I got hold of this cute mermaid baby blanket in the hopes of turning into an item of clothing for Mads - who is mad on mermaids right now (or wormaids as she calls them!) So here is a sew-a-long to show the process.
The dress is based on the Simplicity 4437 pattern. But I am omitting the zipper down the back because of using knit fabrics that will stretch. This also means that I don't have to cut the back skirt panel out of two pieces of fabric - it can be one continuous piece.
Take your blanket..
Separate the top and bottom layers - leaving the binding on the edges
Use one side for both skirt panels
and other side for all bodice pieces
Sew bodice front to bodice back at shoulders - for both outer and lining pieces
Sew bodice right-sides-together at armholes and all of the front section (see location of pins - click on image to enlarge)
Fold pieces out to the right side and match up armholes - sew down both inner and outer arm holes in one
Close up of pinned armholes ready to sew.
Turn bodice right side out - and try it on your model...if the armholes are too big (and they do tend to run big in this pattern) simply repeat the step above
Measure where the cross needs to be when the bodice is on your little girl and then mark this - use basting stitch along the bottom of the bodice to hold it in place and top stitch around the whole neck - this will then keep the front sections in place.
Prepare the skirt panels - I adapted the pattern here - as I only needed one panel for the back, because of omitting the zipper - so I sewed the front and back pieces together - into one long skirt piece.
I then attached the skirt to the bodice - right-sides-together, following the directions on the pattern - with the front piece (with mermaid applique) matching the cross over in the top. Here is a photo of the front (wrong side) of the skirt attached to the bodice
and another view of how the bodice (right-side) is attached with pins to the skirt front (right side)
When I was happy that the front of the skirt was pinned in place I pinned the other crossover part of the skirt (from the back panel) over the top of it (without any gathers) and sewed it all on the sewing machine - with a basting stitch.
When I was happy that the skirt fell right - I used the serger to sew the bodice and skirt together.
and Voila! Finished play dress ala blanket
One last step - unpick label!
There are lots of modifications which you can do to this pattern - depending on the look you are going for. The skirt on the pattern is very full - so you could definitely use less fabric on the front and back skirt panels to get a more streamlined skirt.