I simply adore this dress. I have no idea if I actually made this dress the right way, but I took the knowledge I had and worked it out. There may be better ways to do some of the things in my tutorial, but this dress was a fun chance to try new things!
What you need based on a 4t size:
1/2 yard cotton muslin for bodice lining
1 yard satin
1/2 yard chiffon
1/4 yard rose swirl minky
1 large sweater
From muslin or material you are using for lining cut out a front and back bodice using your favorite bodice pattern blocks - the ones I used didn't have a back opening, but even if they do, subtract the seam allowance on the back side and cut the fabric on the fold to make it one piece.
I started by adding single fold binding to the outside of both the front and back bodice piece - stitching 1/4" from the edge. I used pink binding to make it easier to see what I was doing.
Then turn the binding to the inside pulling under the raw edge. Iron and sew seam 1/8" from the outer edge of binding.
Lay each bodice piece out on your knit fabric and cut out the bodice shape adding 1/2" around the edge since the knit likes to ravel. I also used temporary spray adhesive so the knit fabric would not wriggle around and stretch. The picture here is with left over fabric from the sweater since I forgot to take a pic the first time, oopsie. When I originally made it, I used the existing neck line of the sweater because it had a nice and neat finished edge and would not ravel. You can see this on the next picture below.
Sew the shoulder seams together. Then add binding using the same method as above to the arm holes.
Then stitch down ONE SIDE only - the other one will have a zipper inserted.
Set the top aside for now. For the skirt size I measured McKenna's waist and doubled the measurement. Then I measured from her belly button to her knees and added 4 inches (3" for the bubble and 1" for the seams).
The bubble skirt I made had 3 total pieces of fabric in it. The top layer was satin covered with a sparkly chiffon layer and the under layer was also satin.
Once again I sprayed temporary adhesive in between the top two layers so they would act as one. Then with the right sides facing each other I layed the under layer on top and stitched the long (bottom) edge together.
Iron the seams and then open skirt so the wrong sides are now facing. Aline the edges of the top side of the skirt, so the top layer of the fabric is even with the layer underneath like below. Then zig zag or serge the edge sewing all three layers together. Do this also for both short ends of the skirt.
Then gather the waist of the skirt
Right sides together join the short edges starting approximately 3 inches down
Sew bodice top to skirt bottom. Line up the side seam on the skirt with the open side of the bodice. Ease the gathers of the skirt to stretch evenly along the top and then sew together using 1/2" seam.
To insert the zipper: first sew a 1" closure from the top of the arm hole down. Then insert the zipper. (it wasn't actually as difficult as I thought it would be with all the bulky sweater knit. I finished the raw edges with Hem Tape, but binding would work just as well. (The hem take is kind of a mess - that's what happens when I sew by hand!)
For the hood I used the bottom half of the sweater
I traced a hood from a top my kids already had and then used that to cut out the hood on the sweater knit adding a 1/2 " for seam allowance.
Fold 8" wide piece of rose swirl minky into thirds and pin to edge of hood
I forgot to take pictures the first time, so this one doesn't show the hood already
cut out, again whoops.
Sew the seam down the back of the hood and then insert hood into dress. With right sides facing each other line up the center seam of the hood with the center back of the dress. I used the neckline already in place, which was lined with ribbon, It was about an inch from the top of the sweater where the tag was. It was easier to have it attach to something with stability as opposed to the open weave of the sweater. If you use a knit without a neckline already in place, you could add some ribbon or hem tape to help hold the hood down securely.
I finished by adding a satin bow to the front.
I couldn't help but smile to myself when I saw how cute McKenna looked with the furry hood on. I need to make more clothes with hoods!