Monday, April 18, 2011

Toddler Maxi Dress and Shrug - Part 4 of 4 - Sewing the Shrug

Here we are, the fourth and final installment of the toddler Maxi Dress and shrug tutorial.  I feel really lame about it taking so long, but under the circumstances it's better late than never, right?

Oh by the way... we found an apartment!  We will move in this Saturday, April 23rd.  Finally, our own place!  It is not 100% ideal and I will have to face one of my fears because it has a gas stove.  Yikes!  Plus it has lots of large floor to ceiling windows which are not tempered glass.  They make me very nervous with two small, rowdy children, but we have a plan and I'll do a post about that when the time comes.  I'm so excited to decorate!  I also found some furniture at Salvation Army which I plan on refinishing, but the pieces will definitely be in use until I get around to actually doing it. 

Okay, on to the tutorial.  I like to try to streamline the sewing process and change bobbins and settings as few times as possible so during this tutorial some pieces may have seams sewn but not used until later. It will make sense in the end!

Cut out all the pieces you will need for the shrug.  I used knit fabric to make it snug and comfortable.  I did not include a pattern piece for the ruffle but just cut strips of fabric 1.5" wide.  Cut more than you think you will need.  Sew the ends together so you have one long piece. Set aside.



With right sides together place shrug front pieces on top of the back piece, matching shoulder and side seams. Stitch in place.


Change the bobbin to elastic thread. Sew straight across the bottom hem of the sleeves. Leave long threads at the beginning and end, then knot them together so they don't pull out.


Sew .5" away from one edge along the whole length of the ruffle strip. Set aside.


Change back to regular bobbin thread. Switch to a long length gathering stitch and stitch around the shoulder seam on the sleeve leaving long thread tails to gather. Leave about 1" unsewn at the beginning and end to have room for the seam and gathering.


Switch back to a regular stitch length. Fold the sleeve in half with right sides together, matching the under arm seam and stitch. Be sure to keep the thread tails you will use for gathering the sleeve out of the way of this seam.


With right sides together pin the sleeve into the shrug armhole. Match the underarm seam to the side seam and find the middle of the top of the sleeve and pin it to the shoulder seam. Work from one end to the middle, then the other end to the middle. Gather fabric and even it out around the armhole. Stitch in place.


This is what you should have so far. Almost done!


Starting at the back of the neck pin the ruffle onto the body of the shrug, right sides together, with the .5" side lined up to the outer edge. When you get around to the back of the neck again, overlap about .5" and cut off any excess. Stitch in place.


At the back of the neck you can either leave the edges of the ruffle loose, or you can tack them together with a simple straight stitch. (Sorry I don't have a picture for this step)

Clip the curved parts of the bolero only on the flat layer of the seam allowance (not the gathered layer).


Turn the ruffle to the outside and top stitch about .25" from the folded edge all the way around.


And now you're done! Be sure to admire your handiwork, pat yourself on the back and take some pictures.



I will be linking this up to the parties on my "Blog Link Parties" page including The Creative Itch


  1. Once you get past the fear thing, you'll love cooking on gas. The heat is so responsive. The shrug is so cute! Love the ruffles! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi, I'm Taced from Italy
    Great work: one time I will make one of this!
    If you want, visit my blog

  3. Cute!

  4. `Thank you for the help. I hope to send a dress to my grand daughter
    in china. Marilyn Schmidt:)


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