Wednesday, January 18, 2012

pinwheel dress tutorial

here is the pinwheel dress tutorial i did for jessica’s “reSEWlution” series at me sew crazy!


okay, let’s get to it: honesty time.

(slowly stands up)
::cough, cough::
hi. my name is shannon. and i’m a sewing procrastinator. i have multiple half-started and unfinished projects.

come on, who’s with me here? there’s no shame in telling the truth.

who hasn’t seen a fabric, immediately fallen in love, and quickly purchased 2 yards swearing you’re going to turn it into the perfect skirt/top/dress? and then it sat, first in the bag, then in the closet…slowly getting pushed further to the back of the pile…until you’ve all but forgotten about it…
or maybe you’re a pinner? you pin the most ADORBS little outfit, run right out and buy all the supplies to make it…and months later find that nice little pile of fabric, zipper and buttons dusty and neglected in the corner of your stash?

well, NO MORE. today i finish a project left undone--a dress inspired by the very gal who’s blog i’m visiting today!
when jessica posted her hot air balloon dress back in the summer i loved it, i pinned it, i bought fabric for it. not only was i going to make it—i had visions of all four of my girls in coordinating balloon dresses.

but wait, it gets better. shortly after this i saw this pinwheel bib done over at lemontree creations.

also TOO CUTE! and the wheels started turning…
what about a cute little summer dress like the hot air balloon dress, but with PINWHEELS instead???
ohhh…it’s gonna be sooo cute.

i never made it.

but, in light of my new resolve, i proudly present…
pinwheel dress_7991 

of course, initially this was going to be a summer dress. but i had to switch gears a bit and make it a bit more wintery. my plan was a white dress with brown ribbon wands on the pinwheels. so i simply flipflopped the colors--brown dress, white ribbon.

one of my favorite things about sewing for my girls is making clothes that aren't the typical "girl colors"--not pink or red. a brown dress with orange and blue and yellow accents? perfect!

so i gave it a boat neck, fitted bodice and 3/4 length cuffed sleeves (one of my favorite looks)

pinwheel dress_8009
and you gotta love a big fluffy skirt covered with 3-D pinwheels!
pinwheel dress_8013
here’s how i did it:


you can use whatever dress pattern you’d like. i used an existing dress to get the basic size and shape, and then adjusted the neckline, waist height, and sleeves.

i made my dress complete first:


and then turned my attention to the pinwheels.







now to attach them to the dress.




final steps:
stitch ribbon down as the pinwheel wands, and sew (or glue) buttons to the centers.

pinwheel dress_7997

that’s right—sometimes (okay, most times) i glue non-functioning buttons on things i make. hot glue holds up really well—even through the washer and dryer (i wouldn’t do this for baby clothes though—just older kids who don’t put little things in their mouths!)

and that’s it! enjoy your pinwheel dress—perfect for spinning and twirling pinwheel dress_8004
pinwheel dress_8019
Pin It!


  1. thanks becoming supermommy! and i love that name by the way! ;)

  2. Ok, I am puting in an order for 2 of those dresses for the twins. Toooo Cute!

    1. What?!?! I gave you alllllll the instructions...get crackin'!!

  3. I never saw anything like it ..and who doesn't love pinwheels!!!!!M

  4. Any tips on modifying it for an adult with minimal sewing skills? I would wear the stitches out of that dress. :)

  5. This is absolutely, positively ADORABLE. Great work!

  6. I love this, it's adorable! One day I'll have a girl and make her a pinwheel dress:)

  7. Oh my goodness...this is adorable!!!

  8. This is stunning! Congratulations on being in the top 10 of Sewvivor.

  9. Do you by any chance have a pattern for this dress? I have been looking everywhere for a long sleeved dress pattern!

    1. hi jodi! sorry, i drafted it from an existing dress of hers. but the 3/4 length sleeves aren't too can just extend short sleeves a little bit. ;) sorry!


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