Monday, May 27, 2013

NewLook 6071 - Brown bamboo knit dress

I love to wear knit dresses during the summer. They're comfortable, keep my cool, and are totally effortless. Throw on a knit dress in the morning with some strappy sandals and a necklace and I'm off to drop my son at swimteam practice or run to the grocery store. Here and here are two of my favorites. I've made another in a brown bamboo bought online, I think from

I really don't remember what I had in mind for this fabric when I bought it. Bamboo knit is soft and drapey and just wonderful to feel next to your skin. However, it clings and is thin and shows every lump and bump. From now on I shall be using it for tops only or possibly dresses with full skirts.

This pattern was easy and fun with a bit of interest up top to help balance me out and give the girls some oomph. They provided pattern pieces for binding along the neckline and armholes, which I love to have in a pattern. I sewed it up in a little over a day with frequent interruptions.

I made a straight size 10, which is my normal size for my top half. Normally I cut a 12 for the waist and hips but didn't need to grade out with this pattern. I did lengthen the bottom by 1.5" in order to take a 1.25" hem. I am not a fan of 5/8" hems, and that is what the directions suggested. I used a twin needle to stitch it in place.

The neckline is a bit low for me but got the okay from my husband since it hugs my skin and doesn't gape.

I plan to make this dress again. The next time, though, I will use an ITY knit and shorten the armhole bindings, which I found just a bit too long.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Simplicity 2907 - Aqua lace toddler dress

After using stretch polyester lace a few months ago, I decided to try some cotton lace for a summer dress for Rachel. This fabric is from Mood and has a nice weight to it - not too heavy but substantial enough for a dress. It was very easy to work with and ironed well. Of course, being lace, it needed some type of underlining. I tried it atop lots of different colors and finally chose a dark teal cotton.

I chose a simple pattern for this dress in order to show off the lace. I cut a 1/2 for the width and a 1 for the length - just like the last dress I made for her - but it is a little big. Apparently I am still learning toddler sizing.

Finding buttons to match this aqua color was just about impossible. I did find some aqua flower buttons that matched but did not want to sew flower buttons over floral lace. Then I had an epiphany and decided to do contrasting brown ones. The ribbon belt brought in more brown and I love the little bow in the front.

I sewed all of the underlining to the lace first, then constructed the dress as instructed. Because the collar has 4 layers to it - lace and underlining times two - I left off the interfacing. The hardest part of making clothes for little people is always setting those tiny sleeves into the tiny armholes. It's not the fabric ease that's hard for me, it's getting my machine foot in there. I always get poked with my pins a bunch of times during this step.

I really like the peaks of dark fabric that can be seen at the sleeves or hemline when my daughter wears her dress.

The inside seam allowances were trimmed to about 3/8" and finished with the overlocking stitch. When I sewed on the ribbon belt, I used brown thread in the machine and aqua in the bobbin to keep all the inside threads the same color.

I used Simplicity 2907. This is a pattern I bought several years ago, then wondered why I'd purchased something so plain. It worked really well for the fabric, though. I doubt I'll be using it again since the sizing is so loose on her and I'm not in love with any of the other views.

Sewing little girl clothing is a little addicting!