Monday, March 26, 2012

A twirly Christmas dress

I love sewing for my daughter.  I am just filled with ideas for her all the time.  If you have a little girl, I suggest getting the book  Little Girls, Big Style by Mary Abreu.   I have made several items from the book and have really enjoyed them.  The patterns themselves are fairly basic but you can very easily spice them up a bit if you want.  I made the peasant dress for Christmas, but with a few small changes.

I added an additional ruffle on the bottom to make the dress longer.  I figured out the ratio of fabric for each layer and just added that much more for the bottom.  It was a ton of ruffling...  Yards and yards of ruffles.  Zowie.  I own a ruffling foot for my sewing machine but I don't actually know how to use it!  Not a good thing!  I need to figure this one out, that is for sure! 

My second change was with the sleeves.  One thing I wish this book did a little better is to either give finished measurements OR take pictures wherein you can really see the elements of the design.  Pictures of girls sitting or twirling or what-have-you are very cute and do give a general feel for the clothes but don't tell you much about how they fit the body.  The sleeves were shorter than I wanted as well - they seemed more like 3/4 length and I wanted full length.  I added length when I cut them out but that wasn't enough.  Again, had the dress been labeled as a 3/4 sleeve length I would have known to add more.  Or maybe my daughter just has super long arms?  That doesn't seem to be the case with other clothes, so I don't think that is the case!  Anyway, I finished the sleeves and still wanted more length, so I ripped that out and then instead of rolling the hem and enclosing the elastic in the hem, I made a small hem and then added some bias tape to the inside of the sleeve and put the elastic in there.  Does this make sense?  That gave me the small amount more length on the sleeve that I wanted to feel like they were right.  Anyway, this gives my sleeves a little bit of a ruffle on the bottom, which is cute!  The photo of her twirling has the sleeves before I re-did the cuff.  The picture on the bridge has the longer, ruffle sleeve.

 Finally, I added the pink double-sided satin ribbon.  I used some red embroidery floss and crocheted a loop for each side to hold the ribbon in place.  It really sets it off, doesn't it?  The fabric is a batik from the local Hancock Fabrics, a pretty cranberry red with pink leaves.

I love how it turned out and my daughter thought it was wonderful.  As you can see, it made for the perfect twirly dress!

  My pretty girl in her pretty Christmas dress!  It's a winner!

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