First, print and tape your patterns. For the Be The Leader, you only need to print the pages for making the crop top, and for the Be Curious, only print the pages needed for making the skirt. If you’re skipping the ruffle on the Be Curious skirt like I did, be sure to add the extra length needed (width of the ruffle minus ½”) as explained in the pattern.
When cutting out the Be The Leader bodice, cut straight across on the crop top line to the dashed line to add a little extra roominess, since we’re working with a very full skirt. If you plan to take width out of the Be Curious skirt for a less full version, you can just cut on the bodice’ solid line.
Shown below are the pieces you should have (plus the ruffle if you’re adding it).
Sew the Be The Leader top according to the pattern instructions. Sew the skirt pieces in a loop, and gather the top according to your favorite method - I prefer sewing two rows of long basting stitches and then pulling the threads. Your dress should look like this so far:
Pin the skirt to the bodice, matching side seams. Pull the gathering threads to fit, and stitch in place. Don’t serge yet! Cut a piece of ¼” elastic the length according to the waist measurement included in the Be The Leader pattern. Sew it into a loop as shown.
Divide the elastic loop and the skirt/bodice seam into quarters with pins or clips as shown.
Baste the elastic to the bodice, stretching as you go, matching pins/clips. I prefer to use a wide zig zag stitch for this step before serging, in case I accidentally catch any of the bodice - but if you’re brave, you can serge the elastic on. If you basted first, serge to finish.
Hem the bottom and the sleeves ½” and you’re done! (Pardon the lack of a model, my niece is only 3.5 months and won’t be able to wear this 12/18m size until next summer!).
(Written by Christine Suriano, this post includes affiliated links)