Sunday, January 10, 2010

Selfless sewing

After the boy went and bought some off-cut Dora the Explorer fabric, I decided I should try and make a dress for The Little Madam. Although she is mad keen on the Disney Fairies and Disney Princesses, there is still room in her heart for Dora.

So I picked a few potential sewing patterns and asked TLM to rate them, and her favourite by far was McCall's 5033 - which requires a really large amount of fabric for the circle skirt.

My main obstacle was that the shop only had this pattern in Girls sizes 7-12, whereas I reckoned I needed a Childs size 4. So I did a bit of tucking here and there on the bodic pattern pieces, and quite a bit of tucking on the skirt pattern pieces (so they'd be less of a circle and require less fabric). I also bound all the raw edges with bias strips instead of lining the whole garment, and didn't bother with the inside ruffle. When I was just about to put the zip in, I realised that the binding added too much bulk to allow for zip insertion. So I hand sewed snap buttons instead. (The photos posted here are pre-fix, as described below).

TLM loved her dress right away, but one of the snap buttons kept unpopping, which to me meant that a) I needed to replace those buttons with a zip and b) I had got it slightly wrong when re-sizing the bodice pattern piece. I spent a couple of hours last night trying to fix this by inserting extra fabric at the back before putting in a zip. But now it's too big!! Maybe I should have just added more snap buttons instead...

If I had to do all this again, I would definitely line the dress instead of binding all the seams - it would have taken less time and added less bulk. Anyway, TLM still loves it so I should just let it go shouldn't I?


Antoinette said...

Totally, let go and let her love the dress. I just improvised a coat for my son and the constant adjustment is maddening. It's hard to get little ones to keep trying things on for fitting. I'd get a form but my son would outgrow it before I'd made anything on it! Anyway, the dress looks great!

Violet said...

It's supposed to be easier to sew for a child because you don't have to make darts and stuff - their figures are just straight up and down.

I wish I could let go but I'm an obsessive completer!

Pollyanna_H said...

Gorgeous! Her memories of it will just be "that cool Dora dress mum made for me when I was little" not "that dress mum should have LINED"!

Violet said...

Pollyanna_H: one would hope so ;-)