I apologise for the succession of kids projects but they really are quick and easy to sew, no need for fit adjustments in most cases. I do promise some “me” sewing will be published soon, just some finishing touches to go.
This dress came about from my inspiration dress on Etsy. I don’t normally do the whole pattern drafting thing, especially not for myself, but I find it easier with kids clothing as there is less fabric wastage and of course less fit issues. Anyway this dress was quite simple to draft, just a whole heap of different size rectangles. My main issues came from construction because I wanted to keep the inside nice and neat.
I used the same fabric as the red Cartwheel shorts, I had lots of the “mosaics” one left, a cotton poplin (100% cotton?) and remnants of the red top pop poplin (80% polyester/ 20% cotton). I wanted the back of this dress to be shirred so that it could grow with my daughter and be worn as a tunic down the track as opposed to making a button or zip closure. My experience with shirring is very limited though and as you will see I made a rooky mistake. I shirred 8 rows in total, each one about the distance from my needle to the edge of the presser foot. This made it easy to measure without drawing physical lines on the fabric. Once the dress was complete I let my daughter wear it around the house for a test run and noticed 4 rows of the shirring had come undone. I believe what happened was although I back stitched and tied knots, I cut those off when I serged the side seam, ooops! Anyway, I went back and re-stitched them, even though the ends aren’t concealed by the lining anymore it’s a pretty good effort for my first time.
I had to scratch my head about how I was going to line the front of the dress and enclose the side seams from the shirred back and the straps. It may not make sense to you but it’s a good reference photo for me for future makes.
I initially made the straps a tad too long but folded them on the inside and stitched them twice. At least they will be adjustable this way. The dress was hemmed by overlocking, and then turning up 1.5cm and stitching. I also went back and added a line of topstitching on the back skirt to keep the seam allowance down which was making the dress poof out at the back.
For the bow I had to tack it down at the top corners as they kept flopping down, maybe some interfacing next time would sort this out. Overall I’m really happy with how this has turned out and now my oldest has asked for one too and has picked out her pink spotty fabric from the stash. I will be enlarging the pattern pieces for her version so fingers crossed it works out just as well.
Another goal of using up remnants achieved 🙂 and matching sister outfits. I am planning a peter pan collar top with the floral fabric left over from the second version of the cartwheel shorts.