A field of flowers

Hooray, with one post I can and must talk about two projects.  Because one led to the other.

I’ll start with my skirt first.  For the past few years I have been adding to a wardrobe a dress bought with my birthday in mind.  Last yeah I actually got two, one was more suited for the going out function and one was actually for the actual day.  Since I did not even wear the going out one for my birthday event, it did not even manage to hold onto the title with qualifications.  This year I thought well let me see if any patterns call to me and I find fabric for it.

I took a trip to G-Street and the fabric did.  It was just the cheerful print I wanted.  I bought the amount I thought would be necessary.  When getting it cut, the worker said oh we also have this in pink, I thank her but shared that I loved it the way it was.

With the big flowers and the brightness I felt it called for a full skirt.  I also was wise enough to buy material to line it, partly because a large portion was white and partly because I like lining my skirts.

I paired the bottom of McCall’s 5382 with the top of Simplicity’s 2648.  I wanted to wear the dress on my birthday (late March) and that meant to work.  I like the look of the top with the small sleeves, but I really wanted a full skirt.  I did of course know that as usual, I was making it more difficult.  In my defense, I present the following two points.  I like a challenge (perhaps more than I should).  Also what is the point being able to make my own clothing if I can not get exactly how I want it.

Since this was a period ago and I do not remember all the issues I will share what I do.  With the amount of fabric I had bought and the pattern on it there was limited available material for the top pieces because I wanted those pieces to only be white.  So I had issues when I tried to seam the armholes between the material and the lining.  I just thought I could seem more than I could and still turn it.  That was wrong.  When I went to remove the stitches I was too vigorous and ripped it the fabric.  Also gunk ended up the iron which ended up on the nice white fabric.  With the limited fabric, time running out (often I work up until the last possible outline), and still not entirely sure matching up the pieces would be simple I decided for the birthday at least it would be a skirt.

With the skirt I had altered it from being gathered even before it became a skirt and instead darts (I have highlighted those in blue)  in the front and back pieces.  That actually worked out smoothly, since I was partially winging it.  I went with that decision because I like the crispness of the darts to make the change in circumference more gradual than gathers.  Plus gathering annoys me because I cannot make it completely uniform.  With the blue dress of the previous post, I went with the gathers because the other option was pleats and I thought that would alter the overall look, plus drive me insane with the amount I would need to do.

To sum up, the dress became a skirt and was exactly what I wanted for my birthday outfit.  So bright, cheerful and springy.  Also good it was not a dress, because it was a chilly day.

So now for the second project.  I had several large scrapes of flower fabric left over.  When heading up to see my parents and sister, I decided I would give it to her along with a couple other things.  I felt she could use the pieces for something forErin.  Of course I end up needing to go to Joann’s for another project (next one to be discussed) and decide to look through the baby dress patterns.  There is a reason I was excited about a niece being a niece and not a nephew.  Not because I think girls are better than boys, but because little girly things can be fun to make.  More ruffles and embellishments than little boys clothing.  So I found a pattern that looked like it would work well, and somehow instead of giving the pattern with the fabric to my sister (she can sew) I decide to make the dress myself.

The pattern I used was McCall’s 6309.  I chose not to include the back ruffles because, frankly, I found them odd and stupid.  Just my opinion.  Of course, with the way things usually work out, there were spots where the fabric did not quite make it, but I figured I could make it work.

I decided to practice French seams and had to seam the back because of there being enough fabric, just not enough connected for that piece.  So after I have gone through the seaming of the wrong sides together, trimming, then sewing the right sides together and ironing the piece, I realize I had sewed one upside down.  Since it was not incredibly noticeable, I decided to leave it that way. I do like French seams, just look over at how nicely all the ends of encapsulated – no worries about fraying from contact and washing .  I figure practicing on small clothing will make them more rote, so the extra sewing will not seem as burdensome when my clothing.

The fabric failing at points to be enough led to me making a thinner channel for the elastic then recommended.  That was the hardest part of the project, getting the elastic through, it took at least 4 attempts.  The straps were easy to turn once I had attached a needle and
thread and gotten the initial turn done.  The hardest part was figuring out where the
squares to place the straps were with it all bunched up.  I of course would stretch it out, but having only two hands, stretching it out and then holding the pattern to it and estimating the seam allowance was tricky.  I probably should have marked it before the elastic.  Well anything can be a learning experience.

And that is how it came to be that my niece and I can now coordinate.

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