Saturday, April 30, 2011

50s Style Preschooler Dress

I wanted to make a spring dress for my three year old - it seems to be getting harder and harder to find anything acceptable in the stores - and I had this pattern from the 1950s from my Grandma's house that I wanted to try out. The pattern paper was still in pristine condition - impressive considering it's nearly a senior citizen.

I did a couple of things I've never done before - like buttons. I don't really like how those turned out but I think I've finally gotten over it. An important lesson I've learned - don't make the buttonholes too close to the edge of your fabric. Also, don't work on a sewing project when you're ill.

The other thing I hadn't done before was altering the pattern - I was afraid that the bodice wasn't going to be wide enough so I added an inch. It turns out that it probably wasn't necessary but it looks good so I guess that's all that matters.

I made view #3 - minus the cummerbund and I added sleeves (shorter than the ones pictured in view #1). I also added a lining and the pin-tuck detail to the bottom of the skirt. Side note: I did make a cummerbund - but I didn't like it at all! Then I made a sash which didn't work either. I decided it was good enough as is.

Overall it came out well and I really do love this fabric. Madeline really seems to like it, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sun Hats

I've been wanting to make sunhats for the girls for awhile and finally got around to it. Summer is quickly approaching!

I decided to make my own pattern because 1) it's fun and 2) because my firstborn's head has always been in the 99th percentile. Finding a child's hat that fits is a bit of a challenge.

You can buy a pattern, of course - McCall's has some cute ones like here and here.

I made paper test hats out of my patterns until I got it right (newspaper ads work great for this!) - three or four test hats later I had my patterns set.

(Evie wearing a paper test hat which was too small)

Below is Evie's almost finished hat. I added two more rows of stitching on her brim than what you see. We've had so few warm sunny days lately that I took the girls out for pictures before I was done.

Madeline's hat has a fabric flower on it that turned out pretty snazzy. I cut a strip of fabric about 40 inches long and 2 inches wide and finished all four edges with a Serger-like stitch (on my Brother machine it's stitch #6). Then I sewed one gathering stitch down the middle, gathered the fabric as tightly as I could and folded it in half lengthwise. Then I rolled it up and basted the flower base together with a needle and thread and attached it to the hat.

All in all, a fun learning experience. Hats are pretty easy to do if you're looking for a beginner project.