Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Ready for Summer Toddler Dress!

These Spring fake-outs (a day of beautiful weather followed by a week of gray, rainy days) have got me in the mood to make summer dresses, even though I know they'll be worn with long sleeves and pants underneath for a good four more months. 

No, I'm not cold, why do you ask? 
I've had this fabric in my stash since last summer, when I bought a bunch of coordinating fabrics I found in the summer clearance area at my favorite fabric store.  

I had such good intentions of making a bunch of beautiful sundresses!  I made one.  

But the good news is, since Little Sister has outgrown that one dress I made last year, I feel okay about revisiting the same pattern I used last year as well, just with a different set of fabrics.  I hardly ever buy patterns, so you can bet I'm going to use the heck out of the ones I do have!  This is the Bella Stripwork Dress from Pink Poodle Bows on Etsy, and I added pleated pockets that I made using Made By Rae's pleated pocket tutorial since Little Sister just loves a pocket and I had enough of that cute scalloped fabric left over.  

Speaking of fabrics, I'm sorry that I don't know what these are--I bought them in such small quantities that the name wasn't printed on the selvage, and I'm terrible about remembering that kind of thing.  I only had 1/2 yard of the scalloped material, which technically wasn't enough to make this dress, since I needed 20" of length (and this print would have looked weird going sideways).  But not to worry, I just lined up the print and cut out a piece from the extra width, then sewed it on at the top so that it would be hidden when I made the elastic casing.  So don't worry!  If you only have a 1/2 yard of your accent fabric (or waaaaay less if the print isn't directional), you can still make this dress! Even with the pockets!

For posterity:

Here's a good look at the front.
Why so sad?  Is it because your mom gave you a side-ponytail?
Back/Side View:
Are you still following me?
Functional Pockets:
Overexposed, but the only shot where she would show me the pockets

Action Shots--this dress is good for...

Bike Riding:

 Chilling Out:

I just love some of the details on this dress.  Like these pockets.


Perfect for tucking away your glamour shades--you never know when you're going to need them.

I also love the contrasting fabrics on the ruffle strap.  These are way easier to make than I would have assumed they would be.   
My only concern when I was following the pattern was that I wasn't sure if I was attaching the straps the way I was supposed to.  My understanding was to sew them on along the seams I already made for my elastic casing, like so:

(this is the inside of the dress, in case that wasn't clear)
But that extra thickness of fabric makes it so that the fabric doesn't gather where the straps are sewn on.  See?

 So maybe that's how it's supposed to be, or maybe I was supposed to gather the fabric first and sew the straps over the gathers.  I don't know.  Also, she says she attaches the straps 3-4 inches apart, but I attached them right at the edge of the center strip, which was just over 4 inches, then I placed them a little closer together in the back.

Now let's talk about me for a minute.  I'm itching for a summer dress of my own!  At the same fabric store (Fabric Depot), I ran across this GORGEOUS silky soft woven cotton.  I paid full-price for it(!) because I loved it so much, which was a whopping $8.99/yard, and I bought two yards.  So already it cost me more than most of my clothes, and it's just a piece of fabric.  I really don't want to mess it up, but I also don't want to spend an arm and a leg on a pattern that I'm not sure will be AWESOME.
Scared to cut into it! 
So, any recommendations for an awesome pattern for a grown-up ladies dress that will only take two yards of fabric (I don't mind buying some additional solid accent fabric or lining)?  Oh, and also not too complicated.  I've actually never made a garment for myself from a pattern so I'd be concerned with too advanced of techniques.

By the way, this fabric was a remnant sent from MOOD!  Of Project Runway fame!  They have a little section of Mood castoffs at Fabric Depot, which is so crazy.   So when I do sew something with it, I will totally be imagining Tim Gunn telling me to make it work.

Thank you, Mood!
I just had to include this totally unrelated shot of the boy.  He was outside on his bike being such a good sport while I followed Little Sister around trying to get pictures of that dang dress. 
When he asks me to take his picture, I jump on it!  When he's not
in the mood to have his picture taken, there is no amount of cajoling that
will result in a good photo.
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