Friday, July 22, 2011

"Birthday Party" by Oliver + S

"Birthday Party Dress" by Oliver + S is a fun, quick dress to put together.  The cutest part is the button detailing and pleats in the front.  My son (11 years old) was helping me this morning, so these are his pictures of his sister's dress.  For some reason the button doesn't show up well.  

I do have a few items that I would add.  If I do it again, I would not sew the shoulder seam as it is written, but follow the instructions for a sleeveless lined dress like Louise by, Children's Corner.  The shoulder seam on this dress is the last seam and then the lining shoulder seam is hand sewn.  This shoulder seam was  not as polished as I would have liked.  I also had a hard time pressing down the pleats.  My guild friends told me to use white vinegar.  Well, I used white vinegar and my ironing board will keep that lovely smell until I wash it, but I have pleats.  

I have been busy sewing for myself and can't wait for you to see my dresses!  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Modkid "Emma", Liberty Jane's "Wrap Top Dress", and Felicity's Pretty Clothes

What do you do when you are bored with the traditional square yoke?  You have the freedom to make a unique outfit.  I had smocked this Cinderella plate on white and really didn't want to put it in a square yoke.  After searching through my patterns, I decided to use Modkid "Emma." I thought it that would make a great "fantasy" dress for my daughter.  The pink fabric is poly/cotton and the white fabric is a dotted Swiss.  

The yoke on this dress is plain, so I added the smocked insert, tiny pin tucks and the button details.  

The back is just as cute!

I like the elastic under the arm to pull the top in a little closer to the body.

And as usual, I used the yoke to Sassy Skirt by Children's Corner.  I was worried the skirt would be a little revealing at the bottom, but it stays put and looks so cute.

I have also been busy making a few American Girl doll outfits.  My local SAGA guild, Midnight Oil Smockers, is selling raffle tickets for Felicity and a handmade wardrobe.  When we have all the outfits together I will add a photo and a place to buy a raffle ticket.  I have added two dresses for the raffle.  

The first dress is a period dress from the original American Girl doll patterns.  This is the Laced Jacket and Petticoat.  I think the directions to these free patterns are located in multiple places on the internet, but some formats have accidentally left off key pieces of the instructions.  Glad I have experience sewing little clothes, because a beginner would quit.  But these free patterns fit wonderfully and are a great resource.

I have recently been impressed with Liberty Jane Patterns.  They sell patterns for many different dolls, but I have picked up their American Doll patterns.  They have great instructions and the clothes fit so well.  They are a great resource!  This is their Wrap Top Dress pattern made in a tiny cherry print.

Front and Back to Wrap Top Dress.

This last picture is a new decorating touch that was added to my sewing room.  A dear neighbor sells, Simply Said wall designs.  I picked this saying for my sewing room in memory of my mom.  After she passed away, we cleaned out a small bedroom that contained her crafts and were amazed that it took up the entire living room.  She was a master at packing her supplies to fit her space.  I added three of these designs to my house and they look great.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Frockstar" by AS&E Issue 91

This is an adorable dress from Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine 91.  The pattern is for 4, 5, and 6 year old sizes.  This dress is a 6.  The smocking on this dress takes an experienced smocker about one evening to do.  The sewing on this dress takes a little longer than the normal square yoke......

The rounded neckline fell into place fairly easy.  Keeping the front yoke the correct size can be a little interesting.  I gathered the bottom of the bodice to hold the gathers in the smocking.  It still didn't seem as easy as it should have.  

The skirt of the dress has a top layer, netting layer and lining layer.  The netting layer is sewn to the top layer to make it easier to work with.  The skirt is gathered and piped at the waist.  It is also gathered and attached to the bottom of the lining.  The lining is gathered at the waist.  Do you see a lot of things gathered and sewn to the waist?  I did too.  The directions call for you to gather the lining and then hand sew it to the waist seam.  (That is if you can get all these layers to lie going DOWN: bodice front, bodice lining, piping, skirt front, skirt netting, and skirt lining.)  The fabric seam naturally falls up due to the amount of fabric going up.  So I just machine stitched the seam and then used my Viking J foot to zig-zag the seam edges together.  I normally don't let my seams show in an heirloom dress, but why fight this one.  

It is a cute dress and I love the big polka dots that I chose.  My daughter is still trying to decide if a 7 year old should wear this dress........ the bubble is to young for her she thinks..........grrrrrr!  If one person will give her a compliment, we can't get her out of it.  I just need to find that person!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

McCall's M5882.....a Kay Whitt Design

I was looking for a great summer dress.  I found it!

I have a good sized collection of Kay Whitt patterns (Serendipity Studios).  I have made a few skirts, but was always going to get to one of her dresses.  Oh, I am so glad I did.  

This is McCall's M5882, View D.  I did a full bust adjustment to the front bodice piece as an alteration.  You can't tell by the photos, but this is a great fitting dress.  It has the potential to pull around the bodice, but I think I might have found the trick to great alterations for me.  I have been bouncing around 3 sizes from the big pattern companies.  I think I have settled on a size 14 with a full bust adjustment.  It matches about a size 10 in ready to wear.

This dress is super fast to sew up and it can use all those cute quilter's cottons you have, so I have to give it a great recommendation.