Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Great Easter Dress Saga Part One

Easter has come and gone and my sewing machine is lounging in my dining room with its poor little gears on ice. The Easter sewing process was long. At times brutal. It involved chiffon. Enough to make a machine (and a mama) lose her mind! But all the testing and re-testing and re-sewing and panicked last minute trips to fabric store paid off. You'll see later.

I had a fairly clear vision with the project. I had fallen in love with the selection of stretch chiffon offered at DreamSpunKids so I knew it had to be layers of ethereal colors paired with a very classic construction. I chose a vintage-inspired color palette of pink, peach, and white with touches of dyed-to-match lace. But I was not about to cut into my pile of beautiful-- and delicate-- fabric without some serious practice.

My first dress option was the Party Dress by The Cottage Home. Check out the free tutorial and pattern on her blog if you feel inclined to try one. Loved One and I were going to a bridal shower for a friend at church so I thought it'd be the perfect time to get my feet wet on the design using nice, dependable cotton. I found some surprisingly cute fabric at Wal-mart no less.

The light in my dining room gives it a yellow tinge but the green is really light and spring-y. Think lime sherbet.

The tutorial was easy enough to follow, though I still don't understand how to turn a lining.. I am 100% sure it is my lack of sewing skill and not her tutorial but I skipped that step and decided to do straps instead. I also decided to make a more narrow belt as Loved One gets obsessive compulsive if a bow is too big.

This was the first time I'd ever covered my own buttons. I know now the true meaning of the phrase “cute as a button” and may need professional help to keep me from buying hundreds of buttons just to cover them. It's that easy and that satisfying.

One, two three...awwwww

Though it took literally until the midnight hour, I thought the results were super cute. Especially the buttons.

Front view

Back view with a badly tied bow. It was midnight, people.

Loved One was in bed so I didn't get a chance to fit her until the morning of the shower. Which is when we hit trouble.

The dress, though I'd used the size 4 pattern pieces, was too big for my tastes. It seemed like it could fit a size 5 or even 6. Again, I'm a sewing dunce sometimes so the problem could be with me but I suspect the pattern pieces were a bit large. This was perhaps an intentional design choice but I wanted something more fitted. Because I had neither the time nor the patience to redo and reattach an entire bodice, the dress became....a skirt.

I'm rather happy this happened because it is a beautiful skirt, one I may make again in other colors. Loved One seemed pleased and we made it to the shower without a single melt-down about the bow.

A beautiful bow and no tears. Happiness.

Front view with extra baby doll cuddling.

We had fun at the shower and I left very glad I'd tested before I cut my chiffon. What happened after I did cut it? Come back tomorrow and I'll show you as well as offer some tips for making one of your own.


anacooper said...

I am waiting, in breathless anticipation, of tomorrows post!!!

Anonymous said...

That is an adorable skirt. I've found that patterns do run large. My granddaughters had to grow into a few things I've made.