Posts Tagged ‘dress’

Empire Waist Top Detail 

I received Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones this past Christmas from my sister-in-law, and have since looked through it nearly every night, planning projects for our little one.  One of the first pattern’s I tabbed was this Easy Empire Waist top.  I love that the top is obviously a girl’s top, without being too frilly.  When I stumbled on some Anna Maria Horner Little Folks fabric at my local fabric shop, I knew it was time to start working on this.  I bought the contrasting blue fabric at JoAnn’s a while back.  It matches the blue in the Little folks fabric perfectly, and I love the contrast between the geometric and floral patterns.

I would not exactly call this pattern “easy”.  The directions were a bit confusing to me at times, though I suppose I am used to seeing patterns in more of a “tutorial” layout with pictures as well as descriptions.  I had to rip out a few seams, but all in all, I am very happy with the way this little project turned out.  Also, I’m not sure I would call this a top…it seems more like a dress to me…

The original pattern has long sleeves, which I decided to leave off.  Instead I chose to make some binding from the contrasting fabric to make the dress more summer friendly.  Now that I got the hang of it, I may just have to make a second!

Empire Waist Top

A little bit more about the book…Many of the projects are really darling, and I would make nearly every one of them.  However, there are not as many clothing projects as I would have liked.  Many of the projects are for room decor and toys.  Also while there are a few clothing projects, many of them can pretty much only be used for girls.  There are two dresses and one hat for a girl, as well as another hat, some pj’s, and booties that could be used for either a boy or a girl.  Also, as I said earlier, the instructions can be a bit confusing at times because there are not many pictures of the process, but if you are really experienced in pattern reading this might not bother you at all.


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The number one thing people want to know about the baby is, “boy or girl?”  People have been making their predictions since they first found out I was pregnant.  Well, we are about 85% sure our little one is a girl, pending a follow-up ultrasound in a couple of weeks!

I feel confident enough about her, well, being a “her” that I have started my sewing projects.  It has been so hard waiting on some of the things that I want to make.   I have a huge list going of all the fun free patterns that I have found in various corners of the internet, and I can finally tackle it!

Blue baby dress, detail

I decided on this little dress from Made by Petchy for my first project because of how easy it looked.  Pair that with a June birthdate, I thought it would be perfect for her to wear through the summer.  The fabric is from my trip to the LA Fashion district.  At the time I went, I did not know whether our baby was a boy or a girl, so I just bought fabric that was soft and made of natural fibers.  What is funny is that when going through my fabric again, I noticed that many of the ones that I purchased were “boy” colors, mostly blues and greens.  I must have been subconsciously thinking about a boy at the time!

I really don’t mind using boy colors for a girl, though.  I am actually not the biggest fan of pink, or even purple unless the colors they are paired with are just right.  For the main body of the dress I used a super soft cotton knit that has a subtle dot pattern on it.  I made the binding from a striped open weave cotton.

Blue Baby Dress

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I spent yesterday planning some fall transition clothes to make for the upcoming season…fall just seems to be getting closer and closer!  I fell in love with this Tulip Study Dress at Anthropologie.  It is so stylish, but also very carefree due to the black jersey bodice.  It looks like the perfect dress to slip on on a hot day, or wear under a warm sweater with tights on a cool day.

To make the dress, I took a black jersey dress that I no longer wear, cut off the skirt, and attached the beautiful floral fabric, but project would also work well with a simple black tank top as the bodice.  I chose the fabric because the colors are bright and cheery for summer, but will transfer well to autumn.  The fabric also has a beautiful sheen to it that catches the light perfectly. 

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Nicki over at Domestic Cents is starting a new series for the new year…Almost Lost Domestic Arts I am really excited about this series because I see many of these arts making a comeback!  This week, she is talking about Sewing.  For this edition, I decided to try my hand at making a dress. 

I was flipping through some of my old magazines and ran across one similar to this (sorry I can’t find the picture…).  Anyways, what I really liked about the style is it is so versatile.  It is something that you can wear in the winter (over a long sleeved shirt and some thick tights), just as well as you can in the summer with a pair of cute sandals.  This dress can also be both dressed up and dressed down.  With a strand of pearls you could wear this on a nice date, or with a pony tail and sandals, you could wear this for shopping around town.  **I apologize in advance for my non-technical language and general awkwardness in this pattern.  It is the first one I have written, and I am  not really sure of all the terminology etc.  I welcome any constructive criticism to help me make this and future patterns better.**

This dress fit me generously.  I am 5’3″ and wear about a size 4.  If you are taller you can always extend the length a few inches on the bottom.  Also, if you are more curvy than me, you can always add width as well.  If you do this, make sure to also extend the length of the sash as needed.

To make this dress you will need:

  • 2.5 yards of a light knit fabric
  • 1 yard of matching ribbon.
  • matching thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • Dress Pattern

Start by ironing your fabric.  If it is made from a material that can shrink (like cotton), make sure you pre-wash (you may need more fabric if it shrinks).  Lay the fabric out on a wide, flat surface.  Cut out pattern.  Pin the pattern to the fabric, and cut it out.  Repeat for the second side of the dress.

Align the two halves of the sash on the fabric (where is says “A”), pin and cut out.  If your fabric is not long enough, you may  have to cut out each half separately and seam them together.

Mark the dotted lines on the inside of all pieces of fabric.  Each dotted line is 1/4″ in from the solid or dotted line that is closest to it.  What I usually do is mark in 1/4 inch with either a fabric marker or with pins.

Fold each arm section on the dotted lines (you will fold over 2 times, so the exposed edge is on the inside) and pin.  Stitch along each of these edges, using the edge of the foot of your sewing machine as a guide to keep the seam straight.

At the neckline of each panel, fold fabric along dotted line and pin.  Stitch along each edge.  Fold again over the dashed line, and stitch over each.  This will create a “tunnel” through which you can run the ribbon later on.

Align the two panels of fabric, inside facing out.  Stitch each side along the dashed line.  If you like, you can use a zigzag stitch along each of these raw edges to prevent fraying.

Along the bottom of the dress, fold fabric on the dotted lines (two times) and pin.  Stitch along the bottom.

Run your ribbon through the two “tunnels” you created earlier.  If it is a little hard to get through, you can attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon.  Tie the ribbon in a bow.

Take the sash you cut out, and fold twice along the dotted lines on each side of the sash.  Stitch along each side. 

Your dress is ready…wrap the sash around your waist, and tighten the neckline as much or as little as you like.

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