Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweet and easy girls dress

I feel sure if I had a little girl I would be more inspired to be making clothes all the time, but little boys don't present quite the same opportunity. So, visiting friends with a 4 week old baby girl was a perfect excuse to make a crafty present.

I used a pattern from the blog smashed peas and carrots for a simple pinafore dress. I don't have a printer, so I couldn't print out the PDF provided but I improvised with some greaseproof paper, copying the shapes as best I could and using one of the boys babygros as a general size template. This worked surprising well. (As an aside I use greaseproof paper a lot to trace patterns rather than cutting as its cheaper than specialist fabric tracing paper).

The nicest thing about the pinafore is that its reversible. I have matching fabric, one side pink with blue dots, the other blue with pink dots. As you can see from the boys modelling (sorry boy) I sized it to be a tunic top for an older baby and a dress for a younger baby (this was completely by accident, not inital design!).

I have to say this is really good beginners project, no fiddly hemming or anything. You just sew the pieces together, turn it right side out and then top sew the opening closed.

However, I still went wrong multiple times, forgetting my settings on the sewing machine, so I used a straight stitch with a zig zag thread tension setting, which left the stitches feeling really coarse, and even dissolved when I ironed it. So I spent double the time I probably needed to on the project redoing everything. I think it ended up taking 3-4 hours from start to finish... I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

The dress has 4 buttons. I don't have a buttonhole foot for my machine so I took smashed peas tutorial recommendation for hand stitching, and it looked fine (if you have the buttonhole foot I would definitely use that over hand sewing though).

I made a foolish error of sewing the buttons on too tight, not leaving any room to actually make them functional. If you feel inspired to make this dress I recommend attaching the buttons loosely and then winding thread between the button and the fabric to make the button stick out by a few milimeteters.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on, or let us know of any good tutorials for boys clothes.

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