Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter dresses!

I have, for years before my daughters were even born, always wanted to sew for my kids. 

Unfortunately, my sewing experience, while not nonexistance, is very little.  I'm working on that. 

Here's proof.
I made this!

I actually made 2 of them!

By myself....Without any help (not counting tutorials).

The straps are crooked.  And the hem isn't straight (I have yet to be able to sew a perfectly straight line.  I don't think it's possible).  But, hey, I'm still proud.  And my girls love them!  That's enough for me.

Here's how I did it:
Using pre-shirred fabric and following a project sheet from the fabric store, I cut the bodice.
Since O's chest measurement was about 20 inches, I subtracted 3 inches (to allow it to fit snugly) and cut it at 17 inches.

Next, I folded it in half (right side in) and sewed a straight seam up the back. 

Flip it right side out and *bing* there you have it!

The next day, I remembered their torso's aren't that long, so I measured how long I wanted the bodice (from armpit to bellybutton) and cut the bodice to size.
The tutorial I followed for the skirt can be found over at Made.  (I l.o.v.e. her blog!  It is fantastic with so many great tutorials!  I really want to try and make this skirt for myself.  Every girl, no matter the age, needs a good twirly skirt.)  This tutorial was really easy to follow.  The only thing I did to modify it was that in place of an elastic band I used the shirred bodice.  It worked just fine.

Here's the circle all cut out.  Isn't it pretty? 

Also, because the bodice was cut from the chest measurement and skirt was cut from the waist measurement, there was more of a difference in size between the two.  To make up for that, I folded the fabric over at a few places along the waist.  It still looks good.

Once I had the skirt and the bodice sewn together, I added straps. 

For these, I cut 3-inch-wide strips of the fabric, 8 inches long (the measurement from the front of the armpit to the back). 
I folded each strip in half lengthwise (right side in) and sewed it up the length.  Then I flipped it right side out and ironed it. 

I don't particularly enjoy ironing, but in this case it was necessary.  If you don't iron, you get a tube.  If you iron, you get a flat strap.  That's what I wanted. 

I sewed the straps onto the bodice.  I measured where I wanted them to go while O was wearing the dress, but it was still crooked.  No matter, it isn't that crooked. 
I didn't take a picture of it, but I hemmed the skirt all the way around with a zigzag stitch.

Finally, I put the dresses on the girls and took pictures!  We would have gone outside, but it was pouring rain.  (And, yes, I have a tablecloth on the ground in my living room.  We were having a movie day and eating lunch while we watched.  This is easier than cleaning the carpet.  =))

I asked her to smile.  This is what I got!

Then I asked her to twirl.
There's a smile!

L was in on the fun too.  

A little uninterested at first...

Then she copied...

And joined the twirling!

Whew!  All tuckered out (yes, that tablecloth is clean.  We hadn't eaten yet!)

Happy Easter!


sappy said...

Sarah! These are *The* cutest dresses. You did a fantastic job and yes, every girl needs a twirly skirt. When you said that I started thinking of all the fun fabrics that one could be made of. That would be a fun trip to the fabric store. Promise, if you ever get one made be sure and post it!

Erin said...

holy cow! I love the proportion of L's dress. the bodice is so short and cute! I'll have to try this!
they are so cute!

Luanne Hardy said...

L is looking so much like O these days. Those are really cute dresses and I'm proud of you. For the record, I don't think it's possible to sew in a straight line either.

Tanya @ Greetings From the Asylum said...

I have a little girl who would twirl herself silly in a cute outfit like this! I'd better get sewing! Thanks for the how-to.

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

I really thought I was already following this blog, but I was wondering why I wasn't getting any updates. Problem solved.

Darling dresses on even more darling girls!

Rita Peck said...

What a simple dress. I will have to try it.