Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dress for Winter III - A Very Simple Jumper

Welcome back to the third instalment of the winter dress
series! Today's post is about how to make this very,
very simple jumper. I made my pattern by tracing
around one of the girls' existing jumpers, my favorite
I Am Lazy method of pattern-making. If you are
sewing for similar-aged children, feel free to use
my knockoff patterns below:

Of course only the upper portion could actually fit on
the paper, so here are the instructions on how to get
the lower portion. This way you can make the A-line as
flared or as narrow as you want by following the
existing slant at point A (or C) or changing it.

So, here's how it works:

  • Use the pattern you printed out to cut the front and back facings.
  • Use the pattern you extrapolated to cut the front and back jumper pieces.
  • Embellish.
  • Sew up the side seams.
  • Join facing to jumper pieces.
  • Sew buttonholes and buttons (or use giant press-studs).
  • Wear.
But for those who want a little more detail, here's the tutorial:

Step 1
As said, cut out the front and back facings and the front and back jumper pieces. Add your own seam allowances!

Step 2


before sewing any seams.

Incidentally, here's how the ruffles are made:

1 Cut strips (ungathered length = 2x gathered length) of fabric and finish the long edges with a rolled hem on the serger.

2 Sew a long running stitch along the middle of the strip:

3 Pull on one (either top or bottom) thread from both ends to gather to desired length.

4 Pin in place on dress and stitch down with matching thread.

5 Remove ugly white thread with seam ripper. Or, if you had used matching thread to sew the long running stitches, you can skip this.

Step 3

  • Line up bottom edges of armscyes of jumper pieces, right sides facing, and sew the side seams.
  • Serge/finish the seam allowance.

Step 4

  • Repeat step 3 for the facing pieces.

  • Serge/finish the bottom hem.

Step 5

  • Turn completed facing from step 4 right side out.
  • Insert into jumper - right sides of facing touching right sides of jumper.
  • Line up the edges and pin in place.

Step 6
  • Sew to attach facing to jumper.
  • Trim and snip/notch the seam allowance all around.

Step 7

Turn right side out and press the seams flat.

Step 8

Top stitch (if you want) close to the edge to secure the facing.

Step 9

By hand, use a few small stitches to attach the seam allowances of the facing to the jumper.
This is to hold the facing down so it doesn't flip up and gag your child when undressing.

Step 10

Sew buttonholes

and buttons

Step 11

Finish the bottom hem and you're done!

Golly- that left pocket is a bit wonky, isn't it?
I'd say you could finish an unembellished jumper like
this in under an hour. But go on, give embellishing a
shot - it's what makes the sewing fun. But just line
your pockets up better than I did!
One more winter dress to come, if all goes well!


  1. This jumper is lovely - and something either one of my girls could wear. Thanks for the excellent tutorial!

  2. Ooooh pretty. I think my girls will get a few of those. It is ok to spend their Christmas money on fabric so long as it is for them right?! LOL

  3. Thank you for the tutorial. I am learning how to sew by trial and error. (sometimes more error) So you tutorials give me more confidance to try out my new serger and make cute clothes. Any tips on serging the curves (like for the peasant blouse). I am really good at straight lines.

  4. That's how I make patterns all the time - trace out an existing piece of clothing. But usually I'm super lazy and just trace right on to the fabric. I'm trying to be better and trace on paper first since I always seem to want to make another one.
    Love the details on your dresses.

  5. Oh this is so pretty. I shall have to do one for Laura. Corduroy pinafores are just my favourite clothes ever!

  6. If you are intimidated by pattern drafting like I am or do not have an existing jumper to copy, McCalls 5416 is this exact jumper. I have made a couple of shirts for my daughter using it, although the pattern has a dress option as well.


  7. There are so many options for cute embellishments - love it!

  8. I found this through mamasmiles :) I love making simple jumpers for my daughter--I'll have to give this a try.

  9. A) That's absolutely adorable! I love the embellishments.

    B) Approximately how tall is the child in question?

  10. Thanks so much! I just have to figure out how to do button-holes now! I love the embellishments!

  11. Fantastic tutorial and such lovely work! I've some corduroy sitting on my shelves that I have been itching to cut into - thanks for the inspiration and nudge to get working!

  12. One of the first things I made for my children was a cute little jumper like this. Memories!

  13. Oh, love it lov it love it! Now I have to had that one to my next-project-to-do-list! Oh, I really wanna make one like this for my daughter! Will show her tomorrow and ask her whether she approves. ;-)
    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  14. Beautiful! I love it! Thanks for posting such great tutorials!!

  15. Darling jumper! I just read that the color of 2010 is turquoise/teal.

  16. so CUTE! i just printed your directions. hope to give them a whirl this week- i'll let you know how i fair. thank goodness my kidlets are the same age/size as yours :D

  17. Hi there,
    I am wondering if you serged the embellishments (the heart and the daisy) onto the dresses? I have a serger and have never used it (it was passed down to me) and I your blog has been great at letting me know what I can do with it!! I need to whip it out and get busy!!
    Thanks so much for your wonderful tutorials!

  18. Christie Jo: I used the zig-zag stitch (set close together, like for buttonholes) on my regular sewing machine for the applique.

  19. Ulrike: Finally got the child in question to stand against the wall to measure her height - 47".

  20. I loved all your tutorials! I made this one for my older girl, it turned out great. I wish I had a serger though :( I posted pictures on my blog!

  21. Many, many thanks for this fabulous tutorial! I made four of these for Valentine's Day gifts (one out of fleece - totally awesome!) for my daughter and her cousins. I'd post photos on my blog, but my child has refused to put hers on. Sigh.

  22. That is just what i have been looking for. Thank you so much for sharing.

  23. Thanks Lier, that's awesome. I'm almost there in my sewing skills to be able to trace around garments... I just get nervous.
    Pattern pieces always look smaller than they are... I'm assuming you put in seam allowances?
    Enjoy your blog thoroughly, even though most of hte time I just lurk :-)

  24. Lier, I made this dress. It came out really cute. I absolutely love that 2 year old's bodice pattern. It was perfect size. Thanks so much. You can see it at my blog. http://loveforsewing.blogspot.com/

  25. As the owner of a brand new serger, I appreciate the serger instructions. ( I have already tried to sew 'like normal' on the serger to my dismay.) Straight edges makes the serger happy. Cute jumper. I am trying this out this afternoon.

  26. Thanks for sharing this. I make my daughter several of these jumpers every year. I like to pair them with a turtleneck and knit tights. In fact I just sold 5 of them on ebay today!
    If you don't like to trace or if you don't have a pattern, New Look 6576 is perfect. You can go on ebay and type in "New Look 6576" or just "simplicity 6576" or just "6576". 6793 is another that might work. Especially for people who hate doing button holes or snaps.

  27. PACounty: I have sewn for 20 years and I still hate buttonholes. I use sew-on snaps. Then, very carefully, I sew a button over the top for decoration. It takes a little practice because you can't sew through the snap. But it can be done. You just have to do it in three stitches and make sure your thread doesn't get tangled. I usually double up on the thread so there are 4 strands total. Then, hold your button about an inch away from your fabric. Go as close as you can without sewing directly to the fabric. Make a 1/4 inch stitch through the fabric, up and down through the holes, through the fabric, through both holes, through the fabric, through both holes. Then pull the strings tight and tie in a knot.
    Like I said, it takes a little practice. But it's the method I prefer.

    These are some I've made using "fake" buttons.



  28. Lier, Thank you so much for this tutorial, I LOVE it and will be making a million for my little girl! I've made my first today and put it on my blog with a link through to your site, hope that's ok? I'm a new UK sewing mum blogger so still trying to work out the ettiquete but you can see my attempt at http://www.bella-boutiqueuk.blogspot.com/

  29. I've been looking for this pattern for ages xD
    I am so thankful I came across your blog.. and tutorial.. I am in the middle of making this jumper right now.. I thought to get on here and thank you before am done <3

    I am making the 2 yrs old one. so simple yet amazing tutorial =D

  30. I done one for my little girl, she look so cute.

  31. I love this jumper! perfect for the winter. Thanks for sharing your pattern and tips. I do have one question. How do you make the round neckline and the armholes so perfect? I would like to make one for my 4 yr old but I have a hard time making the round neckline and the armholes. Hope to hear from you!!!

  32. @luzel
    Luzel, the facing will allow you to get the armholes in smooth curves. Try to keep your stitching line as smooth as possible and when you snip the seam allowance (step 6), make the snips close together (about 1 cm at the most) and the edge will be smooth when you turn it out, not angular.

  33. Hi, I just made this dress out of some vintage liberty print that used to be the curtains in my parent's room when I was little, and embellished with some patchwork octagons that my Husband's grandmother never got around to putting in a quilt, I finished it with two matching style buttons that weren't the same size, and it looks seriously awesome and brings a smile to my face with all the memories too. Thanks for such a quick, cute pattern that was a pleasure to make.

  34. Hi and thank you for all your easy tutorials!
    My qu is...can i use a thinner cotton fabric to make this beautiful outfit for my daughter?? I have a check/strawberry material, however due to it being summer in australia i would like to use a thinner fabric for this outfit but wasn't sure how it would sit. I have made a few skirts from your tutes and loved every one of them (though I'm new to the sewing game and am excited to do this new project!!)

    Any help is appreciated :)
    Thank you

  35. I've had fabric and a vision of this dress in mind for months. With your tutorial I feel I can take on this project with a bit more confidence. Thank you!

  36. Hy! This dress is very cute and i like to sew that. I'm from germany but my english is not so good. I understand the tutorial but I dont find the pattern. Could somebody mail the pattern to
    Thank you very much!

  37. This is great, thanks so much for sharing! I love pinafore styles for little girls- just so classic. The corduroy is a nice choice too.

  38. I need some help please. I am new to printing patterns and wonder if you could tell me where I am going wrong. I seem to get the pattern but they are too small and when I remove the "shrink to fit" I get only part of the pattern and dont know how to get the other part.....Can you give me some advice? Much appreciated Sue

  39. I need some help please. I am new to printing patterns and wonder if you could tell me where I am going wrong. I seem to get the pattern but they are too small and when I remove the "shrink to fit" I get only part of the pattern and dont know how to get the other part.....Can you give me some advice? Much appreciated Sue

    1. Hi Sue, I'll try, but I suspect each printer is different so I probably can't help much with your printer. Times like these I often feel I want to kick my printer anyway and say, "wake up and read my mind already!" The patterns I drew were on a US letter-size paper (8.5 x 11 inches) and if you can print it out so that the sheet is that size, it will be correct. When I drew that pattern, I'd hadn't thought of putting in the calibration 1" square so people can print and compare that to their own printout. Is there a little box in your printer menu that allows you to choose 100%?

    2. Thanks for replying so quickly to my printer problem. I managed to sort it out eventually and am halfway through making the pinafore. Will definately post pic when I am finished :-) Sue

  40. Thanks for your quick reply to my printing problem. I managed to sort it out taking your advice and am halfway through making it. Should be completed by tomorrow....Will definately post pics :-) Sue

  41. Thank you for replying to my query so quickly yesterday. I managed to sort out the printer problem I was having and am now halfway through the pinafore.:-) Will post pic when completed....Sue

  42. Thank you for replying to my query so quickly yesterday. I managed to sort out the problem I was having with my printer and am halfway through making the pinafore....Will post pic when completed....Sue

  43. Love your jumper! I found the tutorial so easy to follow and am really happy with my results. I blogged about my jumper here and linked back to your blog a couple times: http://allthisforthem.blogspot.com/2012/11/jumper-with-fun-pocket.html
    Thanks so much for such a great post! I hope to make another jumper again soon! :)

  44. From Greece. Thanks so much for sharing.

  45. Thank you so much! I love this tutorial!...and so many others that you post. This jumper is the exact style I've been looking for. I can't wait until my little one opens it for her Christmas present. I posted a link to this tutorial on my Facebook page, but here's the one with the jumper. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151317374724415&set=a.300197419414.147074.290147999414&type=1&theater

  46. Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I've been searching for a pattern like this for my niece - here's my finished product. x

  47. Thank you so much for this tutorial. First time I've made a dress and really pleased with how it turned out http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewumm/10407751626/in/photostream/

  48. This is amazing. Well done you! I've just bought my first sewing machine and this is going to be my first project. Thank you for the great tutorial :)

  49. I need one for a boy! Urgently! Thanks.

  50. I love this so much and got fabric today to make one for my daughter. One question: what kind of material did you use for the facing? Also, if another button were put on the reverse of the shoulder strap could it be reversible? Thank you so much!

    1. Mary Beth - I used quilting cotton for the facing, but if you wanted it reversible, you might want to use a fabric that's similar in weight to the main fabric, so that they feel "equal". And yes, you could put another button on the reverse side of the strap to make it reversible. Here is that same jumper in a doll-size, reversible, with the four buttons (snaps in that case) oriented the way you describe (scroll to the third photo): http://www.ikatbag.com/2013/11/fairytale-doll-pattern-preview.html

  51. So great that you like little girls to look like little girls. Couldn't make out what size this pattern is for. Help. Thanks.

  52. very very helpful tutorial, especially for beginners.... thanks a lot

  53. Can this be made reversible???

  54. Oh, the dress is so lovely....
    My Englesh isn't good but I have a question!
    I want to sew a dress for my friend's daughter. She is 15 months old, that I use to sew 2 years? I sew for the first time, and she was big for her age, and should be a gift but I do not want to check the size .... Is the pattern to be cut at the edges and still be left at 1 cm from the side? Thanks and sorry to my bad English

    1. Hi Anna, this pattern does not have seam allowances. So cut the paper pattern out along the lines, but when you lay it out on the fabric, you need to add your own seam allowances (SA). I usually cut a border of fabric around the actual paper pattern lines. And yes, you could use 1 cm seam allowances.

  55. Thank you very much,
    Best regards, Anna

  56. I made a fully reversible version of this by slightly altering your instructions to cut 2 full size fronts and backs. I used press studs instead of buttons because I am lazy. It fit the age perfectly and was a great gift. I will definitely be making another for my niece for her 2nd birthday. Thank you very much for sharing this lovely simple pattern - it was exactly the thing I was after

  57. Thankyou for sharing the pattern & tutorial. I made it in cat in the hat cotton for our hot Australian summer. Will do a winter version when it cools down.


Thank you for talking to me! If you have a question, I might reply to it here in the comments or in an email.