Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentines toddler dress: What I'm Makin' Monday

I'm getting into the groove of making dresses now. This was the first time I put a dress based on a pattern together without reading the directions on the pattern. Following the Playdate Peasant Dress pattern. I've used before. Ok, maybe I glanced at it a little. But the point is, I'm getting into a groove.

A reader asked me if I'm sad that she'll only get to wear her seasonal dresses a time or two. I am a little sad looking at all of her Christmas dresses and outfits, and Halloween outfits I have piled to the side, but I made most of them big so she can wear them next year, or at least as a top next year.

The reason I've only been making holiday outfits so far is because I knew the only way I'd actually sew these things is if I have a deadline. And a holiday is a great sewing deadline. Seasonal fabric is usually on sale too... At least at Hancock it is. About 40-70% off. It's hit or miss at Hobby Lobby, which is where I got the fabric for this dress.

Now that I've made it through three, almost four holidays I'm getting the hang of this.

I bought a ruffler foot and a rolled-hem foot for my new machine and it's helping so much with these dresses. No more ironing and pinning the tiny hems. Yay!

My ruffler is cool, and I've learned how to use it (thanks YouTube!) but I'm having a hard time gauging how ruffly to make the ruffles so they fit perfectly on the bottom of the dress. If anyone knows how to do this without guess and check let me know!

Oh, and I got the hang of shirring with this dress! It's gathered at the center of the sleeves and in the middle of the dress.

I didn't make the bows, she got these over the top Valentines pieces from Izzy Diane's Boutique and modeled them with the dress for us.

So now that I have this pattern down I want to experiment with other patterns I have, and learn how to follow a tissue paper pattern. They are much less expensive than the Etsy ones and there's much more variety. My friend Jennie is going to teach me (same friend who helped me with my first ever dress for her in October!). I know some people are good at following tutorials, and I prefer that if they're easy enough but if there's too much math involved (ie: take a third of your child's weight size, and measure to the knee, then divide that by 1.5...) I get lost. So I prefer to use actual numbers that have been figured out for the specific size I'm making (18 months, 2T... etc).

Many of you have written and said my craftiness is motivating you to give it a try. Let me tell you, if you're thinking about it... GO FOR IT! If I can do it, anyone can. Seriously. There's few things more exciting than having someone rave about the outfit your kid is wearing and complimenting your work. And I think there's something to be said for learning skills we can pass down to out children. Home economics has all from disappeared!
Not to brag or anything but I made the leg warmers too.

As I find easy tutorials and free patterns to attempt I'll try to keep bringing them to you. If you're looking for a dress pattern to try that's not to hard, the one I have linked above in this post (ok here it is again) is a great place to start, and the price was right for me. There are pattern pieces you print out, tape together, then cut around to make your dress pieces, and lots of step-by-step photo directions to follow until you get the hang of it and don't need the directions at all!

Oh, and side note, I made the leg warmers too... Super easy! I got a two pack of women's' Valentines knee-socks at Walmart for $3, cut off the feet, rolled the ends (didn't even sew them), and TADA! Takes seconds. See... You can do that!

So I hope this was a little bit of eye-candy for today, and a bit of a pep-talk for some sitting on the sidelines waiting for the push to jump into the Domestic Diva game.

Made anything lately?

My craft button.
What I'm Making Monday

(highlight ctl+c)

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