Good morning! Today I’m sharing the choo choo train dress I made for my daughter Jellybean and the free applique pattern I created for it. I made this dress at the beginning of the summer in time for Father’s Day when we visited Thomas the Train. I had wanted to make her a train dress for some time and when I bought the Thomas tickets, I knew this would be the perfect time to make it! I also love a deadline – it helped having an event to make this dress for. She has worn it a bunch of times since Father’s Day and she looks so cute in it!
I bought this gorgeous plaid seersucker at a Florence Eisemann factory sale and loved how lightweight it was. I used the Simplicity 1205 pattern and only made a couple changes to it. The front of the bodice consists of two pattern pieces, one of which is the decorative band. I cut both of these pieces from the same white cotton so I would have a large enough space to fit my train applique.
Another minor change I made was to add piping to the collar. I love doing this – it is such a nice detail and I think it adds a lot to the dress overall. The biggest change I made to the dress was adding the train applique. I found this adorable vintage dress online and loved the train detail. I based my design off of this dress.
I snapped a few pictures of the process and you can download the free train pattern at the end of this post :)
Once I had my train pattern pieces cut, I traced them onto my Wonder Under fusible web. I cut out the pieces, leaving a border around each pieces. I chose to make the train out of the same plaid seersucker and the wheels out of felt. I ironed the Wonder Under pieces to my fabrics and then cut them out along the line. I have started using a pressing sheet when working with fusible web and have really liked it. It keeps my iron, ironing board, and the fabric clean.
I laid the boxcar pieces out onto my front bodice. It was easiest to apply the applique before the bodice was completely sewn together. I stitched the two front bodice pieces together and attached the back pieces just at the shoulder. I laid the collar pieces out to get a sense of where I should placed my train.
I ironed the boxcars into place and then machine-appliqued around them using embroidery thread. It has a little sheen to it which looks really pretty.
The rest of the applique and embroidery was done by hand. I stitched the wheels on and added little purple hearts. I again had to place my collar to know where to embroider my clouds.
I love how the little train turned out, and it wasn’t as time-consuming as I had anticipated – which is super rare since everything usually takes longer than I think it will!
Download the free applique train pattern below. This dress was size 18 months with a weight of 21-24 lbs and a height of 31-34″.
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