Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sewing: Toddler Jumper Dress

This dress was another pattern from One-Yard Wonders, for another one of my nieces. It's actually a very late birthday present (she's a Christmas Eve baby and I felt bad that I only got her one present for the holiday instead of two). Here are the front and back:

In process: connecting the bodice to the skirt (pardon the night lighting)

Again, it's another cute pattern from this book. However, it was the hardest one I've encountered so far, partly because I started sewing late in the evening and I was getting tired. I made a couple of significant mistakes that turned my several-hour sewing project into an all-nighter (I'm one of those people that can't stop once I start something):
  • I mistook the length ("tall" dimension) of the skirt for the width, so the bodice didn't match up with the skirt. Out came the seam ripper.
  • I connected the straps to the wrong side of the fabric. Worse, I didn't figure out it was a mistake until two steps later, after sewing several loooong seams. I knew something was wrong when part of the straps got enclosed inside the bodice, but I think I was too tired and slow on the uptake. And since I used box stitches to connect the straps to the bodice (a square with an X inside), ripping the seams was even more tedious.
But the pattern does require several skill sets, most of which by this point I already have. It is called the "Classic All-Ages Jumper" and looks deceptively simple. The pattern pieces are simply six rectangles (seven including one piece of interfacing) that you measure out yourself then cut, but putting the pieces together requires interfacing (not hard), gathering (a little tricky), elastic (can also be tricky), and buttonhole-making (um...where's my sewing handbook again?...). Thankfully, I realized with joy at 3:30 in the morning that my sewing machine can both make buttonholes and sew on buttons automatically. Did you read that? Yes, I wrote AUTOMATICALLY. I love you, Singer Stylist! But I definitely needed to practice both techniques first...boy, that was a really long night.

Check out the by-products of my all-nighter: 1) the broken purple button that was my first test button (looks like Pac-man, no?), 2) the numerous messy buttonholes on the test fabric, 3) the very thick pile of clipped thread -- much thicker than my usual pile per project since I made such huge mistakes, and 4) the most useful tool in my world and my trusty companion for the night, the seam ripper.

To complete this review, one last issue is that the dress's straps in the book photo do not match the pattern directions. You can see in the photos below (taken with my iPhone) that the buttons were sewn onto the straps while the buttonholes were set into the bodice. The written directions, however, tell you to do the opposite. I was definitely confused since I had the book image in mind while making the dress.

If I ever make this pattern again, I think I'm going to make it so that the straps on both front and back are connected inside the bodice rather than outside, just as in the book photo. I only wish I'd had the foresight while reading the pattern last night to figure it out as I went along. Maybe if I hadn't been so tired? Oh well, next time.

xo, Gladys

Full disclosure: I'm a member of Amazon Associates, so if you click through the book link and purchase anything on Amazon, it may result in my earning a small -- very small -- referral fee.


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