Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can I freeze a Girl's World?, Part 2

Mary's Fancy Sash Dress

This is the second of three dresses from Girl's World, by, Jennifer Paganelli.  This one is called Mary's Fancy Sash Dress.  The fabric is Ruby by Moda (both the girl and doll dress).  

I constructed this dress just as the book stated.  I did err and make a size to large, but my daughter will grow into it soon.  Since this is a dress without zipper or buttons, it would be an easy beginner project.  Without the buttons or zipper for a tighter fit, the bodice is loose.  This dress would also be a perfect dress for the younger toddler that wants to dress themselves, but buttons and zippers are too much for them to handle.

Back view of Mary's Fancy Sash Dress

The book shows the sash tied in the back and also looped around and tied in front.  This is the second dress I have made my daughter that did not have an attached belt.  I have found that the belts sag as she runs and plays during the day, but the ability to wrap it around twice and tie it helps it to stay in place.

Liberty Jane Colorblock & Corsage Dress
The dress I made for Lanie (American Girl Doll) is called Colorblock & Corsage Dress by Heritage Doll Fashions for Liberty Jane Patterns.  I LOVE THIS DRESS!  I think it took me an hour to whip up this dress.  My only switch was to attach the dress skirt to the lining side of the red trim and then topstitch the outside red trim down.  I topstitch what I see much better than through a few layers of fabric.  

I love this Ruby fabric!  It had a large and small floral print, which I thought would work wonderfully to give a sense of proportion to each dress.  Both prints match the size of the dress.

My garden was started late this year.  Just hope I get a few green beans that the deer don't find!

Enjoy your spring weather!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can I freeze a Girl's World?, Part 1

I spent part of my spring break sewing up 4 dresses for my sweetheart.  Three were from the super cute book, Girl's World, by Jennifer Paganelli.  The pictures in this book make you want a little girl in your life to sew for.  I just want to freeze time with my daughter wearing these sweet dresses with a smile on her face.

The dress shown here is "Josie Dress."  It is a sundress with a gathered bodice and sash that ties as a bow in the back.  The possibilities for this dress are endless either as a casual dress or a dress-up occasion.  Since I had not ever sewn with this book before, I tend to size up a dress so that I am not heartbroken with a too small dress.  I made a size 8-10 (Large) for my 8 year old.  It is a little too big, but normally I would just hang in her closet until next year.  She can't seem to take it off, so I turn my head when a strap falls off her shoulder.  

Front of Josie's Dress
The dress was easy to follow the directions to construct.  I used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one, so a few construction details were changed.  This is my favorite dress from the book and worth the price of the book.
Front of Aspen's Party Dress by Liberty Jane Patterns
Being a girly mom for my sweet daughter, I had to add a quick dress to match for her American Girl doll.  This is Aspen's Party Dress by Liberty Jane Patterns.  It was intended for dressy fabric, but it had to match the Micael Miller print.  I wish I had changed the pattern and put on a gathered skirt to match the girl dress, but it is only a doll!  The Liberty Jane Pattern went together well and is a great match for the Sis Boom book.

The matching back views.

My daughter had so much fun with the trees in bloom, she popped a flower into her hair.

When I get her out of this dress, I will photograph the other dresses I made and share.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hot Pink Nightmare, Part 2

My knit fabric journey continues....

This is Simplicity 1916, View E made from hot pink jersey fabric.  Pictured above is my third complete top from the pattern.  The first two are in the trash, both a size 14.   Unfortunately, the keeper t-shirt got a little extra cut in the serger blade and doesn't hang as well as I would like.  The keeper is a size 12 with the following modifications.

I found the neckline long and revealing.  So, I grabbed a favorite t-shirt and did some comparison to help solve my problem.  I learned that I needed the shoulder widened (about an extra 1 1/2") and overlap the bodice pieces more (about 4" of overlap).  This type of jersey is also very stretchy and I still need to cut out about 1/2" on the shoulder seam.  I found this pattern shows a gathered piece below the bodice, but I found only about 2" of fabric to gather, so the top below has an extra 2" in that piece to make it look like the pattern. 

 I am trying to be in love with Simplicity 1916, but the pattern just will not cooperate.  I can't tell if it is the pattern or the knit fabric that is the true issue.   I will keep you posted on my knit journey.

Pictured above is one of the size 14 tops.  As you can see, it is very large and not well fitting at all.

While I had hot pink thread in my serger, I put together another "Vintage Jane" from Pink Fig Patterns.

I was so glad to remove the hot pink thread from my serger and coverstitch machine.  I am moving on to "summer sewing."  It is fun and I can't wait to share what I am doing!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hot Pink Nightmare, Part 1

I had the bright, time saving idea of threading my serger and coverstitch machine with the same hot pink thread and knocking out a few garments that used that color of thread.  I figured I could finish them in a few days and be on to more spring sewing.  That was before I made the same hot pink t-shirt 3 times and redesigned my nightgown 3 times.  I wondered if I would ever get that hot pink thread off those machines.  This is the first of two nightmare projects.

A while ago, I made myself a few nightgowns and wanted to improve on the ones I had made.  I wanted to use a similar design and add splitting a one-piece bust into individual cups.  So, I picked a pattern that looked similar to what I was trying to achieve, which happened to be McCall's M6351.  It is a dress, but I figured it could translate into a nice nightgown.  I dropped the fancy bands on the front and back from the beginning.

McCall's M6351

Then, I took out 24" of fabric in the top of the skirt and made it an A-line.  Then, I ditched the back panel piece for a flat piece to put elastic into.  Then, I crossed the straps in the back to keep them on my shoulders.  So, you could say I learned a lot from the experience.  Let me share my insights and save you time and hot pink thread:

1.  Nightgowns don't need a full skirt added under the bust.  It is too much fabric.
2.  When using a woven, the top needs to fit firmly against the body.  Elastic is your friend to help.  Elastic in the back and under the bust line.  
3.  Adding to Number 2, when you use elastic, the bust cups must meet fairly high on the bust to keep them from pulling apart.
4.  Spaghetti straps are better and more comfortable.  Crossing them in the back keeps them on your shoulders as you toss and turn at night.
5.  I added three rows of elastic on the back panel, with 5/8" elastic in them.  Next time, go with narrower elastic for a softer feel.

I will wear this gown for few weeks and see if there are other modifications to make.  I WILL master this project one day, just not the hot pink version from last week.

And in closing, if you want to make this dress from McCall's, be advised there is a ton of fabric in the skirt!

I'll share my other hot pink nightmare in a few days!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Strawberry "Annika" by Maja's Heirlooms

This is another treasure from my daughter's closet that is getting a little small on her.  She can wear it until I get some new dresses made for the spring.  (I have some beautiful fabric on my cutting table and just can't seem to get anything done that is not ripped out after I finish!)

This cute pattern, Annika by Maja's Heirlooms, is on my cutting table again to be used this spring or summer.  I LOVE the collar and sleeves in this pattern. They are very different than most smocked dress patterns and very easy to sew together.  I wasn't paying attention to the dress when I took the picture and the collar is tilted up a little, but an quick ironing would solve that small issue.  It was not a problem with the pattern.  The smocking plate is "Strawberry Patch" by, Carol Howard at Junebug Designs.  

This dress is a size 6 with a few inches added on the length. My daughter just turned 8 years old.   I made the dress 3 years ago and it is just now getting too small.  So glad some patterns let your little one grow a little without outgrowing the dress!

While on strawberries, the crazy weather here has brought me an early surprise!