Monthly Archives: July 2011

Saved from the trash can

With the help of lots of advice from all of you, my pink chambray dress is finished.  It started off as a mis-matched pink sack a couple of weeks ago, and is now at least the same color.  Given the transformation, I would say that I am generally pleased with it.  On the plus side, it’s incredibly comfortable.  It feels like a mumu but hopefully it doesn’t look quite as much like one now.



The advice of the wonderful sewing community was overwhelmingly to not give up.  I have to admit that I thought that the dress couldn’t be saved.  But with the wonderful support I plugged onward.

I first ripped apart the bodice to separate the contrasting fabric from the pink chambray.  Fortunately I had extra pink chambray and I was able to cut out a new bodice that matched.  Since the dress was way too big, I took in all of the seams about .75″ and then used my favorite technique.  Shirring.

Shirring will always help a garment to fit better by defining the area that is shirred.  In this case, I shirred the dress at my natural waist.  If you would like to try this technique, here are the steps:  (1) find and mark your natural waist (or the smallest part of your waist if you prefer an empire fit);  (2) determine the final width of shirring that you would prefer ( I used 2.5″ of shirring to give extra definition and shape);  (3) starting at the center- your natural waist- mark rows moving up and down from the waist center point.  I sewed a row of shirring at my natural waist and then moved up and down in rows 0.25″ apart.

At the end of the day, is this my favorite dress?  Probably not.  I love how comfortable it is, but I don’t think that it’s quite work appropriate.  I’ll probably stick to just wearing it on the weekends.  However, if I had chosen a different fabric- perhaps a crisp cotton poplin or a soft cotton lawn the dress would look completely different.  With the right alterations I don’t think that this pattern deserves the bad reviews that it receives.

If can find a nice soft flannel, I’ll probably make it as a nightgown.  Long sleeves and the full-length skirt option would make a wonderfully snuggly nightgown during the cold winter nights.

Here is the finished dress.  What do you think?



Filed under Dresses, Pattern review

Fire trucks and little dresses

The Professor and I were jolted awake at 5 a.m. Saturday morning to the screech of our 1970’s fire alarm.  At random intervals the bone-rattling blasts assured that there would be no sleeping late.  After dragging out the ladder and prying open the fire alarm, we resorted to calling the local fire department–which sent out a GIANT fire truck, and three firemen armed with gear.  How embarrassing.  10 minutes later the firemen ripped the alarm from the ceiling and clipped the electrical wires.

Since I was wide awake, I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to sew.  Why not?

Part of my time this weekend was dedicated toward fixing the horrible wreck of a dress that I created from Simplicity’s 2363 pattern .  Because of the generous help of the online sewing community, I think that I *might* be able to salvage it.  I’ll keep you posted.

My newest successfully finished project is a little gingham dress for one of my favorite two-year old friends.  She’s dainty, very girly and looks like a little walking doll-baby.  I can’t wait to see her in this.

Simplicity 2461 serves as the basis for this pattern.

After measuring the birthday girl, I cut a straight size two and used the contrasting Peter Pan collar option.  Since I don’t have children of my own to serve as models, I always make sure to take measurements.

During my last measuring endeavor I managed to get my friend’s children all riled up.  Within the span of twenty minutes, I made one dear child cry (he was upset that The Professor didn’t come on the measuring trip),  I gave both the 2 year-old and almost 4 year-old ink pens and scrap paper- which of course resulting in one of them coloring on the carpet, and then the almost 4 year-old starting using my fabric measuring tape as a lasso (and almost took off his sister’s head). It’s amazing that the parents still love me.  haha.

This pattern is lovely.  It goes together easily and has wonderful details.  I added rick rack in various spots- such as the collar and hem- to give it a bit of a pop.  This will certainly be my go-to toddlers dress in the future!  I would certainly recommend it for handmade gifts.


Filed under Baby clothes, Baby Shower Gifts, Dresses, Kids clothes, Pattern review