I LOVE bright colors on kids, I love them in my house, I love them in my wardrobe. They make me happy, but I always find myself coming back to the neutrals. My favorite cardigan in the whole world is tan and cream stripes, I wear it with everything. A neutral color palette is just so pleasing to the eye. So when Fabric Envy asked me which fabrics I would love to sew with from her shop. I knew right away that I HAD to have the neutral stripe. It was the stripe I was dreaming of. I knew just what I wanted to make with it.

 A little twist on the peasant dress. With a cute little belt (that can be changed out for different colors if you want a pop, or worn with other things, like this top here) Simple, and neutral, and lovely. Would you like to make your own?

 Start with a peasant dress. I tend to just “free hand” my patterns now, but you of course don’t have to there are a million and one patterns out there for a peasant dress, or you can follow the free tutorial I linked to last year for this dress. Either way you want to make a peasant dress (front back and sleeve) Then I made a front and back neck facing (cut two front on a fold and 4 back not on a fold.) You will want the back facing to be a little longer than the front so they will overlap a little. I followed a regular tee to make the facing since the neckline would be different than the peasant top. If you need help drafting the facing pieces check out the tutorial for that here. I also cut a slit down a few inches of the back piece and made a slit facing (a rectangle) that was about 4 inches wide and about 1 inch longer than the slit down the back was. The slit makes it possible for you to get the dress on and off over the head. So when you are done all the pieces should look about like the picture above.

 Then you will start by sewing the sleeves to the front. Sew right sides together.

 Then you should have both sewn on like so.

 Next with right sides together sew the back piece to the sleeves as well. Then fold the dress so the right sides are together and sew the sleeves and sides of the dress together.

 Next sew the rectangle centered on the slit in the back. Just sew a “U” shape around the slit. Then cut a slit down the rectangle as well and turn the flap to the back.

 Now, I will try to explain this the best I can but hopefully it will make more sense as you do it. Take one side of the flap in the back and simply turn the edge under. Then press it flat.

 For the other side you are going to turn under the edge just a little and then kind of accordion fold the flap so that the fabric covers the slit. (it will make sense why in a moment) Then top stitch all the flaps in place. So top stitch around the slit.

 See that way from the outside the slit shows fabric and not just an opening. Make sense? Hopefully. You could of course just have a slit if you wanted.

 Then run a basting stitch along the neckline, and pull to gather.

 Next you want to take your facings and sew them together at the shoulders. You will have two identical pieces here.

 Then sew one right sides together to the neckline. (you will be sewing along the outside edge of the neck facing)

 Then with right sides together sew the neck facings together along the flap in the back and the neckline. Then turn the facing to the inside and topstitch in place. Now you have a nice finished neckline. With the flaps in back, I forgot to get a picture of it but you will sew a button on one side and button hole on the other then when the flaps over lap the slit in the back should look closed. Hem the bottom of the dress and the sleeves. Then you are done with the dress.

 Now for the belt. I started by cutting a strip of linen that was two inches wider than my daughters chest. (wider since it will overlap) Then I folded the strip in half and sewed around the edges leaving an opening so I could turn it right side out. I turned it right side out and sewed up the opening. Sorry no pictures of those steps. Then to add a little puffy detail. I cut some thin long strips of tulle. Wrapped it around my hand several times.

 Then I pinched it all together in the middle and wrapped the thread around it tightly.

 Then cut through the loops on either end and “fluff” the tulle it will look like a little puff ball.

 Then sew it to the belt. I made a few sewing them in clusters and I added one or two out of a cream lace as well. Then add a button to one end of the belt and a button hole to the other end and you have a very simple belt.

 That’s all there is to it, for a peasant dress with a twist.

 I love the look of the neckline on the dress. and the cute little puffy belt, which to me is a must since other wise peasant dresses have a way of looking like a mu-mu or something…

I just can’t get enough of the soft color palette! SO glad to of found the perfect stripe!

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