at the waist.  I took a long strip of fabric, pinned and sewed it to the waist part of the dress.  Where the two ends of the strip meet there is an opening.  You can see the black elastic is going in.  Run the elastic all the way around, scrunch it, sew the two end pieces together, and sew the opening shut by doing a running stitch from top to bottom.   The black elastic is for demonstration purposes though it wouldn't matter because the sash covers it up.

Add a sash for the waist and a caterpillar on the side and before you know it, you have a party dress!

I added some accessories of course.  I made bows for her hair, tutorial HERE and the pettiskirt I bought on amazon for $15!  Such a steal.

The dress also looks really cute without the pettiskirt, but I love a full skirt.  Put it on the birthday girl and it is cuteness overload.

I know this tutorial isn't as detailed as my other ones but like I said, I kind of make it up as I go.  And sorry for some of the picture quality, I was doing some of the sewing at night.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me and I will help to the best of my ability.  

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  1. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
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  2. Do you sell these? I really want one but I do not sew! If so, can you email me at

  3. Where did you get the Hungry Caterpillar fabric?

    1. My cousin got it from a craft store in her area but you can also order it from

  4. About how much fabric did this take?

    1. A yard of white broadcloth and a half a uard of the polka dot.

    2. For people making bigger sizes...1 1/2 yards of the main fabric was perfect for a size 6.

  5. Can I just order the dress from somewhere? I do not have the skills or means to make it, but it is by far my favorite!

  6. That's the awesomest dress I have ever seen <3
    Greets from Germany

  7. Did you use elastic in the sides of the top? How long is the top? Is it natural waist or empire waist?

  8. This is such a great dress!! What was the length of your sleeves?

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