Wednesday, April 13, 2011

first Dress

Come see, come see, what's on my table today!

cutting Honey Child!

Looking too bright (and waaaaaay too tiny) for this mama?  You guessed it, this one's for Aria!  I really fell for the Sis Boom Marissa dress and Jennifer Paganelli's Honey Child collection.  The two together are perfect for Easter!  I received fabric the other day and have been busy working away.  The main print is Danielle in orange and the lighter accent is Dana in orange, both from Honey Child.

You all know I've never made a dress before, but I have made clothes before.  I made pajamas for the kids ages ago and it. was. torture.  So far this experience is nothing like it.  I made the pjs with a tissue paper pattern from Hancocks.  All those sizes on one huge, flimsy paper and cryptically short directions - ugh.  In sharp contrast, the Sis Boom pattern is full of colored photographs and detailed how-to's that really walk me through each step.  It's been actually quite pleasant!

Marissa Dress on my table

I'm kind of shocked that things are going smoothly since I'm altering the pattern in several places.  Aria is on the slender side, so she measures a size 5/6 for height and a size 2T for waist.  Not having a clue, I decided to alter the 5/6 bodice by removing 2" from the center of the front and back bodice pattern pieces.  The bodice is cut on the straight fold, so I moved back the fold line, making the bodice thinner but keeping the same curves.  I've already stitched up the bodice... and it actually fits (I think)!  It could be on the small side.  I don't think I'll feel confident until I've finished the entire thing.  I've also added some piecing to the back bodice and to the skirt, just to get more of that cute Dana print into the design.

So, the pattern is lined in the bodice, but not in the skirt.  I want to add a skirt lining with tulle sewn in to make the skirt fluffy and twirly.  The Marissa design has a full skirt with lots of gathering, so it's a great candidate for twirls.  So I bought some tulle and I have muslin for the lining...  And that's kind of where I'm at.  Any suggestions?  I think I'd make the muslin lining and add maybe 2 rows of doubled tulle stitched onto the lining to lay in between the muslin and the outer skirt?  Is that a bad idea?  I'm also wondering if I should make the muslin lining smaller in circumference than the outer skirt so that it will "fit" underneath with all the tulle.  Or, conversely, if it's smart to make the lining just as big as the outer skirt to make everything more full?  I totally expect to experience some trial and error here, but your tips are very welcome!

Watermelon!

P.S.  I was able to visit Whipstitch again while on a business trip to Atlanta.  I picked up this emerald green Mikeala print also from Honey Child and this salmon pink print from It's a Hoot.  Together don't they remind you of watermelon!  Yum.

26 comments:

  1. It looks awesome! I go through that with my eldest daughter. She's a stick and traditional patterns are just too big. I can't wait to see your finished project!

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  2. The dress looks great so far, and I definitely think watermelon when I look at the bottom picture!

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  3. Oh my gosh! The dress is looking so cute! Can't wait to see it all sewn up!

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  4. i'm actually starting my first dress today, too (easter dresses for my girls)! although, i've never made ANY clothing before, so i'm super nervous!

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  5. Yes, that is exactly right - make the lining just a bit narrower than the skirt and stitch the gathered tulle in two layers between the lining and the outer fabric. If you make them the same circumference, the outer dress will "crawl" up the lining and tulle in a most unattractive way looking for a bit of relief from the tulle bulk. Gather the tulle with TWO ROWS of your longest gathering stitch and sew it BETWEEN those rows to the lining. Tulle is a breeze to gather IF you do two rows of gathering. It will be heavenly. I admire that you tackle alterations as a novice. Good work. Congratulations on your aplomb. You go, girl.

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  6. Super excited for you!! Once you get started with clothes, it's hard to ever go back--can't wait to see what trouble you'll get into next. :)

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  7. Like about 6 inches narrower if you are doing two rows of fairly loosely gathered tulle - if you are going for serious poof, make the skirt lining even a little narrower.

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  8. Cute dress! Way to alter! My DD has to have a size 4 top and the length of an 8. It gets a little difficult at times, but usually works out okay!! Good luck!

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  9. And oh my goodness gracious - KEEP YOUR HAM! You will be needing it for all kinds of seam pressing - which, incidentally is the truest secret to excellent garment construction.

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  10. I'd take some off inches off the lining to reduce the amount of gather, but not too much. Or move the seam of lining down a little from the other gathered waist. Too much bulk would be uncomfortable. Comfort is keyto dressing kids. Same with the tulle.

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  11. Beautiful! You should make the Jamie Dress for yourself so you guys will be matching :-)

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  12. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! I really appreciate all your advice people. REALLY!

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  13. It looks beautiful!

    I am also enjoying the advice you are receiving - I have a girl with 5T height who happily still wiggles into her old 18mo jacket (now a bolero with 3/4 sleeves)!

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  14. I love the dress and the fabric is beautiful...I ordered the peasant dress and the Dana top for myself today and am so impressed by the detailed instructions and the options for lengthening, shortening, sleeve designs etc...can`t wait to get started.

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  15. I bought that pattern for my granddaughter. I was going to use some fabulous Heather Bailey fabric, but now I'm kinda rethinking that. Maybe I should "break down" (haha) and get some Honey Child.

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  16. Congrats for jumping into garment sewing again! Patterns make all the difference. I highly recommend Oliver + S, similar idea where instructions are well written. I learn something every time I use one of those patterns.

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  17. That dress looks darling so far! I can't wait to see it finished. I have a charm pack skirt planned for Haila -- garment sewing, it makes me so nervous!

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  18. That is really beautiful! I wish my Katy would wear dresses!

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  19. Ahhh so CUTE! I love Sis Boom patterns - they are seriously the best. Have you been reading Sew Mama Sew this week? The Sis Boom pattern writer is doing a 3-part series on making PDF patterns. Totally awesome.

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  20. Very cute! I just finished up the Jamie dress and it was also simple to make.

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  21. What about - for the lining - instead of lining - make it as a petticoat - ie separate - so when you make more of these cuties - you dont have to put tulle in each one - and it might make it easier to wash and iron as well. Just a thought (remembering back to my young years when we had full skirts and tulle or rope petticoats)

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  22. I love the Sis Boom patterns, too.
    And your fabrics are gorgeous!
    Have you seen this link for a petticoat skirt: http://www.ikatbag.com/2011/04/inside-out-tiered-pettiskirt.html?
    Maybe this would work!
    Michelle

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  23. Rachel, that bodice looks gorgeous! I love the way the band is done!!! I'm working on Maggie's Easter dress right now as well. Kind of winging it, and dealing with some similar issues/questions. So glad you asked questions and are getting some great feedback - I'm making mental notes. : )

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  24. I'm planning to do my 1st Easter dress too but much more simple than your fabulous dress. I'm doing a pillowcase dress, can't much easier so maybe it will look ok lol. Can't wait to see your finished dress :)

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