A knotted dress simply means a dress with shoulder straps that have no buttons. Simple, right? Each strap slides through the buttonhole and you tie a knot to secure the strap. So if you know anything about sewing, the dress will be simple. If you have no sewing experience, don’t worry – this knotted dress will make you look like a pro. Toddlers outgrow clothing so fast it’s hard to keep up, so why not make the dress from a few bandanas you haven’t worn in ages and teach your little munchkin a little bit about recycling savvy?
Items you will need
- 2 bandanas
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine and thread
- 1/2-inch wide elastic
- 1-inch ribbon
- Matches or lighter
Lay out both of your bandanas with the printed sides together and insert a few pins around the edges so the fabric doesn't move. If your bandanas are printed on both sides, that’s okay – just lay them any way you like.
Pick a right and left side for the dress. (Bandanas are usually the same all the way around so you really just have to label one left and one right.) These are the sides of your dress. Sew along the right and left sides and add a few extra stitches at the top and bottom to help reinforce it against your toddler’s energetic playtime.
Fold over about 1 inch at the top of the bandanas. Sew around the dress, as close to the bottom of the fold as you can, but leave a gap about 2 inches in size so you can insert the elastic.
Measure around her chest (just beneath her arms because this is where the top of the dress will sit) and then cut a piece of elastic about 2 inches less than her chest measurement.
Slide the elastic through the gap in the bandana top. (You can attach the safety pin to the elastic for something to hold on to if you want.) Pull it all the way around the top of the dress and then sew the ends together. Sew the ends to the dress as well for extra reinforcement. Now you can sew the little gap closed.
Cut two 20-inch pieces of the ribbon and use matches or a lighter to seal the ends. These are the shoulder straps. Pin one end of each of the 20-inch ribbons to the inside back of the dress. One needs to go near the right side and the other near the left side. Sew these in place.
Make your buttonholes in the front of the dress by cutting two little slits. One goes near the right and side and one goes near the left. Sew all the way around your new buttonholes to make sure they stay strong and don’t fray.
Let your toddler try on her new dress. Pull the ribbons over her shoulders and through the buttonholes. Tie a knot in each ribbon, and voila – a quick and simple knotted dress!
- If you don’t have any bandanas lying around, just use two pieces of patterned fabric, about 22 square inches.
- Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits; Nancy Langdon, et al.
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