A Year of Dresses: Butterfly Baby Top

This week I'm back with another great sewing project for the end of summer, heading into fall.  If you still need some back to school sewing this outfit will be great!  Shoulders covered, check. Playground appropriate, check.  Layer-able, check.

The Butterfly Baby Top will quickly become on of your favorite go to patterns (and the girls' Butterfly Dress too)! It is perfect for mixing fun prints and adding embellishments.  It is also very cute layered, and you know that's a big hit for me.

I've pared my top with Sterling Leggings.  If you haven't grabbed this pattern yet, do it now!  It is wonderful on every level and will be a staple in every girl closet.  Today I chose the simple, plain leggings version.  They are classic and easy.  Seriously, they sew together in half an hour!

So let's talk about the patterns.  Butterfly for Baby is a long top length with hem band, and covers little ones from 0-24 months.  The Butterfly Dress for girls, covering sizes 2-8,  is dress length and has a hem ruffle.  With a few simple adjustments though you can make a dress for babies or a tunic for girls.  Don't worry, I'll tell you how!

The Butterfly baby top is a long tunic length top.  It is great with Sterling Shorties and Leggings.  Or, if you prefer woven fabric, Pretty Pantaloons are adorable.  On little babies, I think it passes as a dress with just a Diaper Cover added.

First let's talk about adding a ruffle to the hem instead of a band.  The finished length of your ruffle should be about 1 1/2" for the smallest sizes and 2 1/2" for the largest 18-24 month size. To make a ruffle cut four strips the width indicated in the pattern and between 2 1/2" and 3 1/2" wide depending on your size.  Finish your ruffle with a narrow hem by folding under 1/4" and another 1/4" and stitching close to the edge. Gather and sew to the bottom of the skirt.  Easy Peasy!

Now, making top into a dress....
Super simple!

Do you want to know how to make the girls dress into a top?  As a general rule of thumb, you can make a tunic length top from the girl's Butterfly Dress by cutting the skirt 5" shorter than directed in the pattern. For most accurate results, measure the child.

I did one other easy modification to this Butterfly Top.  I added 1" to the center back pattern pieces and overlapped them instead of abutting them together.  I then finished with my favorite, easy finish, KAMsnaps.

Once again, you've caught me on vacation!  Sweet Pea has worn this top since last spring.  She wore it layer with leggings then, has worn it with shorts this summer and will keep wearing it as the weather gets cooler.  It has definitely gotten shorter on her, but remember, it is a longer tunic length so there is plenty of growing room!  Did you notice those cute flutter sleeves? I love them!  So girly and sweet.

This top and dress can be made as simple or embellished as you like.  On this dress I decided to leave off the tuxedo ruffle and simply add a couple buttons to the bodice.  I love the tuxedo detail too though!  It's a great place to add a little spark of color.  Color placement can completely change the look of this sweet outfit as well.  Here is one I made with a tuxedo ruffle and a bit more color-blocking style. Completely different look, but I like it as well!

Enjoy making a Butterfly top or dress.  Actually make some of both!   Here's your pattern highlights:

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