I love the Pippa how it is, but when I was asked by Girl Charlee if I wanted to pick some fabric and a pattern to do a tutorial for them, I jumped at the chance. Because hello...free fabric. Yes please! I order from them frequently because their prices are so good, and they always have some adorable new knits in stock.
For Bailey’s top I used this polka dot ponte knit and this horse fabric (the gray is out but that links to the other colors available). This horse dress is just perfect for her because she is obsessed with horses. So cute.
So let’s get started! Here is the finished product you will get if you follow this tutorial:
It can be either a top, a tunic, or lengthen it to be a dress.
First print out the pattern in the size you need.
Now on the size you want, trace the bodice and then cut off below the arm hole so there is 1/2” left under that. See the below picture for reference.
For Ruby, I used the size 6-12 month bodice. I also cut the skirt portion of the top the same width around the waist (so the 6-12 month size) but lengthened it down to the 2T for the tunic. I banded the bottom of the tunic skirt and cut that . Alternatively you could just lengthen the skirt portion more or less depending on personal preference.
Ruby is small so her measurements fall in the 6-12 month range anyway. Follow the recommendations on the pattern.
**Here are the extra things cut. You do NOT need to cut out the facings or sleeves if you want to make the top/tunic/dress look similar to mine.
FOR SIZE 6-12 MONTH:
-1.5” x 11” knit ribbing for neckband (cut 1). You can probably had an inch or so to this and be fine.
-1.5” x 8” knit ribbing for arm bands (cut 2). You can cut this larger—I liked how it gathered the knit on the tunic so if you don’t want a gathered look cut it longer.
-3” x width of skirt using the pattern piece for the bottom band (cut 2, just like you cut two pieces for the skirt)
FOR SIZE 5:
-1.5” x 16” knit ribbing for neck band
-1.5” x 9” knit ribbing for arm bands (cut 2)
-I didn’t band the size 5, but I lengthened the skirt as long as I thought needed, which in this case was 17”. I knew I wasn’t going to hem the bottom because I hate hemming knits and avoid it if at all possible these days :)
You will basically follow the instructions found in the pattern, but sew the little side seam (this one shown below has a larger side seam and I changed it after sewing the tunic to be a shorter bodice portion to achieve the look I had envisioned).
Follow the pattern to attach the skirt portion. Remember you can lengthen the skirt or shorten it to be just how you like it.
Take the neck band and place right sides together, lining up the short ends. Sew up the short ends to form a circle. Fold that in half with wrong sides together so the short end seam is enclosed. Check out THIS post from Made by Rae for more info on attaching a neckband if it is unclear here. This way is the same but uses ribbed knit which stretches a lot. So you will likely just be stretching this ribbed knit more than the way Rae shows in her tutorial.
Now pin around the bodice neck opening, being careful NOT to stretch the bodice. Pin in place with raw edges lining up all together. When you pin, it is helpful to fold the band in half and match that to the front and back, with the band seam in the middle of the back. Then keep halving the remaining neckband and bodice portions. You will be stretching the neckband to fit. Again, THIS post may be helpful to you if you have not done this before.
Iron the neckline and topstitch around close to the band. I lengthen my stitch to 3.5 on my machine.
Now repeat the same thing with the arms. What I love about the pattern is that it still looks like there are sleeves without actually having sleeves. As I pointed out above, my arm bands are small, and I love how it gathers the fabric on the arms. If you don’t want the gathered look then just lengthen the arm band pieces.
To add the band on the bottom of the tunic, put right sides together and sew each short end to form a tube.
Fold in half with the wrong sides together, enclosing the raw seams.
Attach the band lining up raw edges and sew around. Press the band so it lays flat with the seam pressed towards the bodice. I actually pressed mine towards the band just because of the white fabric being to light, so the seam could be seen through the garment.
You are finished!
I made the size 5 the same way, just skipped on the bottom band and lengthened it to be a dress for Bailey. She loves it so much and wore it the rest of the day—which is the true test. If she doesn’t change out of it right after the photo shoot, then it means it’s comfortable AND cute.
I love these girls. :)