Project Post – Super Simple Sundress (Pillowcase Dress)

Projects

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

As a primarily knitwear designer and a non-quilter I rarely get to play with the interesting and fun printed cotton I see around. But some times, on the odd occasion, an idea for something grabs hold and I have the perfect excuse to play. The heat wave that hit the west coast has been such an occasion, whats better for hot weather the loose cotton! Since I’m not about to make something for myself, (too much fabric needed and too close to being done with pregnancy) the wee girl was the perfect candidate. Some super simple sundresses (inspired by some I had seen on etsy) seen to be a good project and a 50% off sale at Hancock Fabrics seem to be a good opportunity.

The main fabric prints were picked by the wee girl while I picked the coordinating print. I used 1 yard of main and 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric for each dress.

Pattern, what pattern? This time I winged it and just went off of a few basic measurements by the width of the fabric. I measured from her shoulders to her knees for an approximate length and just ripped the fabric to the appropriate length. I then folded it in half and then in half again keeping the centre fold about 1/2″ from the edge or at the edge of the selfedge. Next I cut what will become armholes, basic j-ish shapes out of the outer edge and centre of the fabric. The neck is a drawstring so I ripped a length of coordinating fabric apron. 4″ – 6″ wide and another 3″ – 4″ wide for the hem. That would be about the extent of the the pattern, real precise eh?

Sewing is equally as simple as the “pattern/cutting”. I seamed the open selfedge edges together at about 1/2″ seam allowance or whatever the selfedge was and pressing open. I then finished the armholes with bias tape and folded the top edge down and topstitched it to make a casing. To give the hem a longer life (ability to be easily lengthened) I finished it with a facing on the outside that can be dropped and refaced to make the dress longer if necessary. I seamed the facing the hem with right side to the wrong side. I then understiched the seam allowance to the body and fliped the facing to the front and topstiched it in place along it’s top edge. Voila! after making the draw string and treading to through the two casings I’m done!

She now has a few in variety of prints, even some of her dollies have matching dresses.

Project Post – A&A Sweet Pea swaddle dress

Projects

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

The wee boy is getting bigger and not needing all his Aden and Anais swaddles so I decided to make something else out of them. The fabric is lovely and they are a good size blanket giving me plenty of yardage to work with. Although the Sweet Pea dress is a dress it also works nicely as a tunic top. It has raglan sleeves and an easy fit which seems quite fitting for the lightness of the fabric. It also allows for a lot of flexibility in sizing. My daughter wore the ones I made her for quite a long time.

Pattern: Sweet Pea Dress – on Threadbias (Also available on Etsy)
 
Fabric: Aden & Anais monkey print swaddle, brown slub jersey
 
Prep: Since I’ve washed the swaddle a few times it has developed this nice waffle texture, great for a blanket but not so good for cutting so ironing it first. I’m also removing the A&A tags so they can be added back as a reminder of where the fabric came from.

Cutting: The swaddles are not very stable so I like to use underlay to keep it from shifting around. The trick to using underlay is to use a paper that is more stable then the one you are cutting. I’m using jersey for the band and to make things simple I’m putting on the fusing before I cut the pieces out. Both have to be cut anyways just this way the jersey is stablized before cutting instead of after.

I guess I have to get my sewing machine set up, something I haven’t done yet since moving.

Sewing: Even though I wrote the instructions I’m still having to follow them since it’s been a while since I last made one of these dresses. A trick for sewing fused placket facings: if you want a clean finish on the open edge, seam the fusing to the facing along that edge (wrong side and glue side out) and fold glue side in before ironing. The seam allowance ends up under the fusing leaving a nice clean edge. (see the picture.)
To cut down on how flouncy the pleats are, (this dress if for a boy,) I tacked the pleats for the first 1 1/4″ leaving 3/4″ visible once the band is on.
I opted to use french seam since the fabric is so light (serging may just pull out), makes for a soft inside and gives it a heirloom feel.
I stay stitched the edge of the band facing to make it easier to fold and more stable.

Finishing: I finished it with elasticized sleeve hem, a wide bottom hem and snap closures.

Want to see what I did with the leftover fabric? Check out the Leftovers skirt, a tutorial.

Better late then never – Tutorial

Tutorials

I was really hoping to make this post much earlier but my summer got away on me. Better late then never, here is the dress/skirt tutorial I put together this summer. This is a super easy to draft and sew tutorial for a for a dress you can wear as a skirt or a skirt you can wear as a dress. Either way I found it a versatile piece I’ve worn everywhere from the beach to date night to my daughters gym class. Enjoy!

(Sneek peek at the Parkette Top and Angel Wing Parkette Top patterns which are in the works)

Just an Update

Updates

Just a bit of an update.

Patterns:

The changes to the patterns mention in may last post went well and are on their way to Kinkos for printing as I type.

Kakurenbo Dress – Re-named the Sock Puppet dress (the front style line reminds me of sock puppets.) For the wee ones birthday I made her an altered version with one of her favourite fabricsIkea hippos. I altered the pattern to be a halter dress with the horizontal style line moved up 1/2″ and voila! it works! It hangs much nicer in the woven then in the knit. For the new pattern I also changed the front style line, it is no longer mirrored and as I mentioned it reminds me of sock puppets. I am really looking forward to making the new sample.

The Nejiri Dress – I made changes to the twist as well as making a variation that is a tank top.

These three patterns are going to be a part of my next release. I have decided to release patterns in groups/lines rather then individually. I think it will work better as far as work flow goes for me. This group will be all inspired by the Pattern Magic drafting books I mention in my last post.

 

Tutorials:

I have two tutorials that I’m working on. Both are how to draft types. I they have been tested but now need the instructions and illustrations made. 

 

There are some other odds and ends I’d like to get to but between family visits and birthday parties it has been hard to find the time. Hopefully November won’t be as crazy, thank goodness Thanksgiving is in October.

 

Doll Dress Tutorial

Tutorials

It all started with Mina’s favourite fabrics. Mina has a two favourite fabrics; Japanese three little pig fabric (her hoodie) and red and white Ikea hippo fabric (sweet pea dress).

She absolutely loves her hoodie, she plays with it and asks to wear it even indoors. I had a few scraps of fabric left and thought I needed to make something for her with it. So I decided to make her favourite doll Gee a new dress.

The pattern was supper easy to make so I decided to turn it into a tutorial.

The tutorial is for the basic dress with directions for making Gee’s version. Download the pdf for instructions on drafting the pattern and sewing the dress. Lola models the basic version in the Ikea fabric that Mina likes to pull from the closet and carry around the apartment.

Gee

DOLL_-_Dress_Tutorial.pdf Download this file

Sweet Pea

Updates

When designing the Sweet Pea Dress I wanted to create something that was not only cute now but also when the child got a little bigger. I love sewing for my daughter but am sad when she’s grown out of it in a week.

There are many design details that can be used to create longevity in children’s wear; these are the ones I chose to use. To avoid the dress looking tight I added tucks across the front to give extra room, and raglan sleeves for an easy fit trough the shoulders and arms. I didn’t leave large hems instead I intend the dress to become a top as it gets shorter.

I since I started this dress the wee girl has grown a bit so I thought I’d share how her size 12 month fits then and now along with a look at her Dr. Seuss print size 18 month.

I know the difference isn’t hugely noticeable in the photos but it is there.