Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Simple Dresses

It's the summer of shirring!  There was Meg's green dress, a strapless lady's top that Lucy found at Value Village and made into a dress, the blue dress for me, and a dress for Lucy.  I had been eyeing the pre-shirred fabric at Fabricland, but didn't want to pay $20/m.   It eventually got marked down to $10/m, but until I made Meg's dress (and then mine), I didn't know how much I would need.  All I knew was that just buying my bust size as the length would not be enough.  One day I had taken the girls to Fabricland and there was a cut of smocked fabric in the clearance bin...however, they don't actually mark down the remnants; it's still $10/m, even though it's a pre-cut piece.  Lucy liked one piece and agreed to a dress.  I think it was .8m.

We cut some length off (maybe a smidge too much), and we can't agree on straps.  She doesn't mind it strapless, but it doesn't stay up very well.  We might do clear straps, but the school dress code probably still won't allow that.  She does have a little black shrug that looks really cute over it.  I did the one seam as a French seam, however it made it really difficult (for me) to line up the rows of shirring.

On another trip to Value Village, I found a piece of pretty, floral knit.  The white background has a very slight texture/thick-thin affect.  It's quite thin and stretchy.  However, the piece was rather odd...there had been a section (poorly) serged onto one end, and there were some holes scattered here and there.
Lucy liked a dress design in "Built by Wendy"'s knits book.  Based on a raglan sleeve shirt, it gets a little extra width added, and no sleeves.  I made the front and back exactly the same (although the book shows them different).  I based her size on a girl's dress pattern I have, with raglan sleeves.  I don't remember if I added any to the width though, as the pattern was for wovens.  The length was pretty much just what I could do with the length of fabric I had.  I could do another panel in the same fabric (pieced together though), or in another fabric if I could find something to match).  She figures she'll just turn it into a shirt as she grows.  I did a lettuce edge on the bottom.  For the neck straps, all I could find in my trims stash was some fuchsia rickrack.  It looked good until it was washed.  I'm not into ironing rickrack.

This is pretty much the same idea as a pillow case dress...cut a rectangle and angle off the top corners (you don't even have to do that I suppose, although it cuts down a bit of bulk), then fold over a casing on the front and back.  Sew the sides, feed a ribbon or something through the front casing and then the back and sew the ends together, or use one piece for the back and one piece for the front and make shoulder ties (Lucy wanted to be able to get dressed herself so shoulder ties were not an option).

 Simple design, maximum impact with a non-juvenile fabric!

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