Free Karito Kid Pattern -- Zephyr Mini-Dress by Maiden Flight Clothing

Well, summer and warm weather are now in full swing.  To celebrate all this sunshine, Nanci has designed another summer time top for Karito Kids and has decided to share how to make it in this tutorial.  It is sooooooooooo easy that even a beginning sewist can make it.  You will hardly believe that this trendy mini-dress is made from one simple pattern piece. This is a truly versatile top and we're sure you'll love making it and your doll will LOVE wearing it!

Click Photo to Enlarge

Okay, there it is.  Like it?!?!?!??  Then let's get started!!!

First, read through all the directions.

Next, gather your supplies.  Here's what you'll need.

  1. One piece of lightweight fabric (approximately 1/3 yard)  If this is one of your first sewing projects, I would suggest a lightweight woven cotton fabric because it will be easier to work with.  Cotton knit (t-shirt fabric)can also be used if you have had a few sewing projects "under your belt" already.
  2. Scissors
  3. Water-soluble or Air-soluble marking pen for fabric.  (This will be available at any sewing or fabric shop).  I use the Mark B Gone brand.
  4. Ruler
  5. Matching thread (or you can use a contrasting thread for the casing like I did in the sample above)
  6. 4 pieces of 1/4 inch wide elastic, each piece measuring 10" in length
  7. straight pins
  8. 1 small safety pin
  9. A sewing machine
  10. Iron
  11. A piece of newspaper or tissue paper cut to measure 18-1/2" by 10-1/8"  (This is for your pattern piece)

Here is what your pattern should look like. It is a rectangle 18-1/2" wide and 10-1/8" long.

Step 1:  Pin your pattern piece onto your fabric.  Be sure to place the long straight edge of the fabric along  the grain (also called the straight) of the fabric. Now carefully cut around the pattern. 

Step 2:  As you look at the photo above, the lines drawn are for the gathered bodice of the mini-dress.  Using your water-soluble or air-soluble fabric marker, draw the lines on the wrong side of the fabric as shown above.  The first line is 1/4" from the edge of the long side of the fabric.  Now draw three more lines above the first line that are spaced 3/8" apart. Next draw another line 1/4" above the previous line.

Note about soluble fabric pens:  Lines made with the water-soluble pens will last until you rinse them away with water.  If you use an air-soluble pen, you will need to sew the line immediately as they tend to fade away quickly.

Step 3: Rotate the fabric so that the lines are now along the top edge.  Now turn the fabric over so that the right side of the fabric in touching your ironing surface.  (You will not see the lines at this point.)  Fold the top edge of the fabric over until you are able to see the first line (the one that is 1/4" inch from the top edge).  Press it toward the wrong side of the fabric. (This is shown as folded over and pressed in the photo below.

Next fold the fabric along the last line you drew and press along that line.

When you finish this fold, you will see the three lines you drew as guide lines for stitching. 

Step 4: Sew on top of each guide line until you have sewn along all four lines.  (Be certain to back stitch at the beginning and end of each row.) 

Step 5: Now, stitch very close to the edge at the bottom.  Refer to the photo below.  When you have finished this step, it should look like the photo below.  I folded the fabric over a little so you could see both sides of the fabric at once.

As you can see there is a very faint purple line
drawn incorrectly at the oops sign.  If this should happen
when you mark your fabric for sewing, don't worry about it.
Just remark the line where it should go.  You can take care of it
after you sew the lines.

 Step 6: 
Now, it's time to insert the four pieces of elastic.  Fasten a safety pin to the end of the first piece and begin to thread it through the second channel from the top. (Do not thread elastic in the first small channel across the top.) Refer to photo below

Place a straight pin at each end of the elastic to prevent it from slipping through before it is sewn.  Be certain to push the pin through BOTH the fabric and the elastic.  When you have completed this step, it should look like the photo below.

Step 7: Repeat the process in Step 6 for the next three channels.  When you are finished with this step, it should look like the photo below.

Step 8: At this point in your sewing, you should change you machine thread to a matching color if you have been using a contrasting color.  (I left my thread remain blue at this time in order for it to show up clearly in the photo).

Refer to the photo below for placement of this stitching; then sew through the ends of the elastic and the fabric to keep elastic from slipping when you remove the straight pins.  Repeat for both sides.

Step 9: Along long raw edge, make a double 1/4" inch fold and pin in place for the hem.  Machine stitch.

Step 10: Fold the dress in half, matching short end to short end and pin as shown in the photo below.  Machine stitch 1/4 inch from edge (this is referred to as the seam allowance).  Do not sew over the pins; remove each pin just before you sew over it.

Close up of seam allowance

 Step 11: Trim seam.

 Step 12: Zigzag stitch or serge along the raw edge to clean finish the seam and prevent it from fraying.

Step 13: Referring to photo below, fold dress so that the seam to goes down the middle back as shown.  Place a pin directly opposite it on the front.  This will mark the placement of the tie at center front.

Step 14: Fold ribbon in half and mark with a pin as shown below.

Step 15: Match center of ribbon to center front of dress on the wrong side of the fabric.  Pin and stitch in place.

Step 16: Turn dress right side out, and voila your Karito Kid has a wonderfully, cool summer dress.

I love to see your photos of your creations from this pattern.  Just email them to me and I'll post them in our gallery.  Also, if you have a question about the pattern, leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

See ya next flight. . .
         & the Flight Crew.

Maiden Flight Clothing -- High Quality Handmade Items for
Karito Kids and American Girl Dolls
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