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The birthday dress: maxing myself out November 27, 2011

Posted by Judy in Sewing projects.
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Our DD turned 3 about two months ago, and I decided to make her a dress. I figured it would be a good way to practice my newly found pattern drafting using a sloper skills. After lots of internet browsing, I had all of my idea put together and I was ready to start creating. Really, I bit off almost more than I could chew. I had too many ideas lumped into one garmet. Not that the ideas were bad or incompatible, I just had to do ALOT of thinking and staring in order to get everything to work out. All of this translated into MANY hours being put into the dress. DD, being 3, was totally unimpressed with the unveiling of the dress, not exactly the reaction I’d hoped for. But by the time Sabbath rolled around, she was all ready to get dolled up in her new hat (which I bought at a yard sale and was the inspiration for the dress), dress and cape. It was a beautiful fall day, so we had a lovely little outdoors photo shoot.

The cape and dress from the front. I made the cape from this pattern. It was sort of an afterthought. I had some extra fabric and thought it would be a cute addition.

The front of the dress has an inverted box pleat, which would’ve worked better on different fabric. This fabric was a little stiff, so it hangs kinda funny.

The trickiest part of the entire dress was figuring out how to do the keyhole opening with piping. Mega brain strain, but it couldn’t have turned out better!

I saw these petal sleeves on another dress and thought they were a super easy way to perk up the sleeves without having to add ruffles. (I’m only about 90% opposed to ruffles, but they really wouldn’t have worked with this fabric.)

I don’t have a picture of this, because it’s on the inside, and well, she’s wearing the dress in the pics. But, the bodice is lined with super soft satin. Lining the bodice was another tricky step, but again, it turned out beautifully.

The back of the dress is actually my favorite. I did a faux placket with faux buttons. The placket is a piece of fabric that got folded into thirds and then sewn down. The buttons are a trim that I folded into quarters and sewed on. Honestly, it was probably more work than doing a real placket with buttons, but it was a fun little addition.

And the whole ensemble, including her new tights and Sabbath shoes.

I’ll certainly make her more clothing in the future, but I’m not sure that I’ll make anything this complicated, at least not until she’s a little older and is able to offer input throughout the process=)

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