Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Sing to Me Dress

During our honeymoon I told my husband I wanted to spoil him and asked how.  I am not sure what I expected him to say but without the slightest hesitation he answered, "Sing a lot, smile a lot, and have lots of people over."  Almost three years in and that's still what my man wants.  Nothing better than a smiling, singing wife, and a house full of people.  I like it that way too.  I mean who doesn't like to be genuinely singing and smiling.  And as far as the house full of people goes, that's fun too, especially since last time we had a table full at breakfast time, he cooked for them.  We go together well this funny guy and me.

This month I'm playing along with the March sewing challenge from Project Run and Play.  We were to take this dress pattern and do something with it. The dress is cute, but I have to say that when I saw that doll dress hanging on the clothline something clicked.  It was just begging to become a pinafore over a ruffly backed dress.  So I skipped the original dress and graded the doll dress up to size 6-9 months to fit the little lady.

I am very much a beginner at pattern sizing.  I printed the original pattern and also pulled out my 6-9 month size free pattern from The Stitching Scientist.  I have made this pattern before and know that it sews up nicely and, importantly, fits my baby.
To make my pattern I lay the doll dress over the dress it was supposed to go on top of and drew what I thought would fit.  It kind of worked.  I learned a bit and will try again next time.  For making patterns I use wrapping paper.  It is light weight, comes in a big roll, and has a one inch grid on the back.  

I sewed the dress first.  I cut the pieces out as I would to make a regular peasant dress except I left the bottom half off of the back.  I sewed the four pieces together and ended up with this.
This fabric takes me back a year to when first found out I would have a little girl to sew for.  I went to Walmart and stocked up on cheap fabric to practice on.  Even though it is cheap Walmart fabric, I love it.  It is such a cheery bright green and has these adorable little birds on it.  Can you tell I'm ready for spring?
Next I cut the biggest piece of the fabric I had left into three 3 1/4" strips and made them into ruffles.  An excellent tutorial on making a ruffle skirt is available here.  When I added the top and middle ruffles I added a lace ruffle.  I simply placed it under the green ruffle and sandwiched it all together.  Since my major (only) grip with the peasant dress is that it's hard to get those baby arms into the sleeves, I added a key hole and button closure to the back.  I used the neckline elastic to make the button loop; just made it stick out the casing, folded it back over and closed it all up.

With the dress done, I could finish the pinafore.  I placed my cut out pinafore over the front of the dress and suddenly realized that my  pattern grading hadn't gone as well as I thought.  That 18" doll pattern wasn't intended for a 7 month old baby and I hadn't sized the neckline up properly.  Oh well.  Then followed a series of crazy sewing makeshift that I will spare you.  When it was all over I had this.

That lovely ribbon covers up some things you probably just shouldn't do in sewing.  It does it quite nicely I think.  The shoes are from Amber over at Crazy Little Projects.  They are lovely, but they don't stay on.  Can we really expect that?
This is my Sing to Me Dress full of singing birds and butterflies. It's a reminder to serious little me that at the end of the day, singing, smiling, and having lots of people over, isn't such a bad way to live.  Happy Spring!
She gives Daddy plenty of smiles
unless he's pointing a camera at her. . .then no.