Thursday, January 5, 2012

Project: Sewing Dresses

Part of the reason I was so busy last week was that I was sewing up a storm for my Holiday Challenge. That doesn't mean that I managed to sew lots of things, but I sewed a lot. If I wasn't so slow I would have much more to show for all the hours I put in. However, I'm pretty happy with how the projects turned out. The patterns I used were from One-Yard Wonders.

This looks like a bikini top, but it's actually the halter top for the dress I made for my younger sister, before I attached the skirt part.

The thing about making dresses is that it's hard to do fittings when you're using a pattern. Like me, my sister is petite, but the pattern I used was most likely based on a taller person. So while I had taken all the suggested measurements -- bust, underbust, and waist -- the pattern was still too tall on the bodice part. That then made sizing the underbust (with the tricky gathers and elastic) difficult. I had to redo the elastic after my sister first tried it on. I think the finished product is still too big for her, but I suppose she can wear it as a beach coverup come summer. (She also travels quite a bit, so she may be able to use sooner it if she travels south of the equator during the first part of the new year.) One of my goals this new year is to learn more about editing patterns, especially for petite sizing.

This second dress project was more successful because it was more forgiving, given that it was for a toddler. Kids' clothes usually don't need to be fitted. For my friend's daughter's third birthday (she's a NYE baby), I decided to make a pinafore. This was my first time making lining, and it was a lot easier than I thought. The directions for this pattern worked very well for an intermediate-beginner like myself. The only iffy part was turning the finished bodice inside-out by pulling the fabric through the very narrow shoulder straps (what helped: using a large knitting needle to push the fabric through the "tunnels"). I wasn't sure if I was going to add the button, but I couldn't resist the heart shape; too bad I only had the one. It took me a whole day, in between eating and taking care of the kiddo, to make the dress. I'm quite proud of this one. I washed and pressed it, and we gave it to the birthday girl over the weekend. While she didn't particularly care for it aside from the ballerinas on the print (do little kids ever care about clothes as presents?), her mom, one of my favorite people, loved it. Just as I anticipated. :-) I'm actually looking forward to making this same pattern for another little girl.

xo, Gladys


  1. I'm using the same pattern for the summer dress, and I just can't get the bodice piece to come out the right way. I'm thinking I'll just improvise a little. Yours, came out great though.

    1. Thanks, Kimmy! And thanks for leaving a comment! Good luck with finishing and I think improvising is a fantastic idea. :-)

      I should have improvised more when I was making the dress, but because I was still a nervous sewer, I worried about deviating from the pattern. I'm actually thinking of making this pattern again for me so that I can learn how to fit things correctly. In fact, I plan to reshape the bodice triangles completely to follow the shape of my body. The challenge will be figuring out how to edit the darting.


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