As this year’s challenge was to work my way through my fabric stash, obviously I went out and bought more. To be fair, I went to buy a zip to turn the left over linen from Dom’s trousers into shorts for Maddy and this fabric looked so summery that she needed it. I’d made some leggings, (Riviera from Sewing Clothes Kids Love) with leftover navy jersey from Dom’s t-shirt, which I thought would go well with the dress until it got warmer (fingers crossed we get a summer this year). I am trying to use all the recenty bought fabric up so it doesn’t disappear in the chest with the stash. The dress I had in mind was 142 from Burda magazine 04/2011 and it was relatively easy to put together.
The first challenge was the pleats in the front of the dress, the instructions didn’t appear to make any sense until I actually had a go and realised that the second fold overlapped the first; I should have just gone ahead earlier rather than looking at it frowning! The second challenge was the invisible zip, but again that wasn’t difficult, just the idea of it was a bit daunting. The final challenge was the hem – how could I remember how to set a sleeve but stumble on a hem? When I added a seam allowance I continued along the line of the pattern, which obviously made that circumference larger than the inside of the dress to which it was to be sewn. I frowned a bit more, and contemplated, and decided to add a ribbon to the edge and then sew that to the inside – that did the trick! Next time I will taper the seem allowance in, or I may just add ribbon again as it is quite cute.
The dress is lovely and I have met the challenges. However, I think next time I will make the smaller size and lengthen the pattern, as I did with her trousers, because it is a bit too big on her. For the trousers I made an age 6 and added an inch to the top and a couple to the bottom. I assumed for a dress the size wouldn’t be such a problem as it wasn’t fitted around her waist. I made the age 7, because that is closer to her height than the age 8, but I’m not sure whether it’s because of all of the fabric in the pleats or whether the dress is too big but it’s super spacious. I think it might benefit from a reduction in length so I may remove about 3 inches but then it might not be suitable without leggings. It’s probably not much of problem as there are very few occasions that we can persuade her into a dress!