Sewing Tutorial on Children’s Corner Virginia Dress

Hey everyone, here is how I made the Children’s
Corner pattern Virginia. Overall, it’s an easy pattern and quite adorable. I’ve chosen
some velvet and velveteen to make this example out of, which gives it that fall/winter look,
but it could easily be made out of some cotton batiste or lawn for a spring/summery look
instead. Okay to get started, you’ll cut out two
sleeves, and I like to make little notches on my sleeves at the back, front, top, and
as well as the bottom of the sleeves where the gathers will start and stop. Then I cut out two fronts on the fold as well
as two backs on the fold. I put this together a little bit differently than the pattern,
so when I cut the backs out on the fold, I line up the fold line to where the pattern
marks the lap… if that makes sense. So I just ignore that facing part. Then there’s the skirt front and back sections
all folded up. Those are pretty simple to cut out – they are just rectangles and if
you get lucky, you’ll be able to clip and rip your fabric at the measurements you need. So finally I cut out my contrasting fabric.
And can I say how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this color?? Ugh so perfect for Fall/Winter
looks. So you’ll cut out four of the sleeve bands and four of the collars and since I
loved this color so much, I cut some pieces to use for ties in the back of the dress.
Obviously, completely optional… I just wanted more of that color on this dress. Oh yeah, you’ll want to rip a strip of your
dress fabric for the placket. I just do 2 inches wide and plenty long – 10 inches
or so should be more than enough. Okay now onto the sewing… first I took the
front and back pieces and joined them at the shoulder seams. When that’s done, I ironed
those seams open and at this point, the front and back pieces were all joined at the seams
in an alternating assembly… so the front pieces will be across from each other and
the same goes for the back pieces. Then I folded the back pieces onto themselves
at the center back and brought the front piece to the other front piece and you can see how
the bodice is now lined… or at this the beginning stages. From there I gave everything
an ironing and moved onto the collar pieces. You’ll join the collar pieces with right
sides together using ¼” seam allowances, or at close as you can get. I moved my needle
over so the distance between my needle and edge of my pressure foot was ¼” so that
made eyeballing it easy. Just take your time going around the curves. If your machine has
a needle-down setting, that’s helpful so you can easily pivot around the curves. Then I clipped at the corner areas and trimmed
up the seam allowance. After I turned the collar right sides out, then I pushed all
the curves out and gave it a really good ironing. From there, I opened up the bodice from its
lining and lined up the collar so it was centered on the front of the bodice. Make sure to smush
your collar pieces together – you don’t want a gap here. Sometimes I run a little
tact stitch joining the collars together at the center front, but I skipped that here…
you are more than welcome to do that though. Once the collar was sewn in place, then I
flipped the lining section of the bodice right sides to the bodice and collar pieces. After
making sure everything was lined up, then I sewed from one center back to the other
center back. Then I clipped the curves all around the neckline.
Finally, moved the entire seam to the left (if you will)… I’m preparing to understitch.
So whatever the side you move your seam to, that’ll be your lining side. I hope that
makes sense. Then I just understitch all the way around. You can see I gently apply some
pressure to make sure the fabric doesn’t bunch up as I’m stitching around. Understitching
helps the collar lay better so while it’s optional, I recommend it. Okay now onto the sleeves. I put two rows
of gather stitches on the top of the sleeve between the front and back clip marks as well
as two rows of gather stitches at the bottom of the sleeve, again, between the clip marks.
The idea of having two rows of gather stitches is that you’ll have one row on either side
of where your pemantent stitches will go later on and the two rows help to keep the gathers
in line as you sew. So moving onto the sleeve bands, sew these
right sides together using ¼” seam allowance. Once you press all of the seams open, then
you can put two of the sleeve bands together – right sides together – and sew around
the curved edge. I used pins to keep everything lined up as I sewed and again, just take this
slow, putting your needle down and pivoting as needed. Finally, you can clip the corner areas and
trim up the seam allowance. Join the sleeve at the side seam using French
seams. I have a detailed video on how to do French seams that I’ll link below. So now you can match up the sleeve band to
the bottom of the sleeve. I started with matching up the sleeves, then went across about half
way, and adjusted the gathers from there. Stitch all around the bottom of the sleeve,
joining the sleeve band to the sleeve. It’s a little bit tricky since this area is small,
but just do an inch or so at a time and you’ll eventually be done. After trimming up the seam allowance, I turned
the sleeve band right sides out and then continued to turn the lining for the sleeve band towards
the inside of the sleeve band. The bottom ¼” of the lining of the sleeve band will
get turned under and then I’ll hand stitch that down later using the machine stitches
at that sleeve band/sleeve seam to secure my hand stitches into. Then I took my back skirt piece and folded
it in half width wise so I could easily find the center back. I gave this an ironing so
there would be a crease that I could cut down to form a placket using the continuous placket
method. And I have a detailed video on how to do this placket that I’ll link below. Then I run two rows of gather stitches in
the top of the back of the skirt as well as the top of the front of the skirt. From there,
I gather each side of the back of the skirt to fit the back of the bodice. Now with the
placket, since the right side is supposed to lay on top of the left side in girl’s
garments, you’ll match up the folded edge of the placket on the left side with the folded
edge of the back of the bodice. You’ll sew that together and I like to leave
the lining part of the back of the bodice away from the stitches since I like to sew
this by hand later on. I think it’s a cleaner look to do it by hand.
Meanwhile on the right side of the placket, you’ll fold that edge over since it’s
going to go on top of the left side when the dress is worn. And then go ahead and sew the
skirt front to the bodice front in the same manner, leaving that lining separate from
your stitches. So at this point, I’ve got the skirt sections
sewn to the bodice sections. Then I took the bottom of those lining sections and turned
it under and ironed that in place. Again, I’ll sew these by hand later on. For now, I just make sure the folded edges
stay folded as I take my dress to my machine and sew down the side seams using French seams.
Oh, and I sandwiched my dress ties in the second part of the French seam. Again, these
are completely optional. Finally… take that sleeve and match up the
side seams with right sides together. Then I match up the top of the sleeve to the shoulder
seam of the dress. And then adjust the gathers as necessary to make the sleeve fit. Carefully stitch around
the sleeve. Then I trimmed up that seam and went back over it with a zigzag to tidy up
those raw edges. So here is my completed dress after I completed
the hand sewing and added some snaps/buttons to the back of the dress. I think the pattern
is quite adorable. I hope this video was helpful. If you have
any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
As always, I appreciate y’all for watching and I hope to catch ya next time.


  1. What's your favorite way of doing sleeves? The Michie way- (pin sleeves in then French seam down the sleeve and sides. Or CC way- (make sleeve then place it in to the arm hole after doing the side seam!)

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