Bateau Garden Dress

Tween elegant holiday party dress

I’m relatively new to using Winter Wear Designs patterns but really like them so far.  When I first saw the Bateau Garden dress I thought it was just beautiful.  It has a pretty boatneck front and scoop back design along with a pleated circle skirt and an optional pettiskirt.

I also love that it’s not too frilly for my tween. 

It really does make the perfect Christmas dress.

There’s another option for a strappy back, but I love the scoop back option.

My daughter’s measurements put her into a size 8 chest and 12 hip. It’s fairly easy to grade from and 8 under the arm to a 12 at the waist.

I did use a size 8 armscye but extended it to a 12 at the shoulder.  Once the dress was fully sewn, I realized that I should have stopped the shoulder at the size 8.  I gaped quite a bit.  Another reason to always make a muslin when trying out a new pattern. 😉

Since this was already sewn together, I just pulled the shoulder up until it fit better under the arm and pinned to mark my placement.


I marked this placement on the wrong side of the bodice, flipped it inside out and sewed along the marks.

I lost some of the boatneck, but it’s still so pretty.

The pattern has a pleated circle skirt, but I decided that I just wanted a simple gathered circle skirt instead.

I like to finish my circle skirts with a double fold bias tape hem. 

Start with a square of fabric and cut it on the bias (diagonal).

Now lay it out with the bias edge straight and cut into 2″ strips.

Lay one piece over the other rights sides together forming a right angle.

Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Continue until all the strips are sewn together. Iron the seams open.

Related post: How to Make Bias Tape

I was lucky enough to get a bias tape maker before they stopped making them. 

You can get a bias tape maker similar to the attachment on it to use with your regular iron.

If you don’t have either, iron in half, open back up and bring the two sides to the middle and iron again.

Fold in half again and iron to create the double fold bias tape.

When sewing it onto the skirt, I leave a little tail at the start so I can join the ends once I get all the way around.

Other than that, I followed the directions as they’re written.

I really found them easy to follow and the dress turned out beautifully.

Girls Bateau Garden Dress

Tween Holiday dress

Tween elegant holiday party dress

Girls holiday dress

Tween simple party dress

If you like the coat, see my post about it here.

Do you have a favorite Christmas dress pattern?  I’d love to find more new to me designers.  Drop me a comment to let me know.

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