New girls' dresses
Every Sunday, I cringe a little when I see my oldest picking out her outfit. She has a total of four dresses:
1. Her birthday dress from two years ago. It still fits, but just barely is able to button. There are a couple of stains. It's very cute, but I get tired of seeing it all the time.
2. Her baptism dress from last year. This is a gorgeous dress and fits just fine, but on both sides there are some spots where the edge of the cap sleeve is ripping away from the armscye. Also, she isn't always careful and I'm nervous seeing such an expanse of whiteness. I usually make her change out of it at home.
3. A storebought dress given to her at her birthday two years ago.
4. A storebought dress from last year.
Dresses 1 and 2 were taken away from her temporarily because she wasn't hanging them up. That left dresses 3 and 4, which are both too short, I just haven't removed them yet from rotation because then she'll have nothing. She has some skirts but prefers dresses for church.
Every time that I go on Amazon thinking that I'll just buy some cheap dresses, I just can't get myself to push the Buy button! Not when I know that any dress I buy will either be a poor fit or will barely go to her knees and be too short in just a few months. So this week I finally had the energy and I set out to make her new dresses. I did this about 6 months ago and even cut out the paper patterns and figured out all the fabrics. Before I moved I recycled all the patterns because I knew they were probably too small by now. So that meant printing a bunch of new patterns and cutting them out. I used all fabrics from my stash because I want this to be free. My daughter did have some input but I definitely led her towards certain choices! Today I was happy to finish up all five dresses--four for my oldest, one bonus dress for my youngest.
I started with the L'il LDT by Love Notions. This is a favorite pattern of mine. I've always made it with a band neckline, but the textured sweater knit from my stash did not look like it would do well with that option. Instead, I picked the hood. I found that by arranging my pattern pieces carefully, I could actually get two dresses from my 2 yards, as long as I did a back seam instead of cutting on the fold. So that's how my youngest got a dress too. Oh, and the last picture shows a little square lace pocket that I added to it. I handed her that lace yesterday to play with and she was insistent that it was a pocket. So when I finished the purple dress, she told me I had forgotten to sew on the pocket! We went back and forth but her stubbornness won.
I also made a dress from another Love Notions pattern, the Tidal Dress. I've made this pattern for me but never for my girls. I like how it turned out. One thing you may notice if you have an eagle eye is that some of my hems and seams are wavy. I haven't set up my iron yet, and since it already gets warm in my sewing area, I just didn't have it in me to iron all the seams like I normally would. Honestly, I make my kids clothes for practical reasons and while I try to make them look good, I don't spend much on fabric for them and don't always worry about perfect techniques. They usually are made from scraps of fabric left over from clothes I made for myself. I don't always match thread to the fabric. I usually don't bother to get out my twin needle even though I know it will leave a better finish on the hem. If it's a special occasion outfit, then I will use better techniques. Oh! And I hemmed these dresses after she tried them on.
The next two patterns are from Blaverry, which is a pattern company that closed down, so I won't bother with links. This is the Upton Dress. I used rayon spandex and some hacci fabric, which make an interesting combo. You may notice I did half length sleeves for all of these dresses. I'm hoping they will transition well from end of summer to fall to winter.
The final dress is my favorite. It's the Blaverry Thea pattern, which I used for Christmas dresses last year. I can't seem to find a post about them, but they were super cute. I lengthened the skirt by several inches because I find it absolutely pointless to make a dress for my daughter that ends above her knees. I'd rather have it end below her knees and then that gives her a year or so of wear. Once it's above her knees I consider her grown out of it because with all her movements I'm actually going to be seeing halfway up her thighs. So anyway, for this one I lengthened the bodice by one inch and the skirt by 3, I think. I made an 8, but she probably should have had an even smaller size, and I kind of wish I hadn't lengthened the bodice. Her chest is typically a smaller size than her waist and hip measurement, so dresses are often baggy there, but at least this will likely fit for awhile. I used some french terry from my stash and some lace trim that I bought once and it ended up not being the right color for the project. It matched this fabric perfectly! She loves it, which you can't tell from this picture.
Buying a new house brings a lot of expenses, so being able to avoid more clothing expenses is nice!