Little Yellow Dress

Created By: Michele Mishler
Skill Level: Advanced

Heirloom sewing is characterized by fine fabrics and stitching. A wide range of trims are used in this technique, and a delicate touch is necessary to achieve the fine stitching necessary. The Horizon's precision stitches and superior plus feed system offer the perfect combination for this impressive work.

Below you will find a glossary of terms used in Heirloom stitching. Scroll down for instructions to this adorable child's yellow dress.

Entredeux is an embroidered line of stitches that creates tiny holes. The line of stitches is embroidered on a strip of cotton batiste. Purchased by the yard, this embroidered trim is used to join pieces of lace or fabric in heirloom sewing. The traditional entredeux is a single line of square holes, but there are also variations including double and triple entredeux, and fancy entredeux.

This describes lace trims with a finished edge, usually scalloped, that can be used to finish the edges of collars, hems, bibs and bonnets, as well as tablecloths, pillow slips and towels—anywhere an embellished edge is required. The lace types vary; the term edging can apply to any lace with a finished edge.

Insertion has straight edges that allow it to be joined or combined with other laces. Swiss embroidered insertion is a strip of cotton batiste with embroidery, and can include lines of entredeux along each side of the embroidery. The edge of the batiste strip includes a 1/4” unfinished edge used as a seam allowance when joined to other laces or entreduex.

This is a type of insertion and includes slots or ‘buttonholes’ traditionally threaded with narrow ribbon.

Janome Supplies Required
  • Precision sewing machine with SFS plus, such as the MC7700
  • A foot
  • F2 open toe embroidery foot
  • Buttonhole foot
  • Ditch stitch foot
  • Knee lifter
Fabric and Notions Required

Fabric and Notions Required
• Butterick pattern 4112
• Fabric according to pattern, plus ½ yard
• 2 yards white cotton batiste
• 2 yards Swiss embroidered insertion, 2” wide
• 2 yards Swiss embroidered beading, 1/2” wide (for ribbon)
• 2 yards Swiss embroidered edging, 1”
• 2 yards tatted edging, ¼”
• 4 yards entredeux
• 3 yards ¼” ribbon to match fabric
• 5 buttons, ½”
• Thread to match fabric
• White thread
• Removable marking pen


Cutting Instructions:
1. Trim the pattern pieces for the bodice front, bodice back, upper sleeve and under sleeve. The collar pattern for the asymmetrical collar shown on the sample garment can be downloaded here. Print and trim the pattern pieces.

2. Measure the length of the Skirt Back Lining. From the dress fabric, cut two pieces 36” x this measurement. Cut two pieces 36” x 7”. These will become the skirt and lower band. Cut two pieces 36” x 7” wide for the ties. Cut a strip 1 3/4” x 12”, for the skirt placket.

3. The bodice, sleeve and collar pieces are cut from the remaining fabric. Cut two Back Bodice pieces, placing the edge of the pattern on the fold. This adaptation eliminates the need for a zipper and creates the overlap for buttons, a more traditional heirloom treatment. Cut two Bodice Fronts, four each of the Upper Sleeve and Under Sleeve, and two of each collar piece.

4. From the white batiste, cut two pieces 36” x the measurement of the length of the Back Skirt Lining plus 6”. Cut two strips parallel to the selvage edge 1 1/2” x 72”.

Creating the Swiss Embroidered Band:
1. The embroidered band is sewn using heirloom sewing techniques. Thread the MC7700 with white thread and attach the ditch stitch foot. Select D1 as the straight stitch, and adjust the stitch length to 1.8 mm. Place the 2” embroidered insertion and one 1 1/2” x 72” strip of white batiste right sides together, matching edges. With the embroidered insertion uppermost, place the guide of the ditch stitch foot along side the entredeux edge of the insertion. Stitch close to the line of entredeux, using the ditch stitch foot to guide your stitching. The knee lifter of the MC7700 and needle up/down feature will allow you to sew without removing your hands from the seam. Trim the seam to a scant 1/8” wide. Change the foot to the F2 foot, and select Stitch 11, zigzag. Adjust the stitch width to 3.0 mm, and the stitch length to 1.0 mm. Sew along the seam, positioning the fabric so that the swing of the needle touches the line of stitching on the left, and swings over the edge on the right. The fabric will ‘roll’, creating a firm finished edge. Press open.

2. Repeat this technique, sewing the remaining strip of batiste to the remaining side of the 2” embroidered insertion. Press open.

3. Using the same technique, sew entredeux to the remaining edge of one strip of batiste. Press open.

4. Complete embroidered band by sewing the remaining batiste strip to the embroidered beading, matching the line of entredeux to the edge of the batiste. The finished band should be entredeux, 1” of batiste, wide insertion, 1” of batiste, and beading. Press the assembled embroidered band.

Creating the Skirt:
1. Thread the MC7700 with matching thread and attach the A foot. Select D1 as the straight stitch, and adjust the stitch length to 2.0 mm. Place the two skirt panels wrong sides together, matching the short ends. Sew one short end, using a 1/4” seam allowance. Trim seam to 1/8”, and press open. Fold along the seam with right sides together, enclosing the seam between the layers. Sew, using a 1/4” seam allowance. Press the completed French seam to one side. Sew the lower band together with a 1/2” seam, right sides together, and press open. Press under 1/4” along one long side of the lower band. Edge stitch.

2. Change to white thread. Using the roll and whip technique used for the embroidered band, attach the embroidered band to the assembled skirt panels, entredeux edge to skirt. Press.

3. Using the ditch stitch foot, sew the unfinished edge of the lower band to the remaining edge of the embroidered band, keeping the skirt seam and lower band seam aligned. Do not trim seam. Press seam toward the lower band.

4. Match the short ends of the completed skirt wrong sides together. With the A foot, sew with a 1/4” seam allowance. Trim to 1/8”. Press the seam open and fold right sides together, enclosing the seam between the layers. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance. Press the completed French seam to one side. Fold the lower band under to meet the lower edge of the embroidered band. Hand stitch the hem in place, using a slip stitch.

5. Sew the two remaining panels of white batiste together along a short end with a French seam. This will be the skirt lining. Press the completed seam to one side. Finish one long edge of the skirt lining with entredeux and embroidered edging, using the roll and whip technique used for the embroidered band. Match the short ends of the lining and sew together with a French seam. Press the seam to one side. Place the completed skirt lining inside the completed skirt, matching the upper edge and the seams. Baste together using a stitch length of 4.0 mm. At this time, check the finished length of the skirt, and make any necessary adjustments.

6. Fold the skirt in half, matching side seams. Mark the center front and center back. At the center back, mark a 6” line along the fold, starting at the upper edge. Stitching through both layers, skirt and skirt lining, baste close to each side of the marked line, pivoting at bottom. Cut along the marked line. This will created a back opening for the skirt.

7. Press under 1/4” along one long edge of the 1 3/4” x 12” skirt placket. Pin the placket to the skirt opening along the remaining long edge, with the basting stitches of the skirt opening 1/4” from the unfinished edge. Stitch along the basting line with a 1/4” seam. Press seam allowance toward the placket. Fold the placket so that the folded edge covers the line of stitching. Press in place. Edge stitch, securing the folded edge of the placket as you stitch. Fold the left side of the placket to the wrong side of the skirt. Baste.

To Create the Bodice:
1. Fold each tie in half lengthwise with right sides together. Trim one end to a slight angle. Stitch long side and angled end with a 1/4” seam allowance. Trim corner. Turn right sides out and press.

2. Baste 1/4” tatted edging to one upper collar and one under collar, placing the flat edge of the lace along the seam line with the scalloped edge facing toward the neckline. Place the remaining collar pieces right sides together with the matching collar. Stitch along the basting line, and trim seam allowance to a scant 1/4”. Turn right sides out and press.

3. Baste 1/4” tatted edging to two of the upper sleeve pieces (one reversed), placing the flat edge of the lace along the seam line with the scalloped edge facing the sleeve cap. Place the remaining upper sleeve pieces right sides together with the matching upper sleeve. Stitch along the basting line, and trim seam allowance to a scant 1/4”. Turn right sides out and press. Repeat for the under sleeves.

4. Sew one Bodice Front to the Bodice Back pieces at the shoulder. Press open. Baste the Collar, Sleeves and Ties to the bodice as shown in the pattern instructions. Sew the remaining Bodice Front to the Bodice Back at the shoulder seams. Press seams open. This will become the bodice facing. Fold the bodice facing over the bodice right sides together, with the collar and sleeves between them. Stitch neckline and armhole seams as directed by the pattern instructions. Complete the bodice side seams as directed by the pattern instructions. Press completed bodice.

5. Using a 5 mm stitch length, stitch two lines of basting threads at the upper edge of the skirt unit. Match seams and center front, and gather skirt to fit bodice unit by pulling up the basting threads. Match the folded edge of the left skirt opening to the back bodice opening. Match the placket edge of the right skirt opening to the back bodice opening. Stitch the seam. Trim to 1/4” and press the seam allowance toward the bodice. Hand stitch lining into place over the waistline seam.

Finishing Details:
1. Mark the left back bodice for three buttonholes. Place the top buttonhole 1/2” from the upper edge, and the third buttonhole 1/2” from the waistline seam. Center the remaining buttonhole between them. Sew buttons to the right bodice back, matching placement.

2. Thread 1/4” ribbon through the beading of the embroidered band, starting halfway between the center front skirt and the right side seam. Continue working the ribbon in and out all the way around the skirt, ending where you started. Tie the ends into a bow, 2” across. Trim the bow ends at an angle. Hand stitch a button to the center of the bow. With remaining ribbon, tie a second bow. Hand stitch the bow to the collar, placing it where the collars overlap. Hand sew a button to the center to the bow. This completes the Little Yellow Dress, the perfect gift for your favorite little girl!

Everyone is Talking about Little Yellow Dress

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