Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Special Birthday Dress!

My niece turned 2 last weekend.  I decided to make her a special dress.  It is a mash-up of the Geranium from Made by Rae and the Puppet Show dress from Oliver + S.  I used the geranium skirt, the puppet show sleeves, and a bodice that was mostly geranium.  I made the 2T size, which it turned out was quite a bit too big.  I thought it would be the right size since I made the a Geranium top for her in the 18-24 month size for the 4th of July, and that fit.  The 2T size isn't that much bigger than the 18-24 month, but I think the way I combined the bodice patterns made the shoulders a little bit wider, and the sleeves made it extra obvious that it was too wide for her.
I had intended to cut extra length in the skirt, but I only bought one yard of the fabric (Heather Ross Tiger Lily voile), and I didn't have enough.  Instead I added a faux sash to the bottom of the bodice and lining, using some navy voile leftover from the lining of a dress I'm sewing for myself.  I was pretty proud of the way I added the seamless sash. I stitched the ends of the sash to the back bodice pieces (after sewing the shoulder seams), then sewed the bodice and lining together along the neck and back edges as directed in the geranium pattern.  Then I sewed the side seams (bodice and lining separately), then went back and sewed the rest of the seam between bodice and sash:
This way there were no side seams in the sash.  Of course, later I realized that I could have sewn the side seams first, then the sash, then the neck and back edges, since I was adding sleeves and therefore couldn't finish the armscyes as directed in geranium.  So this was a bit of extra work, but now I have it figured out in case I ever want to add a sash/waistband to a straight-up geranium dress.
I sewed in the sleeves - I had to trim off the armholes because they were incredibly small!  I used the armscyes from the Puppet show pattern, and I don't know what happened.  There was no way the sleeves would fit into them.  I ended up trimming quite a bit off.
Then I went to sew the skirt pieces and discovered that I had made a cutting error.  I cut pockets onto the front skirt piece but not the back.  I felt really stupid.  The dress lost its pockets.
I fought with my sewing machine's button-hole function, but eventually got it to work.
The inside of the dress has no raw edges.  I bound the sleeve cuff seam with the cuff seam allowance and hand sewed the bodice lining to the seam allowance of the sleeve and to the skirt lining.
I added a layer of gathered tulle between the skirt and lining to give it a bit of extra fullness. I had a bit of trouble gathering the tulle, but it turned out well in the end.  I gathered the tulle, lining, and skirt in three separate layers and then pinned them all together.  I wish I had read this post by Nicole at Five and Counting before sewing this - I think her way would be much easier.

My niece looks very cute in her dress, even if it is too big.  When she gets taller I can add a band of the navy voile to the skirt hem to give it some extra length so she can wear it longer (especially given that it is so wide on her)!

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous! I bet she will look like a little doll!