Two weeks ago it was Kids Clothes Week – this is the one where the challenge is to sew for the kids for just one hour per night for a whole week, I’ve joined in the previous two and had a lot of fun sharing my creations with other sewists around the globe – who are all sewing at the same time! Unfortunately, despite all the best intentions, life just got in the way this month, and I didn’t end up sewing as much as I would have liked, however, I did manage to finish one item, this little pinafore dress for Veronica:
She’s a little monkey!
- Pattern: Ottobre 6/2012, pattern number 7. Pallohelma sleeveless bubble dress
- Fabric: printed poplin, cotton lawn
- Invisible zipper
- Pink ric rac
- Matching thread
- Brother My Star 3 Electronic sewing machine
- Tracing paper
- Scissors for paper
- Fabric shears
- Invisible zipper presser foot
- Seam Ripper
I do really love the finished design of this pattern. It is a fully lined sleeveless dress, or pinafore, with an invisible zipper at the back, shaped yokes and a bubble skirt.
I made it up in a size 86, which fits perfectly around the bodice, but is a tad too short, and won’t last long as a dress sadly.
But I really love the finished product. The yokes, at front and back, have a lovely curved shape and the skirt has just the right amount of “bubble”. And its fully lined.
I made this dress for Veronica when she was a baby – in a size 62, I still have the traced pattern pieces stored in the large plastic envelope that I store the master pattern sheets in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of either the dress by itself, or of Veronica wearing it. But I do remember having exactly the same problems with the construction!
The Infinite Loop
“What is that a picture of?” I hear you ask. This is what the dress looked like the first time I stitched the lining to the shell at the hemline.
Here’s another view:
Confused? So was I, because what I had actually done was to somehow stitch the hem so that the entire dress was now in a three dimensional figure of eight, kind of like a mobias strip.
What happened was, I turned the dress completely inside out, with the right sides of the shell and lining facing each other. Then I stitched the hem, and then tried to turn it the ride side out, through the opening that I had left in one of the side seams of the lining, but the more that I kept trying to turn it the right side out the more confused and frustrated I got. Until I realised what I’d done, and then I realised that I had made the same mistake the first time I made this dress, and for some inexplicable reason, I had just done exactly the same thing.
At first, I couldn’t work out why I had gone wrong this time, I had been so careful to read the instructions, so then I double-checked them. Ottobre doesn’t always provide the most detailed instructions, and rarely any diagrams or pictures, and they didn’t on this occasion either, but…what I think confused me, and started me on the wrong path, was this phrase on page 27:
Leave small opening for turning in one side seam on lining.
Its misleading, because the hem is meant to be sewn with the dress the right side out, sewing through the opening in the side seam. There is no actual “turning”.
Once I realised where I had gone wrong, I got out the seam ripper, undid all the stitching on the hem and started again.
I managed to re-do the hem, it was a bit fiddly working through the side seam, but the finished result was very neat and I was quite pleased with it.
I would also like to note that when I stitched the invisible zipper in the back, I managed to perfectly line up the points where the yoke joins the skirt. Unfortunately, this blurry photo is the only one that I took of this particular feature.
The only variation that I made to the pattern was to substitue ric rac instead of piping. This bright pink ric rac matches the fabric perfectly, and kind of works in with the printed design of wavy lines too.
The printed poplin that I used was what I had leftover from a Tinny Dress that I made Mathilda last year. Veronica was quite upset when she reaslised that dress hadn’t been made for her, I was quite relieved that I had enough of it left over to make another dress, although its taken me quite some time to actually get around to it – maybe we need more Kids Clothes Week Challenges?
The poplin is quite easy to sew with, its lightweight and behaves well, but it crinkles constantly.
The lining is a lovely soft cotton lawn with a silver pinstipe. I didn’t have a big enough piece of a plain white poplin, and I didn’t want to go out to buy anything specifically for this dress, so this is what I used.
The lining is probably just a little too sheer, the fabric is very thin, and it didn’t cope very well with being stitched, unpicked and restitched (following my repair to the infinite loop above). The hem ended up okay, but the side seam is a long way from being the neatest thing that I have ever done, its a good job that its on the inside of the dress and will never be seen when worn!
This little monkey is quite used to modelling new clothes. She will stop, turn and show the side, back, other side quite well, and even announces what she’s doing.
We just need to work on facial expresssions, at the moment, we have either:
These are my Teeth!
I’m not sure which is better. She’s three, its a fun age!
Thanks for reading.