As a certified pack-rat, I try not to sew too many dresses or toys for my little one, knowing full well that (assuming she痴 not hauling a big box of out grown things off to college) I will be stuck with them forever, unable to contemplate giving them away. But I spotted a good length of star-spangled calico for $1 at the thrift store a while back, and I couldn't help but be reminded of the cute little dress, outgrown after two summers in heavy rotation, that I'd made a few years back:
A cute little Americana-themed dress comes in rather handy for those summer months.
And so I bought the fabric, and just in time (barely!) for Memorial Day, I managed to finish up the new version, supplemented with some scraps from the stash drawer:
Though a touch larger and longer, it's the same basic design as the rainbow dress I made for her last summer to use up more of the contents of the afore-mentioned stash drawer:
Up until that point I had been using button closures on the back of all my dresses, but I got the idea for using the elastic from a tutorial on the Mother Huddle. I really like the simplicity of construction and the lack of extra notions to buy.
I find that with the addition of a sash (sewn into the side-seams) the fit becomes very customizable and you can make it big enough to last at least a couple of summers. I do the shoulder straps as two separate pieces, tied at the shoulder, for the same reason.
I also did the lining a bit differently, burying the ends of the straps between bodice and lining and hiding the lining seams inside. Plus I did some under-stitching (the red stitching in the white lining; it doesn't show on the reverse) this time, rather than the top-stitching I did on the rainbow dress bodice.
I used an A-line skirt to maximize the small amount of fabric I had and reduce the fullness at the waist and a little ruffled trim to echo the colors I'd used to accent the top of the bodice. And of course my version is a dress the first year or two and only becomes a top just before it's outgrown.
My mother-in-law suggested a little bit of the dark blue piping at the waist and using different colored shoulder straps, both of which I think worked out quite nicely. I kind of regret not having any suitable piping cord on hand; this is just an empty pipe, and not quite as even as I would have liked. Live and learn and next time, try to start further in advance!
- Victoria, 2012-06-01
"This dress, or something similar" the e-mail said, linking to an ivory confection of satin, net and tulle for sale at a certain store, let's just call it Davy Jones' Nuptial Locker.
- Victoria, 2012-04-21
The first step was pattern hunting, but I couldn't seem to find a bodice with princess seams designed for little people. No problem, right?
- Victoria, 2012-04-21