Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crafty Momma (2): G's Homemade Easter Dress

I've written a few times about how I got the crazy idea to sew G's Easter dress...and you may remember I explained how my mother is an amazing seamstress but I never really took the time (and she got kind of frustrated with me on several occasions) to master her craft. I have her old sewing machine. This past Christmas I did use a pattern under her direction to sew my husband a pair of boxers for Christmas (complete with dorky holiday print fabric). I've hemmed a few things and I made some curtains for our kitchen, and you may remember the crib rail covers I made. I suppose all of those things gave me the courage to jump right into dress making (which is probably the hardest thing to start out with).
I'll let the pictures take it from here:

I was off to a good start, despite miscalculating the amount of fabric needed
this pattern may have been in English, but it was not easy to understand
very proud of myself for learning how to do interfacing and sewing a v neck
turned under
I hated that the neckline turned out uneven, but it's my first attempt
I taught myself how to make ruffles!
gathering isn't very much fun...it does produce cute results though
I have no idea why this kept happening to me!
the skirt is done! ready to assemble the pieces together
final product front
final product, back, I don't think you are supposed to see the bias tape
I guess it turned out okay
Easter morning
I really need to learn how to keep the machine from doing whatever it does to cause that big mangled mess of thread. I used too many curse words in the making of this dress. I love the idea of handmaking a dress for my daughter, but it's definitely not easy. I'm proud of everything I learned in this process, and will be making her a summer top/short set in the next few months that is part of the same pattern.

Things I did for the first time:
  • read a pattern without my mom there to decipher it
  • followed instructions for laying out fabric and edited them as needed since I got the fabric size wrong when ordering my yardage
  • made dressmaker markings without having dressmaker 'stuff'
  • basted
  • applied interfacing
  • cut in a circle
  • sewed stay stitches
  • lined up fabric pieces accurately
  • made the collar facing work for me, even if it wasn't perfectly cut/sewn
  • sewed ribbon accents
  • used bias tape appropriately
  • made tie-ends that were harder than they needed to be
  • finished bodice with only a big of a misalignment
  • gathered skirt
  • made two sets of ruffles and gathered
  • attached bodice to skirt with ease
  • clipped curves, trimmed seams, pressed

Because the was the first real item I've made on my own, I would give myself a C+ (but maybe that's being hard on myself?). The dress was obviously wearable, but was uneven in several places and the stitches were far from perfect. I'll show it to my mom when she comes in June and see what grade she gives it :-)

I used Simplicity Pattern 4203, dress A.

Sew Chatty


  1. I am very impressed! I have never been brave enough to do anything more than what I can hand sew, which isn't much. Very cute dress!

  2. I think you did an excellent job. Very cute! :) I wish I could do something like that. My mom made my clothes when I was young. I loved it! Well done. :)


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