Monday, 23 May 2016

Party Dress

After the success of the Peter Pan collar dress in my previous post, I decided to make it again!...this time without the collar and made just in time to wear to a cousin's birthday party (and I mean literally an hour before we left!) I used a remnant fabric with cute bunnies hiding amongst bold polka dots..under half a metre of it, but just enough to be eked out into a toddler size dress...albeit a bit shorter than the previous version. The slightly heavier weight of this fabric worked well to make the gathers in the bodice stand a bit more proudly, with extra body.
So far, this version has been inaugurated at two parties over the weekend and withstood tunnel crawling, bubble chasing, birthday cake and a bit of English rain! And the fabric camouflages the grass stains brilliantly ;)
And if you love a pattern that much, why not make it a third time ! This time sleeveless and with a bit of pretty ribbon trim.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Summer Vibes

I probably speak for most in the UK when I say that the recent mini-May heatwave has put me perfectly in mind of longer Summer days and the chance to roam bare-legged and breezy through sunshiney days. Equally so, it finds me seeking out the lightest, brightest toddler patterns for the little lady of the house...and something with which to do justice to the cutest deer and rabbit fabric I picked out on a trip to Norfolk and my favourite sewing haunts. It is a super soft, lightweight cotton that lends itself perfectly to an online pdf pattern I found, the results of which are even better than hoped.
The pattern is a simple A-line shape, with a pretty gathered detail in the front that I fell in love with instantly, as well as an adorable Peter Pan collar - sold! If you are willing to ride out the potential frustrations of having to print out your own pdf pattern and then commandeer the floor in the largest room of your house to piece together the jigsaw of pattern pieces that ensues, (cellotape in hand), then it is well worth searching the web for patterns that fit your wish list..and there are so many of them out there. If like me you were finding that not all the commercial paper patterns on the market were meeting your hopes/imaginings, then there are some very worthy mummies of young families creating their own patterns that are well worth a look. That's not to say there aren't several lovely commercial patterns as well, but for the moment, I think I will be making this sweet little number more than once.

There are other considerations with this kind of pattern, in that (and I have said this before in a previous post), you sometimes have to fill in the gaps a bit with the instructions provided where they are not as complete as they could be. You are also dealing with the creator's own illustrations, interpretations and directions to guide you, rather than the printed instructions/diagrams you may be used to on a commercial pattern. Most intermediate sewers would be able to handle this valiantly though. 

A small issue in the case of this particular pattern was the one fastening instruction, (the option of a hook and eye or a button with rouleau loop) at the back of the neck. There are no other zips or fastenings on the dress and as every two year old is different, it is always worth checking first that the dress can still slip over their head with plenty of room for getting arms through armholes before you set your fastening in place. I could see straight away that I was going to need to make the back opening longer than the markings on the pattern for my own little one and ultimately chose to place two buttons instead of one, with two elastic fastenings. Not only do they look beautiful against the gorgeous fabric, they enable greater ease in robing said child without any tugging or extra persuasion, (that isn't always best tolerated by a small girl in a hurry).
Having said all of that, what pattern doesn't require a bit of adjusting and personalisation to get it just how you want it !? We are both very happy with the result. Roll on the warm Summer days !

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