Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One pattern, so many dresses

I thought I would share one of my favorite dress patterns with all of you. This is my FAVORITE go-to patterns with so many variations. With Halloween quickly coming, here are a few of the dress variations I have made.

I use this Simplicity pattern (5695 view E) , and poly satin from Hobby Lobby ($2.99/yd. and it is AWESOME to work with and washes really well. NEVER buy the Wall-Mart stuff. I usually need 1 yd for a simple dress and 1 1/2 yds for a fuller dress). Before you jump in and cut out your fabric make sure you measure your little princess and check it against the pattern. I have made my own pattern (using the original as a guide) and I made the bodice longer and thinner, the sleeves longer (they are pretty short in the original) and lengthened the skirt depending on the look I want (my little one is very tall and very thin). I also really like to use elastic thread to do shirring on the neck, sleeves and waist (but you could use regular elastic like the pattern says).

Whew! Okay now the fun.

This is the wedding dress up dress I made for K's birthday. It is a very simple dress with shirring in the neck and sleeves. I added satin poppies around the collar (she added the belt). The veil is just a bit of tulle that I folded in half, gathered, glued on a head band and added satin poppies on top.
Snow White. This is just a basic dress, with different colors. I cut a yellow skirt, dark blue top and light blue sleeves. After the sleeves were cut, I used fusible web tape and used it to iron on red ribbon in stripes down the sleeves. Before I attached the bodice to the skirt I added some gold braid trim down the front of the dress. (K informed me that I left of the big white collar and cape, but oh well. And don't you love how happy she looks).
This is K's nutcracker dress. It is just the basic dress with a long skirt. At the bottom I gathered a 5" strip of black satin (cut it 5" long, and it should be twice as long as the bottom of the dress) ruffled it and added it to the bottom of the dress. I then added a sash out of a long pice of black satin and added satin/organza flowers to it.
My little Beauty (although she was a bit of a Beast that night). Okay, this one took more work but was still pretty easy. The quick version, just a basic dress using view F, I shirred the neck, sleeves and waist. I also took the top layer of the dress and gathered it up a few times(just took a needled and put a few stitches in to gather it up a bit). The neck/shoulder piece was actually the most difficult. I made a tube a little bit bigger than the ungathered neckline. I gathered it in three spots and attached it to the front and back of the dress and added a flower to the front (if you need details on this one, let me know)
Cinderella (now too small, so sad) was made out of cotton for a fun Disneyland dress. Again it is the basic dress pattern with shirring at sleeves neck, and waist, just add white sleeves and the white bustlelie thing at the skirt (it is just a skirt shorter than the bottom layer and I cut it in the middle and rounded the corners).
I loved Tinkerbelle. It was made the same as Cinderella. I just changed the skirt a bit. I made a template for this one using freezer paper I traced out the skirt pattern, cut it shorter and made the scalloped pattern (so it was evenly spaced, it took a little math).
Okay, I hope this helps those of you who have asked. I know it is all a bit jumblee and confusing, so if you have more questions please contact me and I will be happy to help. The real trick is to just use your imagination. If you see a dress you like, just think of how you can de-construct the pieces into different colors and shapes.

Good luck and happy sewing.

And yes my daughter is sooooo very spoiled.