children, sewing

ModKid Shelby Dress Release (and: how to sew lace sleeves)

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links. I received this pattern complimentary in exchange for testing it.

ModKid has been around a while – in fact – I think I first heard of them when I happened to buy a ModKid/Simplicity pattern from JoAnn about 5 years ago. Of course, I look at that pattern and think, “I really should sew that up,” but I still haven’t got around to it! I recently stumbled upon a tester call for the new ModKid Shelby – I thought my 7 year old would adore it (and it would force me to finally try a ModKid pattern!), so I signed up — and ended up testing for my 3 year old instead!

ENDS MARCH 1, 2019 @ 11:59PM US ET. USE CODE: SHELBY40**


The Shelby is adorable! I love the “grown up” look (my husband does not HAHAHA), and of course my girls are ALL ABOUT IT.

  • It has the option for a crop top or a dress, both with or without the front ties.
  • The bodice features a v-neck, a front center seam, and the sleeves come in 3 different lengths.
  • This dress can be made from light-medium weight knits. (I used two different cotton lycras for mine).
  • I think an adventurous beginner with some experience sewing knits, could make this dress.
  • The girls’ dress is in sizes 2T – 8/9, and the tween version is in sizes 10-18.
  • The pattern is true to size – finished measurements are included for each size – I made a 2T and my finished measurements exactly lined up with the chart.


Construction-wise, the dress is pretty straight forward. The most complicated part is hemming the ties. I made my first one with my sewing machine using a regular stitch (the instructions recommend a sewing machine with woolly nylon in the bobbin). For my second one, I used my Cover Stitch machine instead, and I found that looked better.


Once the ties are done, the dress comes together really quickly. I was able to make my second dress in under 2 hours.

Dress #1


Now, onto my dresses! For my first dress, I looked into my stash and found a cute Riley Blake cotton lycra print that to me screamed ModKid. Funnily enough, as I cut the last pattern piece out, I looked at the selvedge and saw “Patty Young” on the edge. Patty happens to be the owner/designer of ModKid! She’s also a fabric designer for Riley Blake! The green is a Euro Knit from Mabel Madison – a remnant from the butterfly dress I made last year.

Dress #2


For my second dress, I used Mint Cotton Lycra from Simply By Ti, and then I jazzed it up with white 6″ Galloon Lace sleeves (also from Simply By Ti)! Miss 3 just ADORES this version, and Miss 7 has requested a replica in her size!


How to add Lace Sleeves

Adapting this pattern for the galloon lace wasn’t hard: since I wasn’t going to hem it, I placed the pattern template approximately 1/2″ lower than the lace, and just cut the curved seam line. The pattern piece has a curved hemline, but I ignored that for this one.

After attaching the lace to the armscye, I top stitched it down so the seam allowance stayed hidden under the cotton lycra bodice.

(…and this is why this dress got so crushed!!!)

How to join side seams with a serger:

  • Make sure your serger is threaded with a color that blends in with your lace.
  • Start serging from the sleeve hemline – just 3 or 4 stitches.
  • Stop serging with your needles in your work. Lift presser foot.
  • Grab your thread tails and gently pull them in front of your needles and then to the right. Be careful not to pull too hard (make sure the start of your lace seam stays flat).
  • Put presser foot back down.
  • Continue serging to finish the side seam. The tails are now locked inside your seam.


So there you have it! I hope you love this dress as much as I do! It was a fun sew and I think it’ll be requested by quite a few little girls out there! Let me know if you plan to make this one! ❤ ❤


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