Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NewLook 6200 - Sea green + pink horse dress

Sewing clothes for little girls is addicting. It's total instant gratification: 30 minutes of tracing + 30 minutes of cutting out on stable cotton fabric + a couple hours sitting at the sewing machine = a new dress with no fitting issues.

I used another cotton from, from the wildly popular Michael Miller "Wee Wander" series. I picked a simple dress pattern to not cut up the horses too much, and spent some time laying out my pieces carefully. The jumbo rick-rack and pink bow were purchased locally and matched as best as possible.

I cut a size 1/2 for the width and a size 4 for the length and left off the pocket. She's not typically a 4 in length but this dress was drafted somewhat short. It's pretty blousy through the torso which is fine for a little girl's dress.

I did make a number of changes to the pattern instructions. The front neck band was interfaced and the angle of the straps straightened before attachment. I used fabric bias strips to finish the armholes instead of the bias tape that was called for. The back strap attachment was changed to look neater and I put in an invisible hem instead of a topstitched one. If there's no other topstitching present in a garment, it looks odd to me to have it at the hemline.

The neckline of this dress was so fiddly to sew - tiny front band that the whole front of the dress gets gathered and stitched to, then attach the gathered front straps, then sew the inside band to it and mind the corners for a nice sharp finish. While I was in the middle of wrestling with it, I vowed that this was the last time I'd use this pattern. However, it turned out so adorable in the end that I'm sure I'll make it again.

I hand-stitched the bow from the backside so that it wouldn't come untied and fray-checked the ends. This is only the 2nd or 3rd time I've used rick-rack and I think it's so fun and girly. You can see the bias bands I used at the armholes in the next picture and the side french seams. Also you can just barely see that the tops of the straps are gathered too. I forgot to get a close-up of that on Rachel.

I really enjoy using NewLook and Simplicity's toddler patterns and have a number of them. I wish McCall's and Butterick had more contemporary designs and started their sizes at 1/2. Skinny girls need cute patterns too.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oliver + S School Photo Dress in yellow

Just in time for Spring that is finally arriving in south Texas, I have made Rachel a new dress in that favorite hue of mine. I was waiting for what seemed like years for her to get big enough to fit into these patterns. She finally gained enough girth for them a year or so ago but I was still just lovingly gazing through my collection from time to time. Enough of that! It's time to get busy stitching them up before she gets too big!

The fabric is a nice weight cotton from, my favorite place to buy cottons for kids clothing. I have found that these quality cottons, priced between $7 and $10 per yard, wrinkle far less then the quilting cottons available locally. I don't know about your kids, but mine does not like to sit still and take care not to wrinkle her clothes. ;)

I love the details of this dress - the roll collar, kangaroo front pocket, slightly belled and cuffed sleeves, front yoke and princess seaming, full lining with separate pattern pieces that aren't a repeat of the outer dress. Most toddler dresses from the big 4 just aren't very detailed. I suppose most people who make kid clothing like simpler designs but I prefer a challenge. That's why I'm willing to pay the premium for these Oliver + S patterns.

Speaking of the kangaroo pocket:

 Can you tell she loves it? She is definitely going to be a pocket person. As for sizing, I traced the 18-24 month size for the width and the 2T size for the length and got a perfect fit. This girl is tiny. In August she'll be 4. I'll probably be able to make her a fall version with just an inch or so added to the length and not have to re-trace the pattern.

The zipper I had to special order online from Zipper stop because I couldn't find a good match locally. The button peeking out on the left I happened to have in my stash. It is connected to the other side of the collar with a thread loop. The lining I did in white cotton sheeting from Hancock's fabrics. No pictures of that, though. It's too overcast today to take any interior shots.

This was such a fun little dress to make! I am still in a sewing funk for making stuff for myself but have a number of garments I want to make for her lined up. If you like seeing kids clothes on my blog then you are in for a treat. If not, well, sorry. I've got to go where my mojo takes me.