the First Day Dress Pattern is HERE!

by Dana on June 30, 2014

Whether it’s your first day of school or a lazy day at home, everyone deserves a dress that makes them feel special.  So dress it up, spin around, throw on your boots or a pair of shorts, and just be you!

First Day Dress Pattern – $10
Add to Cart

The First Day Dress is a PDF pattern, ranging from sizes 2 to 10 years old.
There are 5 different style options—each can be made with or without sleeves.  And there are 4 different lining options to make it fully or partially lined.

If you’ve never sewn a lining, it’s so much easier than you think.

And the result is beautiful.  All those seams are hidden, the garment looks polished, and hey your friends might even think it came from a store!
You’re that good.


So make your dress twirl!  Keep it straight.
Cut it short.  Or add on sleeves.



The choices are up to you!
And there’s something for everybody.

Here are the details….

This is a 46-page PDF document, with detailed information and pattern pieces for sewing a First Day Dress or Top.
Instructions are easy to follow, with beautiful photos and illustrations, and a conversational tone that helps you feel like I’m right there next to you, joining in the sewing fun!

SKILL LEVEL
Advanced Beginner +
Of course I encourage anyone to push themselves and take on a challenge.   So if you’re a true beginner, don’t be scared off.  You can always give it a shot!  Or grab a sewing friend to coach you along the way.  Sewing is always an adventure!

STYLES
The First Day Dress comes in 5 styles.  Each can be made with or without sleeves:
• A-Line Dress
• A-Line Top
• Swing Dress
• Swing Top
• Swing Dress/Top with Front Placket

SIZING
• The pattern ranges from 2 to 10 years old.
• Sizes are labeled according to age and based on the average size of a child, similar to what you would find in retail stores.

The charts below help you find the proper size and are included in the pattern with details and tips.

FABRIC and MATERIALS
For each Dress or Top you need:
• Outer Fabric
• Lining Fabric
• Back Button
• 6 inches of Elastic Cord
• small amount of Piping (placket option only)
• front buttons (placket option only)

Fabric types:
• Quilting cotton, medium-weight cotton, home decor fabrics, broadcloth, linen, lightweight cotton, etc. (more details and the chart below are included in the pattern).


DOWNLOADING the pattern
• After purchasing, you are sent a link for downloading the pattern to your computer.  This is sent to the email address attached with your paypal account.  When you open the download pattern link, make sure you save the pdf file to your computer so you always have it for future use.
• The file size is 3.6 MB

PRINTING
• You do not need to print every page.  A chart is included, showing which pages to print for each size. 
• Pages print to standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper (for printing outside of the US see below)
• Pages are pieced together by trimming along the border, matching them at the markings, and taping together.  I’ve tried to make this as simple as possible with detailed instructions in the pattern itself.

Printing in another Country (outside of the US)
The pattern was created for standard US printers but should work for other countries as well. There are measuring rulers on the side of each page (in inches) so you can see if you’ve printed to the proper print size. The pattern images do NOT print to edge of the paper…so I recommend printing to your standard size paper, checking the ruler, and matching the pattern pieces up as outlined in the instructions.

And that’s about it!
Ready to Sew??

PURCHASE
First Day Dress Pattern – $10
Add to Cart

• Instant payment is through Paypal
• E-check payment through Paypal will delay your pattern download a few days.
• MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE PROPER EMAIL ADDRESS ATTACHED TO YOUR PAYPAL
ACCOUNT. This email address is where the info about your purchase and download instructions will be sent.
• You will receive a few emails confirming your payment and providing info about downloading the pdf pattern to your computer.

When you’ve finished sewing, share your photos with us!
• Instagram them with the tag #firstdaydressmade and tag me as well @danamadeit
• Share them in the You Made it Flickr group.

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda June 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

YAY! I’m so excited to make this dress!!

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2 Hilary June 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

Beautiful! I’m SO excited to get sewing!!!!

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3 Laura J B June 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

Just love it, cant wait to get sewing :) :) :)

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4 Eleena June 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

Added to cart and checked out before you could say “Paypal”! So excited to make this in Nani Iro that I’ve been hoarding. :-)

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5 Joy June 30, 2014 at 9:54 am

I usually don’t sew clothes, but I might just have to do this one! So sweet!

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6 Jackie June 30, 2014 at 10:06 am

*squeal* YES! I am so excited! Such cute looks. I can’t wait to get started! Thanks, Dana.

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7 lorna June 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

I just downloaded the pattern, and I’m so impressed by the level of detail and photos in your instructions. Can’t wait to sew this up….many times!!

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8 Dana June 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Fantastic! Thanks Lorna :)

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9 sage June 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this pattern release! Do you think it would be suitable for knit fabrics without stretch? My toddler is sensitive to stiffer fabrics, so I’m thinking a thicker knit jersey or interlock would be her preference. I love love love all the variations. Your patterns are my favorites. I have a few. :)

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10 Dana June 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

yes, that would be fantastic!
I think it would work with stretchy knits too….I just haven’t tried it yet (but I plan to! :))

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11 sage June 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Yay! Now all my toddler’s dress dreams will come true. :) She was gifted a j.crew peplum top that she wore until it no longer fit (almost daily, literally!) so I’ll be able to make that too.
Thanks! Can’t wait to whip some up!

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12 Dana June 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm

how perfect! Now you’re making me want to try it in some interlock…. :)

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13 kristin June 30, 2014 at 12:41 pm

aw man Dana, it’s adorable! love the options and it’s got awesome twirl factor! congrats on the pattern release!!!

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14 Subha June 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Can’t wait! Now…I wonder if I can enlarge it for myself.. No seriously!

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15 Emily June 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm

So cute! Congratulations on the new pattern!

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16 Melanie June 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I love the options! This is a top-priority project now, my girls took a look and can’t wait for their own!

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17 Amy G. June 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Sort of unrelated, but where did you get the striped fabric in the top right hand corner of the pattern collage?? I gotta have some! And now related – I wish I had a little girl to make this for! :)

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18 Amy G. June 30, 2014 at 3:09 pm

And if it is discontinued Ikea, would you know where I could buy some? :) (I’ll pay lots! ;))

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19 Dana July 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Hi Amy!
Yes, the colorful striped fabric is from IKEA….but sadly, I don’t think they carry it anymore :( I’m super bummed as well and wish I had bought yards and yards of it!
Sorry.

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20 Amanda Shuler July 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

I just got the large stripe fabric from Ikea in blue just two days ago. They also had it in green stripe. Did not see the red. I was at the store in Chalotte.

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21 Crystal June 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm

LOVE IT!! Such nice pattern/color selections.

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22 Nadine June 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm

YAY!!!
I have been awaiting this pattern release since you first blogged about the dress!
BEAUTIFUL! Can’t wait to make…
…many different garments :-).

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23 Becky Thompson June 30, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Congrats on the pattern launch! And tell Lucy she did a great job modeling!

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24 Norma June 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm

You are such a clever girl, well done and thank you.

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25 Jaime Kollman June 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

All the way from Darwin ‘Northern Territory’ Aus. A big big thank you for creating such an amazing pattern. You are the most amazingly creative person. I can’t wait to sew this dress using material I purchased 18months ago waiting for the perfect time to use it.
The material is designed my Sarah Jane and is called ‘children at play’
The print is called ‘on parade in multi’ it’s absolutely gorgeous with kids with balloons and an elephant and a pull cart. It’s to die for.
Thanks again and can’t wait to get started.
J

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26 Rose July 1, 2014 at 6:01 am

I’m in Darwin too! Have been waiting to make this dress for ages. My daughter will love it!

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27 Dana July 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Fantastic! :)

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28 Tay Sin Yee June 30, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Hi !
Those dresses are amazing , love em all . x

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29 Karrie Smith June 30, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Now only if you made this in adult sizes!

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30 Dori Troutman June 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Dana, I purchased your pattern and am so excited to make this dress for my little grand-girls. It is so totally adorable. And I absolutely cannot believe the quality of the pattern and the work you put into it. It is worth WAY MORE than the $10.00, you crazy girl! Thanks again! – Dori -

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31 Dana July 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Well that’s wonderful to hear! Thank you :)

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32 gail June 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm

ahhhhh, such a great pattern! your versions are all adorable!

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33 Jenny Egbert July 1, 2014 at 12:53 am

So cute! Just wish I could make one for myself.

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34 Amanda Callaghan July 1, 2014 at 3:33 am

Hi Dana (all the way from Cape Town, South Africa):

Just purchased you pattern for the day dress and the 6 minutes it took to download was the longest ever. Can’t wait to sew all the variations for my nearly 5yr old granddaughter. I avidly read all your newsletters and your tutorials are really something else. Thanks again.

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35 Preethi July 1, 2014 at 6:26 am

Beautiful dresses.. love the options

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36 Megan July 1, 2014 at 7:23 am

Hooley Dooley. I’m so so excited. Just organised a babysitter for a couple of hours so I can whip up a mock dress before I cut into the good stuff. Pattern printed, cut out, machine fired up and muslin at the ready.

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37 jennifer July 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

This is so beautiful! I have three boys. But I desperately want to make this dress! Love. Love. Love. And your girls are so cute.

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38 Amanda July 1, 2014 at 9:32 am

Okay, gorgeous pattern and I can’t wait to make one or two or ten, but can I just stop a minute and ask…is that CLARA in the orange one??? When did she become such a grown up little miss?! These kids…stop it! Mine won’t stop growing either :)

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39 Melissa July 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm

HI I made this last night in a size 9, i just wanted to let you know that the sleeve for the 9 is about an inch too short on both sides. it doesnt line up very nicely.

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40 Dana July 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Hi Melissa, the sleeve actually is NOT supposed to fit the entire length of the armhole. It’s more of a cap sleeve, rather than a full sleeve. Refer back to page 18 of the pattern and you’ll see one of the bullet points:
“Note that the sleeve does not fill the entire length of the armhole. There will be excess armhole fabric on each side of the sleeve.”

The pictures should help you see it visually as well.

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41 Melissa July 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Yes I understand that, I wish the sleeve had alternative option.

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42 Alice July 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm

thanks from France. This pattern is very beautiful, I really love it and I want to sew it for my Constance. Made is wonderful ! Merci !

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43 Peppi July 2, 2014 at 2:55 am

Love love, as always you have created a beautiful pattern. Can’t wait to download it on the weekend! Thanks again Dana. P x

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44 isa July 2, 2014 at 8:12 am

So cute! Congratulations on the new pattern!
I look forward to your level.
Your explanations are perfect for a beginner.

Thank you from the other side of the ocean (from Barcelona)

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45 Ashley July 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm

I’m almost finished with my daughter’s dress and I absolutely love it. Without a doubt, your patterns are the best around. Thanks so much for spending the time getting this put together. You can really tell you put a lot of time into it. The dress is so cute on my little girl.

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46 Jenny July 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I will totally be making this for my girl but I have somewhat of an unrelated question.
Well it’s kind of related :) I’m looking to make a dress for myself in the exact same swing style as the very first picture … any ideas where I can find one online that is adult size.
I consider myself advanced beginner but I definitely need to work from a pre made pattern. Thanks for your time! I love everything you design.

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47 Dana July 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm

hmmm. I actually don’t know of a specific one but I would look at Colette Patterns. She has amazing women’s stuff and some very vintage/modern looks. If anyone else has recommends please chime in!

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48 Monia July 3, 2014 at 5:12 am

Hi! Thank you for your patterns! Today I’ll try this dess, I can’t wait.
I still have the kid shorts and I love it too!!

I only have a small suggestion: I’m italian and I alway have to convert the inch in cm.
Can’t you think to insert the table of converted measures in pdf files? It would be very useful for all us using cm!!

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49 Jess July 3, 2014 at 6:54 am

What is the blue geometric pattern fabric in the first pattern? It is so cute! Would you be willing to share where you found it? Thanks!!

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50 Dana July 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

It’s from Joann Fabrics, from the home decor section (not the fabrics on the big round rolls….but the ones folded on standard bolts). Sadly though, I bought it about 2 years ago and I don’t think they carry it anymore. But they have tons of other cute ones right now!

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51 Jess July 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Thanks! I’ll keep my eyes open for something similar.

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52 Melanie P July 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I’m so excited!! I had such great luck with your Baby Doll Basket, I can’t wait to try this out!

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53 Tricia July 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm

LOVE this pattern! You are so talented!!! Any plans to increase the size to 12-14 on this pattern?

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54 Dana July 7, 2014 at 8:53 am

Not at this time. Sorry
The pattern starts to change as you get into teen sizes, with girls’ body shapes changing. And it requires adding an extra seam and more fabric to the circle skirt as well….but who knows what the future holds! :)

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55 elana July 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

so excited! yay! now i know what i’m making as a birthday present for my niece and a dress for my daughter!

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56 elana July 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

okay, now that i’m all downloaded and printed and cut and taped, i have 2 questions!

1. i’m so confused about where to cut for the skirt (i’m doing the swing dress in size 2). i see the bottom hem to cut but where do i cut at the top? at the very top of the paper? by the peplum lines?

2. if i do separate hems for the skirt and lining, why do i do the hems opposite each other (meaning why is the hem for the lining done to the “right side”/outside and the hem for the outside is done to the “wrong side”/inside?

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57 Dana July 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

HI Elana,
1. Yes, cut the skirt at the top, along the very top lines (which is the waistline) The second set of lines is the hem (the bottom) for the peplum top (the shirt version)

2. You could totally hem the two separate skirts in the same direction. But it just feels natural to hem each one under as you would if they were stand-alone dresses….which means that yes, you do hem them in a similar manner (each hem folds under to the wrong side of the fabric)….but because the Lining and Outer dresses are facing each other, the hems end up being opposite of each other. Hope that makes sense. It’s just a little thing.

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58 Nicole July 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I am so excited about making lots of dresses with this pattern! But before I start I am trying to figure out the right size. I made a muslin of the bodice only for the swing dress in a size 5 and the unfinished bottom of the muslin is about 2 inches above her belly button. Does that sound right? Where should the bottom of the bodice hit typically? I am questioning whether I need to go up to a 6…..It is also a challenge to get the bodice over her head, even after going with a 5″ slit.

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59 Dana July 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

The swing dress is supposed to hit a little higher than the belly button, sort of a high-waisted look.
So your measurements sound about right on that.

The slit will open up more when you sew the two layers together, factoring in that the seam allowance will take away 3/8 inches of fabric all around the neckline and on the back slit (making the whole thing more open). Of course if you still feel like that’s not enough, you can trim the neckline down a bit (cut the neckline on the next size down when cutting, but cut it UP to the proper shoulder line for her true size), or you can cut the slit another 1/2 inch. You just don’t want the slit to be too large that runs down the entire back of the dress.

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60 Julie July 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Just purchased and printed out this pattern and have started to cut the material, and my question is…… Can you cut the bottom (of the swing dress) in one piece (like the circle skirt) ? or does it need to be 2 cuts ?
Thanks !! and double thanks for a GREAT pattern.

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61 Dana July 13, 2014 at 11:46 am

The skirt is not a true circle so it doesn’t work exactly like the circle skirt tutorial.
So I recommend still cutting in two pieces. Also, it would be difficult to find a piece of fabric large enough to cut a full circle in one piece for the larger sizes of the dress, thus, the two pieces.
Hope that helps!
- Dana

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62 Julie July 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Thanks…I realized this later on while getting father into the pattern.

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63 Julie W July 11, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Will you being making a video for this ? Having a small problem understanding the correct way to attach the top and bottom for the swing dress. I thought I had it until I sewed the sides and it didn’t come together like it should.

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64 Dana July 13, 2014 at 12:03 am

I’m so excited the pattern is here and bought it the first day, but circumstances conspired against me making it until tonight. It’s been such a joy to put together, I already did two little sewing dances in the middle. I’ve stopped for tonight but have a question about the armholes. In the instructions for the swing dress with sleeves, for the armholes, you write, “as you sew along the portion already attached, sew along the same line”. Do you mean stitch in the ditch or do you mean keep sewing the 1/8 allowance?

It already looks so pretty without the armholes finished. I foresee making MANY of these! Thanks so much!!

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65 Dana July 13, 2014 at 11:31 am

Fantastic! I’m glad you’re having fun with it!
And sorry maybe I should have phrased that better :)
What I mean is to continue sewing along the same stitch path that you’ve started. When you get to the sleeve area it’s a bit “blind”, which make is hard to see your true seam allowance. But just continue sewing on a similar path that you’ve been doing….which is yes, prob about 1/8 inch from the folded armhole edge.
Hope that helps!

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66 Mea July 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I’m making swing dress in size 8 right now… Am I supposed to leave the waistline and side seams raw? You don’t mention anything about zigzagging them… just don’t want to ruin the dress in the washer. Did you topstitch the waistline at least on one side? Or could I or would it be beneficial to topstitch both outer fabric and lining together at the waistline? I pressed that seam open as well.
I love the pattern, and great that there is several different options! And lucky me, having two girls to sew for, just like you, Dana :)

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67 Federica July 16, 2014 at 8:27 am

I like it so much, i’m going to buy this pattern asap.
Congratulations for the blog i really like it

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68 Léa July 16, 2014 at 9:41 am

Hi Dana. Regarding the fabric amounts, are the numbers in your table for outer & lining fabrics all together? Shall I divide this number in 2, one for the outer fabric & one for the lining fabric? I am making the fully lined swing dress. Thx!

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69 Dana July 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm

If you look at the Fabric Chart here in the pattern listing there’s a box for the Outer fabric, and a box for the Lining fabric. So you need the full amount for each layer (unless you’re doing a partial bodice—as described in the pattern)

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70 http://www.edu.xunta.es/centros/cpicastrobaxoi/aulavirtual/user/view.php?id=2884&course=1 July 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Thank you for some other informative web site.
Where else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect manner?

I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such information.

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71 Lisa @ Fresh Eggs Daily July 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

How beautiful! I wish it came in adult sizes too because it looks like a dress you just can’t help but have fun wearing! Gorgeous job. I love your site BTW.
Lisa
Fresh Eggs Daily

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72 Federica July 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

finally i bought it. i’m so exited :)

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73 http://incomesupportnumber.co.uk/income-support-claims/ July 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended upp losing a few months of hard work due to no back up.
Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

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74 hearthstone cheat engine gold July 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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75 elana July 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm

apologies for my third comment on this post: i just finished the dress for my niece in a size 2 and it is just about the best thing i’ve ever sewed. it looks totally professional…i love it and so does she!

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76 Denise July 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

do you have design for middle school kids

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