|Belle Heir shirt and button-on pants constructed by Amelia Johanson.|
We just love seeing photos of little Prince George dressed up in all of his fashionable baby attire. From the sailboat-smocked rompers and button-bar shoes to the cardigan sweaters and pull-on shorts he donned during the royals’ recent tour of Australia and New Zealand, it’s evident the 9-month-old is a trendsetter in children’s clothing much like his father Prince William was at a young age. In honor of the tiny style icon, we’d like to share a technique with you from the Belle Heir shirt featured in our Royal Baby book.
This pleated-front shirt is an antique reproduction designed with a V-shaped yoke and the added interest of piping set into every tuck. We made our reproduction with short sleeves and paired it with classic button-on shorts for a little boy, but pair the sleeveless option with a button-on skirt and the ensemble will have little girl written all over it.
Below, you’ll find instructions for recreating the shirt’s unique piped tucks. Patterns and complete instructions for constructing the Belle Heir shirt and button-on shorts can be found in Sewing for a Royal Baby.
1. Create enough piping to accommodate all six tucks. Trim piping seam allowance to 1/4 inch (6 mm) (a DARR piping ruler is perfect for this task). Cut six 4-1/2-inch (11 cm) long strips of piping.
2. Fold along the first tuck line; press. Place the fold to the straight line and press the tuck all the way down.
3. Open the tuck and run a line of basting glue from the top edge to the marked dot. Position a piece of piping on the glue so that the stitching line of the piping is aligned to the straight line marked on the shirt. Begin at the marked dot and work upward; leave the excess piping extended at the top edge, which will be trimmed after stitching. For a clean end, cut the end of the piping piece at an angle and bend the raw end to the inside of the tuck so that the curved end touches the marked dot (fig. 1). Finger press to secure the glue to the piping.
4. Flip the shirt over the piping so that the right sides are together and the piping is sandwiched between the fold. Stitch the tuck line, catching the piping seam allowance inside; stop at the marked dot, securing the end of the tuck and the end of the piping at the same time. Skip a distance and start stitching on second mark and continue to the bottom of the front shirt (fig. 2). Repeat for all six tucks. When complete, trim off the piping strips even with top edge.
For more projects fit for your little prince or princess, be sure to check out Sewing for a Royal Baby. The book features 22 royal-inspired designs complete with patterns, smocking plates, step-by-step instructions, technique tutorials and much more!
Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi & Amelia