Monday, October 07, 2013

The Candy Shop Dress

When a friend's baby had her first birthday this summer, I jumped at the chance for some girly sewing! After all, there are only so many dresses I can make for Rosa.

After a quick browse through my pattern collection  After an hour of agonizing over which pattern to use, I finally settled on Simplicity 7607. It's a -- get this -- Daisy Kingdom pattern. Excuse me while my brain revisits the 90's. I thought it had potential, though, so I forged ahead.

Some pink striped cotton from my stash suited my needs perfectly.


It does look like a piece of confectionary, doesn't it?

There were changes, of course. I still haven't figured out if my compulsive pattern alteration is just a habit now -- perhaps no matter how good a pattern is, I just have to change it? Anyway, I kept it relatively simple. I wanted the bottom ruffle to end at the front panel. Easy enough, except I forgot how ridiculously enormous little girls' skirts were in the 90's. Even though I'd already reduced the width of all of the skirt pattern pieces, I had to unpick the front panel and make it even narrower.

Another dilemma was the sizing. My pattern was sizes 3-6, and the baby I was sewing for was only 12 months old. However, she's big enough for size 2T in off the rack clothing! I didn't want the dress to be too small, so size 3 would be fine, except that "Big 4" children's patterns are enormous (in my experience). In the end, I scaled the size down slightly where I thought it was necessary, and I think it turned out fine.




I fully lined the bodice, but opted for bias binding trim. It made the dress simpler to assemble, and I wanted the contrast of the solid pink, anyway.





I used a wide pink ribbon in lieu of a fabric sash -- I love how the sash is inserted into the princess seams (which, sadly, are not perfectly matched. Oh well). 

The collar was inspired by the Ruffle Collar Top by Janie and Jack. The original pattern has a two-piece collar and a little too much "fluff" for my taste, so I redrafted the collar piece to fit with my design.



And what's a dress like this without a custom hairbow to match? This also gave me an excuse to pull out the drill and create my own bow-making jig. Which, considering that Rosa's hair is now getting long enough for bows, will be coming in very handy now!




Sometimes it's nice to sew for someone else; I like the extra motivation to focus on details and finishes, because I know the inside of the garment will be seen by the recipient! Besides, one of the best things about sewing (in my opinion) is being able to create something that I wouldn't be able to afford in ready-to-wear clothing -- and getting to share it with others is just the icing on the cake.



10 comments:

  1. What an adorable dress!! And I love that you blessed this little girl in the process!!

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    1. Thanks, Hannah!

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  2. What a sweet dress! We are expecting our first granddaughter in February and I'm so looking forward to sewing little dresses! We have two sons and no daughters so I've never been able to sew for a little girl before. Can't wait!!

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    1. Diane,

      Thank you! How exciting that you have a little granddaughter on the way -- I'm sure you're going to have a blast sewing for her (and how special that she'll have dresses made by her grandmother). Enjoy! :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  3. Now THAT is a cute little girls dress! Just enough feminine sweetness without going over board. Thanks for posting pictures, Shannon. :)

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    1. Thanks, Cheri -- I'm glad to hear you don't think it's *too much.* I was a bit concerned about that, between the pink fabric and the Daisy Kingdom pattern. :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  4. What a sweet little dress! I hope to have a little girl to sew for one day. (I have one boy now.)

    I'm a new follower and have so enjoyed looking over your past posts. We have a lot in common! :)

    Blessings,
    Missy

    http://gracefullittlehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  5. Missy,

    Thanks! Girls are definitely fun to sew for -- as you'll hopefully find out one day :-) The only downside is that it's harder for me to find ready-to-wear clothes for my daughter, because being able to sew has made me pickier about what she wears!

    It's a pleasure to "meet" you, and thanks for stopping by!

    Blessings,
    Shannon

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  6. Such a sweet dress! The collar and bias are just perfect! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Lily! I like the bias treatment -- I think I'll be using that again in the future :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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