Run your gathering stitch in between your two shoulder markings.
Pull the bobbin threads to gather the shoulders of the arm pieces.
Stitch sleeves to bodice.
Turn bodice inside out and stitch up the arm and down the bodice on both sides to complete the top piece.
Add collar around neck-line. I used a vintage crocheted collar from my Grandmother and used a straight-stitch to attach it. You could make your own peter-pan collar or use no collar at all. If you don’t use a collar, you will want to turn the neck line under if you have any raw edges and stitch in place. You can always cut your neck-line wider to accommodate the side collar you have……that’s what I did.
Where the collar came together in the back, I added a fabric covered button that matches the skirt fabric. You can find fabric covered button kits in the notions section of your fabric store.
Cut the pieces for the skirt. Cut TWO rectangle pieces on the fold, each 21″ wide (so each piece once unfolded will be 42″ wide). The length is going to vary depending on your child. Measure your child from below the chest to right at the knee, then add an inch. Stitch both raw edges of the skirt pieces together – right sides together.
Cut the pieces for the ruffle. I cut these pieces about 2 inches wide out of the cashmere sweater. The width of your skirt piece will be about 84″ total, so you want your ruffle to be 2-2.5 times that……..168″ or 210″ (depends on how full you want the ruffle).
Once you have cut all of your sweater ruffle pieces, you will need to sew them all together to make one large circle.
Sew each raw edge together to form the large circle of fabric.
To ruffle the fabric, run a gathering stitch down the center of the fabric. Do not back-stitch at the beginning or end or the gathering will not work. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the ruffle to your desired length.
Pin ruffle in place and run another regular straight stitch down the center of the ruffle to attach it to the skirt. Hem the bottom of the skirt. Turn under 1/4″ and then another 1/4″……….then attach picot edging to the hem if you are choosing to use this trim.
Now gather the top of the skirt. Run another gathering stitch along the top edge of the skirt. Pull bobbin thread to gather.
Now it is time to attach the skirt to the bodice. Turn skirt inside out, slide bodice, right side out inside skirt.
Pin skirt to bodice, adjust the gathering on the skirt as necessary to fit to bodice.
Stitch skirt to bodice, then turn right side out and press.
Put dress on your child and measure how long you need the sleeves to be. Mark with fabric marking pen.
Run a gathering stitch towards the bottom of the sleeve and gather the sleeve until you have reached your desired length. Go back over the gather with a regular straight stitch to lock in place.
For the final touch, I reclaimed some of the buttons from the original sweater and added them on the top of the gather on each sleeve.
And there you have it – a one-of-a-kind “Winter Wonderland Dress”. If you decide to make one of these fun dresses or interpret it to make your own, I always LOVE to see pictures!