Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Handmade D-Signed Tulle Embellished Sundress Knock-Off, Joyful Princess Style!

I'm so excited to share my first "knock-off" project with you all!  I say this is the first because I had a lot of fun challenging myself to create this dress, and the result was very rewarding, so I am looking forward to more "knock-off" sewing projects.  

Not long ago we came across this D-Signed Tulle Embellished Sundress while shopping at Target.  

I loved the style of the dress, but hated the metal studs on the top bodice band, and I wasn't really a fan of the fabric choice.  I knew that Hailey would love the dress, especially the tulle, but wouldn't be a fan of the bow attached to the crossed straps in the back of the dress. (Think about sitting in a car seat with a big "bow knot" pushing up against your back.) So, I got to thinking, why pay $24.99 for a dress we "sort of liked" when I could try to make my own version of the dress for less?  

I had seen how Heidi at Elegance & Elephants was hosting a "Knock-It Off Series", and seeing others blog about their awesome "Knock-Off" projects was all the catalyst I needed to create my own "Knock-Off" project!  Allow me to introduce to you the "Knock-Off D-Signed Tulle Embellished Sundress"! 

I don't know about you all, but I just LOVE it, from the front... 

... to the back!

Ready to hear how I did it?.....

I first started out with the Sis Boom Betty Ann Top/Dress pattern as a base for the dress. I absolutely love this pattern and all of the options it includes.  Most of all, I love that the pattern includes the option of adding ruffles to the straps. Adding the ruffles to the dress made it "school friendly" so that was a must since I knew Hailey would want to wear this to school as much as possible.  

In order to "knock-off" the top bodice portion of the D-signed dress I added 2" to the top band pattern piece.  To do that I cut the pattern piece in half width wise, then cut out a 2" piece of computer paper that was the same width as the pattern piece, and taped it between the two pieces I had just cut.  In doing this I added an extra two inches to the front bodice length.  You will want to add an extra two inches to the back bodice length to accommodate for this adjustment when cutting out your pattern.  Simply cut the pattern piece out at the cutting line 2" below the cutting line you used for the front. 

I lined this dress with a light-weight yellow cotton, to allow for the tulle embellishment.  To do so I cut out a second front bodice and back bodice pattern piece.  You will want to cut each of these "front and back bodice lining pattern pieces" two inches shorter then the pieces you cut out for your main dress.  

To add the tulle to the bottom of the lining I cut out four strips of tulle that were twice as long as the bottom of the bodice pieces and 3 & 1/2" wide.  I stacked them into two layers of two strips, then gathered each stack by using a long machine stitch 1/2" from the edge of the tulle, much like you would gather a ruffle etc.  I then pinned the gathered tulle strips 1/2" from the bottom of the hemmed lining and then top stitched them in place.  

I then cut out a second top band pattern piece without making any alterations to it.  I used this to cut out a second top band for the bodice. This second piece would become the second top band layer of the front bodice, where my button embellishments would be added. (see close up below)

The original dress was embellished on the top band with metal studs.  This was my least favorite aspect of the original dress.  In my "knock-off" version I choose to embellish the top band of the bodice with three cute little flower shaped buttons.  Hailey picked these out herself from Hobby Lobby and they are the perfect buttons for this little detail.  

To add this second smaller top band I folded and pressed each of the long edges over by 1/4".  I then lay the band over the bottom portion of the larger top band making sure that the bottom of the smaller top band covered the bottom of the larger top band, and pinned it in place. Next, I top stitched along the upper portion of the smaller top band. Then, I attached the three buttons by hand, spacing them evenly, from the center out. 

Then I thought, I couldn't make a "Knock-Off" without making it even better then the original, so I added pockets!

Every little girl LOVES to have pockets for their treasures right???  To add the pockets I followed this great tutorial from Jess at Craftiness Is Not Optional, she even gives you a pocket pattern to use! 


This was the first time I've added pockets to anything and I'm sure that I'll be adding pockets to all of Hailey's dresses from now on.  I may even pull the store-bought dresses she has out of the closet and add pockets to them!  It really was an easy addition and totally worth her excitement over having pockets in a dress.  

Once I added the pockets I then finished the construction of the  dress as directed in the pattern after that point.  And wha-la we had a super cute (in my opinion more awesome) "Knock-Off D-Signed Tulle Embellished Sundress" for my little princess!

If you are wondering, the fabric I used in the construction of this dress is "Pam Kitty Happy Dot" and I was lucky enough to win a yard of it from my favorite fabric shop Skye Reve Fabrics a while back.  I loved it but was hoarding it until I found the perfect project and I'm so glad that I had it around for this project!  I had also purchased an additional yard so I have some more of it to play with!  

Since the fabric was really a freebie, all I paid for was the buttons, the lining fabric, and the tulle.  (The thread and elastic notions I needed I already had on hand.)

So, with about $1.99 for buttons, about $1.33 for lining, and about  $2.50 for a roll of tulle (that I have a LOT more of left to use) I spent less then $6.00 on this project!  

So...this is a win for Hailey and a win for Mommy!  I see many more "knock-offs" in my future! 



  1. That little girl is adorable. Love the dress! Love how you used the PKM fabrics!

    1. Thank you! She is my little princess, and such an inspiration to everything I do! I LOVE that you love the dress, I so very much loved this print and it was perfect for this dress, in fact she plans to wear it as a tunic when it gets too short. ;)


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