I came across a new pattern this weekend – the Peppermint Swirl Dress from Candy Castle Patterns – that I absolutely love. I can think of a lot of combinations that are holiday specific — red, white, and blue Independence Day dress, or a red and green Christmas dress. But didn’t want a wear-once dress.
It would also be great for a single color with gradients — take eight shades and arrange them 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 (loop back to #1 at the beginning). *But* this dress takes a lot of fabric. Like five yards for a 5 year old kid. At ten dollars a yard, it’s a fairly expensive dress using two or three fabrics. Even if I could get half yards for the skirt segments and use Kona cotton solids at 6$ a yard … that’s around 50$ for the skirt. Which, unfortunately, makes it a special occasion type of outfit.
Maybe as I get more fabric scraps, it would be a neat use-the-scraps project. But, for now, I wanted to get two colours that could be worn pretty much whenever. And I’d rather not spend 10$ a yard 🙂 So I began searching for closeout fabrics. There are a TON of cool closeouts in the 4$-5$ a yard range, but finding two that coordinated well … not so much. I thought about getting a print and then picking up a coordinating Kona locally. But then I came across a sale on marbled fabrics. I should have a blue and cream marbles in a week or so. I plan to use the blue as the dress top, make some piping with the cream fabric to go along the neckline, and use the cream fabric for the sash.
I played around with overlaying fabrics – I used an organza with a silver snowflake design over a deep blue satin. The resulting color is a much lighter icy blue (pretty much what I was going for).
I had a lot of trouble handling the fabric – I cut the circles and basted the two pieces together at the waist and hem. I then used the lower baste-line to fold and hem the skirt. That worked well. For some reason, though, I could NOT get the waistband to attach. I ended up catching the skirt in the serger and slicing the fabric. There’s a fairly large (3/4″ wide by 3″ long) gash that I had to patch up right along the band. Not something you notice when Anya is wearing it, I didn’t have enough fabric to cut new circles, and it would look worse if I spliced in an entire wedge of the skirt.
The organza material is a little plastic-y, and difficult to work with. My original idea was to do a rolled hem on the bottom of both materials. Couldn’t get a nice rolled hem on a straight piece of sample fabric … so that was out. Once the organza was combined with the satin, it was pretty easy to work with. It doesn’t drape like cotton, though (hence my problem with the serger).
The end result, however, looks really awesome. And Anya loves having a glittery silver snowflake skirt.
In fitting this dress, I decided to split the dress into a top and skirt to produce an outfit Anya can put on herself. As a dress, it was a little tricky to get into. I considered putting a zipper in the back, but she wouldn’t be able to dress herself.
Since the skirt is basically a circle skirt, I added a wide waistband with 2″ elastic. Done.
I’ve extended the lining (attached a strip of cream Bemberg lining material to the navy fabric which stops at the top of the white fabric).
I started making Anya’s Easter dress using the Kinley Cascading Flounce Dress pattern from Simple Life Sewing Company. I’m using a bright-ish blue main fabric with white Fairy Frost (glittery silver on white) as the underskirt. I have a navy blue Bemberg lining on the bodice – it’s a little dark, but it was something I already owned 🙂
I’ve got the pieces cut and am ready to start assembling the dress tomorrow.
I purchased a pattern for Anya’s Easter dress almost a year ago. I wanted the bodice and outer skirt to be blue with a sparkly white fabric as the inner skirt. I am going to make a booster cushion for Anya, and I needed to add about ten dollars to my order to get free shipping. Fabric keeps 🙂
We have a bright-ish dark blue for the main fabric, and one of the Michael Miller Fairy Frost glittery fabrics for the inner circle skirt (which will also be used for the sash and bow).
I am about halfway through constructing Anya’s art smock using the pattern I found on thediymommy.com. I had quite a bit of the laminated fabric from making her backpack, and searched for something that would use it. We happened across this smock and it looked like it would use almost all of the remaining fabric. (Wasn’t wrong – from the one yard of fabric, I have a 16″square).
Other than my inability to machine-stitch bias tape, this is a really quick project. Couple hours – even with a tiny helper. I find it easier to cut fabric to a pattern if the paper pattern isn’t cut right along the line, so I leave a half inch overhang around the pattern. It works just as well, though, to have overhang that continually varies from 1/8″ up to an inch. And Anya loves that she can do some of the cutting for our crafts.
Once we printed and cut the paper pattern, I cut the two pieces of laminated cotton. Sewed the two pieces together at the shoulder – since laminate does not seem fray, I used a simple straight stitch instead of the serger. I had cut quite a lot of bias strips to make piping for the bag. Double folded the strips to create bias tape for the edging and started pinning it in place.
The front of the bias tape is stitched on, and now I’m hand-stitching the back of the bias tape. Some day I’ll learn this “stitch in the ditch” technique 🙂
Halloween Circle Skirt – Completed! Circle skirts are *super* quick projects. I have a circle pattern that I re-use each time. Double-fold the bottom hem (pressing after each fold) and stitch the hem in place. Cut a 5″ wide strip of fabric a few inches longer than the inner circle circumference. Serge it along both long sides. Placing wrong sides together, I sew the rectangular strip to the inner circle (this stitch ends up being right along the serger threads). Once the two ends meet, I serge them together. I then cut a 2″ wide strip of non-roll elastic to Anya’s waist size, overlap the ends by 1/2″ and stitch it together along the edges of the overlap and then sew an X inside the rectangle. Insert the elastic into the waistband fabric, fold the fabric over, and stitch the three layers (outer waistband fabric, circle skirt, inner waistband fabric) together. About 3/4 of the way through, I gather the already sewed part of the waistband on the elastic so the 1/4 that has not yet been sewed is straight and flat. Voila, one circle skirt.
Halloween bag – Almost done! I’m still stitching the letters onto the bag.
Halloween costume – I had to re-do the bodice (it was too wide), but should be able to finish off the back hook-and-loop closure this weekend. Need to make a hoop skirt and add some embellishment to the skirt.
I purchased a really interesting book called the Building Block Dress. Ever notice a designer sells ten different patterns that are all tweaks of the same dress? Evidently that’s actually a thing in fashion design — you really do have a base pattern and all of your “looks” are modifications of this base. Makes sense from both a manufacturing and a design standpoint. Cars are designed the same way — there’s an underlying chassis upon which a lot of different variations are bolted. This book teaches you to make your own modifications. Which means you don’t need to buy the three different almost-the-same patterns, but rather you can purchase one and modify components as needed.
The book includes a “dress planning” template — for me, “planning” has generally been an e-mail to a few friends or a blog post about the pattern I’m using and the fabrics I am considering. Selecting different components and drawing the dress is new for me … but I’ve got my first dress planned! Now I just need to get Anya’s Halloween costume sorted so I can work on other projects 🙂
Making progress! We printed the pattern pieces for Anya’s top last night, and we got all of the pieces cut this evening. I stitched it up after Anya fell asleep, so it still needs to be sized.
I think we’re going to make a hoop skirt for under her skirt too – should produce a nice ballgown silhouette.
I just started working on Anya’s Halloween costume. The circle skirt is cut, and I am starting to pin up the hemline. I found a really interesting tutorial on making your own hoop skirt. Seriously considering making one of these for her costume.