Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Family Reunion Dress" and how to add piping....

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it.  I love the traditional look and style.

The corduroy was purchased from a warehouse that sold end of the bolt children's clothing fabrics about 5 years ago.  No telling how many years it had sat at the warehouse.  I love red and plum, so I fell for this fabric.  I had been holding it for the perfect project.  After a good washing, I was amazed at how the fabric felt.  This is a high end corduroy that has a wonderful hand.  I could iron it without a pressing cloth and it came out beautifully.

The "Family Reunion Dress" pattern is written wonderfully and sews together like a dream.  By the time you finish the pin tucks and the neckline, you are almost done!  I also love a dress that is done by machine totally, including the hem.  (I fall on the lazy side.)

Front view
Back view

My daughter stirring up fire ants, even in the winter.
The front view.

I love the look of piping, so I planned on adding a touch.  I didn't read the instructions ahead of time, so I was looking to add the piping to the rounded collar and the tab front.  The collar overlay is sewn to the neckline and then flipped and topstitched.  The top-stitched edge is also slightly gathered to make it lay beautifully.  Well, to add piping to that could cause a little distortion, if I did it my normal way.  So, I borrowed a friend's idea and used a washable wonder tape.  (Thanks, Roberta!)

This is the collar sewn to the neckline as it calls for in the pattern.

This is my self-made piping with the wonder tape stuck to one side.

I then peeled the other side of the tape and stuck it to the underside of the collar overlay.

This is a close-up.

Then, I top-stitched the collar overlay down, using the piping edge to guide my stitching.

 I love this little dress.  It looks like it came from a boutique.  My only complaint is a general complaint about children't clothing.  I have noticed that square necklines and larger round necklines have a tendency to gap in the front.  It helps to fit them perfectly, but this dress fits perfectly across the shoulders, but still tends to move around as my daughter bounces.  It may have to do with the neck area of little girls not having a good tight place to fit and settle into.  Let me know if you have ideas on solving this fitting issue.


  1. Hi! I've been admiring your blog and fabulous sewing for a while and decided to leave you a comment today. This dress is beautiful! I love the colors, and am a big fan of corduroy too. I noticed you used a fabric you've had for some time. Are you doing the Pattern Review fabric stash contest? I'm giving it a go for my first PR contest. I'm just recently getting into all this computer side of sewing.

  2. I love the wondertape hint for use with the piping. I will remember this for my version of the dress for my granddaughter.

  3. OOOHHHH! That corduroy fabric looks delicious! I wish I could have been shopping with you so I could have gotten some too!! I still have @ 1 1/2 yards of some featherwale cord that I bought over 25 years ago to make something for our daughter. Maybe I'll get it out, re-wash it and make this same dress for the grandgirl before she gets too big! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. That is super cute, very pretty! I love the details on the bodice, great job!

  5. This is the perfect fabric for this pattern and the piping makes a perfect accent!
    For the wiggling round on the shoulders, could the shoulder slope be the issue? In other words, if the shoulder is sloped with a grade and slips, straightening the slope, or given it more of a slope to fit to the shoulder better seems like it would fix the issue.
    This is making sense in my I wonder if it is making sense the way I am trying to explain it?
    Love your to it and trying to get in gear with lots of stitching for my just turned two year old. And my 16 year old. :D They have equal appreciation thankfully~

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  7. Ooh, thank you so much for the piping tip! Exactly what I was looking for,