DIY FRIDAY: EMBROIDERED MOTHER’S DAY DRESS TUTORIAL

Merrick's Art White Embroidered Fit and Flare Dress
Merrick's Art Embroidered Hemline
Merrick's Art Gold Belt White Dress
Merrick's Art White Dress Gold Belt
Merrick's Art Mother's Day White Dress
Merrick's Art Embroidered Fit and Flare Dress
Merrick's Art Mother's Day Dress
DETAILS: Dress, made by me (tutorial below) | gold belt | blush heels | michael kors watch   
*photos by sara walk

Making dresses for special occasions has become one of my favorite things to do. Birthday dresses, Easter dresses, Christmas dresses…so it only seemed right to make a Mother’s Day dress. Even though I could have made any old dress and called it a Mother’s Day dress, I wanted to come up with something that was a little more special, and specifically for Mother’s Day.

That’s when I came up with an embroidery idea. I’ve been wanting to do an embroidery project for a while now (in fact, Janome just sent me one of their fancy embroidery machines to try out for a couple of months, so there will probably be more embroidered projects here soon if I don’t completely screw them up…since I have no idea what I’m doing…) but since I didn’t have an embroidery machine at the time, I went for some simple hand embroidery around the hem and neckline. It’s kind of messy and imperfect, and I sort of love it that way.

But the thing I love the most, and that makes it perfect for Mother’s Day, is the little embroidered “Mama” down on the hem. It’s subtle and hardly noticeable unless you are looking for it, but having my favorite name written right on the dress makes it such a special garment.

The great thing about this idea is that you could add the embroidery to an existing dress! I shared how to do the embroidery over on Jo-Ann’s blog (where I contribute twice a month, if you didn’t know!) But today I’m sharing how to do the entire project, including making the dress.

Click the READ MORE button below to find the tutorial!

Materials: 
– 2 yards white fabric (mine is a cotton linen blend from Jo-Ann’s that has a little stretch on the bias)
– embroidery thread (I needed two of each color to make the neckline and hemline) 
– thick needle (with an eye big enough to thread the embroidery thread through it)
– white thread

Follow the illustration and corresponding written instructions to create this dress:
1. First cut your pattern pieces. Use a bodice from a dress you already own and use it as a guide to make a pattern piece for each part you need (detailed tutorial for this coming soon!)
These are the pattern pieces you’ll need:
– BODICE FRONT (cut along the folded edge)
– 2 BODICE BACK pieces
– NECKLINE LINING (cut 2 along the folded edge — the curve of this should match the curve of your bodice neckline and should be about 2″ wide all the way across)
– 2 SLEEVES (cut along the folded edge)
– 2 SKIRT pieces. 
To make the SKIRT pieces, take two large, identical rectangles of fabric and cut two curved triangle pieces (as shown in the illustration above) using the measurements below.
Measure the inner half circle (waist) by finding your waist radius using the following equation: 
waist measurement / 3.14 / 2 = radius
make a point in the very center of the inner circle (which will be right on the top edge of your fabric), and measure the radius distance in every direction from this point to form a perfect half circle. Next, determine how long you want the skirt, and repeat for the outer half circle. **You can make your skirt as full as you’d like — I didn’t make a complete half circle for the outer edge because I didn’t want a full circle skirt. I cut mine at an angle making the shape shown in the illustration, which made the skirt have some fullness, but not too much. 
Now you should have all your pattern pieces, and it’s time to sew!

2. Sew darts into your BODICE FRONT piece. I added bust and center waist darts — you can do however many you need for the perfect bodice fit. (Detailed dart tutorial coming soon!)

3. Sew the BODICE FRONT and two BODICE BACK pieces together at the shoulder seams (with right sides together).

4. Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. Line up the top of the sleeve with the bodice shoulder seam (as shown) with right sides together. Pin in place.

5. Continue pinning the sleeve to the bodice, and then sew along the arm hole with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve.

6. With right sides together, sew the sides of the bodice up with a straight stitch.

7. Sew the two neckline pieces together to form an “O,” cut the back open to match the open BODICE back, and then attach the NECKLINE LINING to the BODICE neckline with a straight stitch (there’s a more detailed illustration and instruction for this step over here). Then tuck the lining inside the neckline, press flat, and stitch around the neckline with a wide stitch to hold the lining underneath.
8. Take your back SKIRT piece and cut it down the middle to make two identical halves. You’ll need it open to insert the zipper later. 
9. With right sides together, sew your FRONT SKIRT piece to your 2 BACK SKIRT pieces at the side seams. 
10. Now your bodice should be complete, and your skirt should be all sewn together. Take the completed bodice and completed skirt and pin them together at the waist with right sides together. Make sure you match up the side seams! Sew across the waist with a straight stitch to attach them. 
11. Insert your zipper using the instructions on the package, and then sew up the rest of the dress in the back. Hem your skirt, hem the sleeves, and you’re done!
Now if you want to add the embroidery, hop on over to Jo-Ann’s blog and follow the instructions