Friday, June 26, 2009
I decided to make E a dress for 4th of July. I actually bought the fabric for this over a month ago, but of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I didn't start sewing until 2 days before we had to leave town. Needless to say, I was up very very late.
My original idea was to do a halter-style dress, with 3 gathered tiers, so it would be nice and twirly. I bought 3 different patriotic-themed prints of fabric and started cutting. Well, no matter how I arranged them, the 3rd fabric (it had stripes and stars) just never seemed to fit in quite right. So at the last minute, I scrapped the bottom tier and replaced it with a thick band. I also opted to make my own bias tape for the top and ties so that I wouldn't have to fuss with turning and hemming the armholes. In fact, now that I think about it, I pretty much did zero hemming on this project! Score!
I drafted the pattern myself by more or less tracing part of an existing top that I liked the shape of for the bodice. Then I measured the width of the bodice (12" each side) and multiplied by 1.5 for the skirt. Sewed that into a tube, gathered it and attached it to the bodice. For the band of trim at the bottom, I cut a piece the same width as the skirt, sewed it into a tube, then folded the whole thing lengthwise so that there were no raw edges sewing. It's a method I picked up from making the Portabello Pixie peasant dress, and it's my new favorite way to add a finished touch to the bottom of a dress (as you can also see from the last two shirred dresses I made).
Because I love shirring and hate making casing for elastic, I decided to continue the binding along the back and shir that for a snug fit.
I'm super happy with how this top turned out. It fits her exactly. In fact, if it were even an inch narrower, I'm not sure she'd be able to get it on. It's a good thing that the 4th is next week! I still sort of wish it were longer so it could be a dress, but otherwise, I can't complain. I'll probably make more of these for E to wear the rest of the summer since it's been so unbelievably HOT. Next time I'll attempt to make a tutorial.
And here's the matching reversible hat. It's from an Ottobre pattern, but minus the rickrack and interfacing because I was too lazy. I've never sewn a hat before, and it was a bit trickier than I thought it'd be. I had some trouble with the two prints lining up quite right, but I think that's because I had to add the seam allowance myself when I cut the fabric, and it wasn't exactly scientific. Like I said, I was in a bit of a time crunch. It's not as perfect as I'd like (nothing ever is), but I'm happy enough with it. I think the crown part is too deep and pointy, but again, I chalk that up to hasty sewing. I'll probably try another soon.