Monday, November 11, 2013

Sewing up Christmas: The Practice Dress

Time to practice up for my big sewing adventure! 

To sharpen my skills - and test my plan - I choose the Sally Dress, by luvinthemommyhood.  The is an adorable little dress that I wanted to try because it has sleeves.  Most of the other patterns I have are either tanks or flutter/cap sleeves and I just don't think that's going to work for a Winter Christmas dress.

As you can see, it turned out pretty good!  My little bug choose the fabric - she wanted purple and I picked the accent from my stash. 

The big new thing is that I tried piping around the bottom of the bodice! 

I bought the cord for like a dollar at Hobby Lobby and decided to use the green as contrast.  Now, I do have to admit that I cheated somewhat on my first use of piping.  I used knit to make the piping.  I figured that since knit stretches, it didn't really matter if the strips were actually bias tape or not, which allowed me to practice making it with some scrap material and not have to worry about wasting a lot of good stuff.

Now for the non-sewers out there, biased tape is fabric cut on the 45 degree.  This makes it "stretcher" (don't ask me why)  so that it is easier to use to sew around curves like arm holes or the bottom of bodices...  When you make it, you use a large piece of material and cut it all the way across the diagonal making it essentially unusable for anything else.... 

So basically, all I did was cut out a strip of green from a scrap I had and sewed the piping cord inside using a zipper foot.  Worked like a charm! 

The dress turned out pretty good.  The piping worked.  The sleeves aren't too bad and Little Missy loves the pockets... Success!

I even threw together some matching leggings with ruffles because really what else would go with this dress?

Tips and Hints:

1.  It's tough to tell the front from the back of this dress.  It probably doesn't really even matter most of the time... unless you sew on piping... and then you sew the skirt of with the pockets facing the place where your piping begins and ends...  yeah I did that...

2.  The bodice is somewhat hard to get on and off since it doesn't have closures.  I made a 3T and it fits great, but I have to wrestle and control my girl to get in and out of it.  For the final version I will be making a 4T bodice and 3T skirt.  I think this will give her a little more arm room with out making it turn out too big. 

3.  Get really close to the piping cord when sewing the piping on.  Otherwise there's a gap and it looks strange.  It's not too hard, you just have to be conscious.

The bottom line:  I'm glad I practiced.  I learned a lot and I think the real version will go a lot faster and better!

Now, on to pants...

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