We were getting Miss C dressed yesterday and realised that she's outgrown all her clothes* so I set about making her something new. I took a dress she already had (My Favourite she said) an OshKosh A-line dress, which I got from Ebay a few years ago so I've no idea how long the design has been knocking about for, as a template.
I put it on tracing paper and then copied the style making the size much bigger. I found some lovely pink flowery fabric in my stash that I had bought ages ago.
The design I came up with was a really simple A-line dress with identical front and back with fixed straps, I also made a facing which I lined with fusible interfacing for strength.
This was a learning experience with lots of firsts -
- using the Hemming Foot on my machine which I've never done before, all I can say is I'm glad my girls were in bed otherwise they would have added some grown-up words to their vocabulary! I'm sure it's not as hard as I found it but it was certainly taxing, I'm sure next time it would be better. The end result was better than I normally achieve for a hem so I'm sure I'll persevere!
- making a garment from a pattern I've made, never really done that before so was kinda working in the dark. You know how you sometimes don't know enough to know that you are doing something wrong? It was a bit like that!
- Yo-yo - I thought it needed something to finish it off, and to tell the front from the back, but I wasn't sure what it needed. Cos the fabric has such a small repeating pattern it needed something plain really, ideally pale pink pockets a bit like the original, but I didn't have anything like that in my stash so I debated between some sort of ruffle and yo-yos. Yo-yos are not something I'm particularly familiar with, don't think they are a very UK thing. I certainly don't think I've ever seen one in the flesh before but I thought nothing ventured etc etc (back to the thing about not knowing you can't do something!). I used Heather Bailey tutorial although once you've made one they are a piece of cake! I made 3 yo-yos (no3 was definitely the best!) and then spent ages trying to decide where to put them, group of three, triangle, line and where to position them. Eventually OH
got bored and told me what to domade an executive decision for me and I put them in a line across the chest. The observant among you will have noticed that the picture at the top is missing said yo-yos, I decided the dress needed a little something after the photo shoot!
Things I've learnt:-
- I can make clothes from a pattern I've made up, it's not as hard as I think it is
- Yo-yos are great and you can even make heart shaped ones, square ones, ovals, large ones, small ones...... Look out for lots of yo-yos on my garments in future! And hair clips, and bags...... (Wanders off looking for boring things that need jazzing up with yo-yos! Might even graduate to Kanzashi Flowers!)
- Sew the facing onto the front and back of the dress before you sew the side seams together. My problem is I'm too eager to see something take shape!
- Sew the straps on with the facing a bit like a bag rather than leave that as the last step and realise it should have been the first step! That's why I ended up with uglyish crosses holding the straps on, thought it would make the best of a bad lot by doing that, certainly doesn't need a cross for strength!
So Miss C's first homemade dress, I'm guessing it might be the first of many, so many variations on the pattern are possible; buttons on straps, applique designs, pockets, mixture of fabrics as per the original.... the world is my oyster! Trouble is Miss M wants something as well and I don't think the style would suit a 7 year old so I'll have to look around for some inspiration. The thing is though I don't like paying for patterns as it make it so expensive when you've added in the fabric and factored in the time, still handmade things are made with love rather than economy!
* Actually they are Miss M's clothes! There are advantages to having 2 girls who's birthdays are only 2 weeks apart I have all the right clothes for the right season in the right colours!