Akram's Ideas
Akram's Ideas: Vintage Style Peasant Dress

A Vintage Style Peasant Dress for Layla

Earlier this month my sister sent me a pin in Pinterest asking if I could make a similar dress for my niece Layla. The dress was a basic peasant dress with some trim, so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard.

Inspiration Peasant Dress
Inspiration Peasant Dress

My sister then told me that she wanted it by Thanksgiving, and then I got a little worried. November is pretty busy at work, but I was eager to make a Thanksgiving dress for little Layla. Needless to say I took on this challenge.

To get started with dress I first need to find a pattern. Since peasant dresses a relatively straightforward in their construction there are a good amount of free patterns online.

I ended up using the free pattern from Once Upon a Sewing Machine. I liked it because the pattern was for 12-months to 4-year-old and thought I could always go back to this same pattern, as Layla got older.

While my sister hand specifics fabrics and trim she wanted for the dress. However, I didn’t want to make a dress that didn’t fit Layla and waste the materials that my sister had purchased. Thus, I decided that first I’d make a test dress to ensure the fit.

I used some vintage fabric I had in my stash. I didn’t have much of it and decided to use some contrast fabric for the sleeves. Turns out I had just enough of the contrast to make it work perfectly.

Akram's Ideas: Peasant Dress Fabric and Pattern Pieces Cut
Akram’s Ideas: Peasant Dress Fabric and Pattern Pieces Cut

My sister set me her measurements but not being there to take the measurements made me a little nervous. Also, while Layla is just under a year old she’s pretty tall for her age and looks closer to 18-months, than 12-months. However, since peasant dresses are usually a looser fit by nature I decided to follow the provided measurements and go with the 12-months old pattern size.

I followed the directions according to the pattern. The only thing I did different was French seam the entire dress including around the armhole. Lastly, I decided to make a little tie belt, to give the dress a little more definition in the waist.

Akram's Ideas: Peasant Dress French Seams Prep
Akram’s Ideas: Peasant Dress French Seams Prep

I sent this test dress to my sister for a test fitting, only discover the sleeves were too tight. Apparently the French seams in the armhole had created extra bulk and if Layla is anything like my sister and me there’s a good chance she’s got those country girl arms that don’t always fit in a standard sleeve.

While, this dress didn’t fit as planned, it was a good practice for making the Thanksgiving dress and adjusts the fitting issues.

Akram's Ideas: Peasant Dress Completed
Akram’s Ideas: Peasant Dress Completed

Also, I think there is still a good chance I can take apart the sleeves on this dress and redo them so that they are a better fit. So, hopefully, Layla will be able to wear this adorable dress, yet!


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  • Thanks for using our Peasant Dress Pattern. We have found it is always more difficult when others take measurements for you. The french seams probably did take out some of the fullness in the armhole. We hope you finally got a good fit for your little one. Donna and Rachel Onceuponasewingmachine.com

Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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