Monday, May 7, 2012

Flowers in the Sunshine Dress

After sewing the tunic for my daughter, and refreshing my memory on my sewing skills,  I thought I would try my hand at making a dress without a pattern.  I look at a lot of clothing and think "I could make that!".  I think sometime I might be right and others, ... well, it just might be more difficult then I think.  

My mother-in-law made my husband and I a quilt which had a fabric in it that looked just right for a little summer dress.  I went over to see if she had any of it leftover, and I was in luck - she did! 

I had an idea in my head, just a basic sundress with a sash.   I wanted to add piping, and I wanted the yellow fabric to be on the back also.  Part of the reason for this was that I was trying to make the dress larger because I only had a limited amount of the blue fabric. 

I first traced around a twelve month dress she already had to get the basic shape and size.  Then I cut out the pattern the way I wanted for the front and back pieces.  Next I cut out my fabric and my lining for the bodice. 

I sewed the pieces together at the shoulders , then sandwiched in the piping, though I like to sew on my piping to one piece to hold it secure before I sew the layers together.  I sewed it all together, leaving a place to turn it inside out.

I then made strips of cloth that would be topstiched to the bodice. 

The front piece I decided I wanted to be a little different so I made three horizontal pleats.

I then made my sash pieces, pinned everything together, the sash pieces sandwiched in between.

  I sewed the sides together and had a very structured top piece.  I forgot to take a picture of that step :(   I actually had to redo it because when I tried it on my little girl, I had made the back pieces overlap too much and it was really hard to get on and off.  Here is a picture of it after I attached the skirt.  Just pretend that the skirt part isn't there yet. 

Then I used a rectangle for the skirt- which I actually pieced together because of the limited amount of fabric I had - I made the rectangle into a tube, gathered and attached it by topstiching again.   This was kind of a difficult step.  It was a lot of layers and being gathered, it was hard to tell if it was even. I topstiched it on the top of the yellow piece and the bottom of the yellow piece so it would be secure. 

I then did my button holes and sewed on the buttons.  I don't know what happened here, but it didn't come out quite straight.  I guess that's what happens when you just eyeball instead of measure.  Lesson learned.

The last step was hemming and I was done!   I think it came out rather well, however, I did learn a lot, and there were maybe ways I would have done things slightly different to make it easier, but overall I'm pretty proud of it. 

Now the one flaw is that I think it's more of a 2T or maybe bigger.  I was so paranoid about making it and then it being too small that I made my pattern a little extra big and then when I was cutting it, I even cut a centimeter or two bigger then the pattern.  I also made it longer because I figured I could always make it shorter but not longer... it ended up being really long.  Oh well, at least it will fit her for a while.  :)

Here is her eyeing me when I first put it on her... but then I get a nice smile, so it can't be that bad.

Here is a picture of the back of the dress as she's trying to crawl away from me.  It's kind of hard to get a good picture of a ten month old.  There are so many fun things to explore. 

I think she's happy with it, what do you think? 

Bring on summer!


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