Monday, April 7, 2008

Another Wedding Dress?!?!?!

No, don't worry, I haven't gone crazy... ;)
For Christmas each year, I take my nieces and nephews to their local Joann's and let them each pick out a pattern and some fabric. Then, after my husband and I return home, I sew up the outfits and mail them to the kids. This year, my youngest niece (7 years old) must have heard all of the grown-ups talk about the wedding dress I was making for Susan, and she decided that SHE wanted a wedding dress too! ;)

Here's the pattern that she picked:

While I generally try to let them make all of the choices (which has resulted in some very interesting fabric combinations!), I do periodically lower the "sorry, that's too difficult for me" boom. In this case, after some negotiation, we agreed on view C (lower right).

From there, she picked a white satin with sparkles for the dress and a netting dotted with small white ribbon rosebuds for the overskirt. And then, she waited...

and waited...

and waited...

Finally, over the last two weekends, 3 months after Christmas, I found the time to make her dress for her. Here is a shot of the completed dress:

As you can see, I deviated from the pattern a bit and took it upon myself to decorate the dress with a small bouquet of three red rosebuds at waist level, instead of 7 white rosebuds spread along the base of the overskirt and at one shoulder. Hopefully she'll like it. Here's a close-up of the bouquet:

This was my first attempt at making fabric rosebuds, and it went better than I expected. The pattern piece was shaped kind of like a sword blade (except coming to a point at each end) and I folded it in half, basted the raw edges and then gathered this combined edge until it reached the prescribed length. I did find that this was one of those times when it was quite important to do the basting slowly and carefully and keep the 2 rows of stitches evenly spaced and close to the raw edges of the fabric.
The instructions somewhat sketchily advised that, as you rolled the piece of fabric into a bud, you should "tack it". I played with several different methods of tacking, and eventually settled on adding a stitch parallel to the bottom edge with each successive roll. (Between this and the lesson about the basting stitches, you begin to see why I only put 3 rosebuds on the dress, not 7.)
I also had a bit of an awkward time adding the bouquet to the dress. I ended up stitching all the way through the sash and the bodice fabric and the lining (I had foolishly closed up the bodice lining already). It's not very pretty on the inside, but, after all, it IS a play dress. Plus, if she doesn't like the bouquet, it'll be easy enough to remove it.

In general, I followed the instructions and found the pattern to be reasonable. Even though it is a play dress, I did line the bodice, because that was the way that the pattern finished the armholes and neck. But I didn't bother to line the skirt. On the rare occasions that I've made outfits with overskirts, I usually have trouble inserting the zipper cleanly, and this was no exception. I tried basting the zipper in by hand first, for a change, and that helped quite a bit.

I'll be posting a complete review on PR soon.

When we were visiting in December, I did inquire as to the name of the lucky groom - at that point in time, she hadn't decided. But this is a young woman who knows her mind, so I don't forsee her selected groom having much say in the whole affair... ;)

Hopefully her Mom will send me some pictures of her in the dress. If so, I'll be sure to post them.


Becky said...

Haha, that's just too cute. Love the rosebuds-- they add a nice touch of color.

Emily said...

So cute!!! I remember having a mini wedding dress when I was little as well after being flower girl for my cousin. I LOVED that dress and wore it all the time! I'm sure this dress will be loved just as much.

SunnyQ said...

AWWW!! I love the rosebuds - they look great! And I love that gathering at the bottom too - I couldn't tell if it was original to the pattern - it's a great touch! :) GREAT JOB!!!

Vicki said...

I think she will be very happy with the dress! Lucky it is a long time before she will be married for real!!

Marji said...

That is just too sweet. What a great aunt you are!

Nikki Schreiner said...

Wow, I think it looks GREAT! My 3 yr. old has been asking me to make her a "princess dress" and this just may be the pattern I use. Thanks!