A Year of Dresses: The Coral Dress

A Year of Dresses is winding down with just one more month of posts left!  It's hard to believe almost a whole year has passed.  I'm pretty positive I've touched on every Tie Dye Diva dress or skirt pattern at least once (someone please correct me if I've missed one!), and will be spending the next few weeks revisiting a few favorites for spring and summer.

This week is The Coral Dress.  I love this dress and I feel it is often overlooked, so my goal today is to make you notice! The Coral Top and Dress was the first pattern in the Diva Collection and really kicked it off in style. The pattern includes both dress and top length as well as strap, flutter or cap sleeve options.  There is also a sweet optional apron that is the perfect place for special trims.  In true Diva Collection style, this pattern includes ten sizes from 6-12 months through girls 9/10.  Recommended sewing level is advanced beginner.  This pattern really is quite simple and goes together quickly, yet delivers a dress that is full of fun and flair.  This is also the perfect dress if you are out of paper or printer ink!  No pattern pieces are necessary, simply follow the cutting chart for each tier.

For reference, I made a size 3 dress with cap sleeves and no apron for Sweet Pea (you can see the strap version in this post).  While her chest is still barely a size 2 on the Tie Dye Diva size chart, she is nearly 38" tall, placing her squarely in the 3 size range for height.  I typically mix sizes for Sweet Pea, but the shirred bodice is very forgiving and I knew that the size 3 bodice would fit just fine.

Shirring is required for this pattern, but, have no fears! There is a full shirring tutorial included in the pattern.  If you can sew a straight (or nearly so) line, then you can shirr following Jen's wonderful tutorial.  I like to shirr in a continuous line.  To do this I stitch in the ditch down the side seam to get down to the start of the next row.  I do back-tack at the beginning of each row in case of the unfortunate event of breaking a thread.

I really love the poofy little cap sleeves!
I added some sweet cotton lace trim to the skirt at the seam line instead of topsitiching.  I love the extra touch it adds!  I stitched both trims on with simple white thread after sewing the and pressing the seams.

The combination of shirred bodice and below the knee length guarantee that this dress will fit for a long time to come, which of course makes this mama happy.  Sweet Pea will be happy too because she specifically requested this "bunny fabric."  This collection of fabric, Spring Hare by Lewis and Irene, has been quite popular this spring, as you may have noticed.  Many of the fabrics are out of stock everywhere, but a few prints are still available, including the gray damask I used, from One Red Blossom.


The tiers, of course, make this dress beautifully twirly! Another bit hit with Sweet Pea.  On a more practical note, the tiers make this dress an excellent use of large scraps or small cuts of fabric, making it a big hit for the seamstresses!

 Here's your quick pattern rundown.

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