Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend Project: The Prettiest Girls...

I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.
~ Audrey Hepburn

This is why I sew for girls and why I always let them choose the pattern and the fabrics - even if their choices are ... um ... well, let's say, unusual. My sewing skills are average and the clothes that I make are adequate. But when a little girl puts on something that is EXACTLY what she wanted, the glow of her happiness outshines any of the flaws in my sewing...

So, I crammed over the weekend to make this dress for my friend Carolyn, for her baptism. She wanted the short version, with a short sleeved jacket.

She picked a white, satin polyester fabric - and a white lace overlay for the jacket - and a white tulle with sparkles overlay for the dress itself.

I didn't have time to follow the proper hand-basted underlining approach to create fabric sandwiches of the satin and the overlays, so I used a walking foot and machine basted the pieces together.

(Note that I only use a walking foot because you guys explained it to me and recommended it on one of my Friday Confessions. And I really like it!)

I hadn't realized that the pattern called for a lining, and I didn't have lining material readily available - so I adjusted the instructions and made it without a lining. The only place it really mattered was along the top of the bodice.

The instructions called for me to align the pieces like this:

dress - right side up
band - right side up
strap - upside down

(You couldn't have seen anything with all the white fabrics, so I'm illustrating it with scraps.)

Then, once you laid the lining over top of everything, sewed it on and flipped it to the inside, no raw edges would show along the top.

Given that I didn't have a lining, I aligned the pieces like this:

dress - upside down
strap - right side up
band - upside down

Then, once I flipped the band over to the front, everything was right side up in the front and no raw edges were showing. (The band was doubled over so that there wasn't a raw edge along its bottom.)

Does that make sense? Anyways, I was kind of proud that I was able to reason out how to do it. And it sparked a memory. Maybe the second dress I made 9 years ago when I first got a sewing machine - the pattern called for a lining and I was shopping at (brace yourself) Walmart for a lining fabric. The woman at the cutting table looked at my pattern and pronounced, "Oh, you don't need to line that pattern." I tried to explain that I didn't know enough about sewing to diverge from the instructions that much, but she didn't get it. She just kept saying that I didn't need to line the dress.

And now, here I am - able to adjust a pattern so that I don't need to line it if I don't want to.

Oh, and I dealt with the unlined jacket by using bias tape around the edge - another thing I learned from you guys in one of my Friday Confessions!

The dress was a tiny bit big, but Carolyn absolutely loved it! :)

Without further ado, here are some pictures from after the baptism ceremony. Carolyn is the young girl in the white dress.

I'm not the best seamstress in the world - not even close! But it doesn't matter - it's still worth sewing for people. Because it makes them happy. And happy girls are the prettiest girls. :)


katherine h said...

Satisfied customers mean that you are a fantastic sewer! Lucky girl.

gwensews said...

The dress is terrific. Nice job, Gwen! And you made some people very happy in the process.

Anonymous said...

Very pretty dress and young lady! Great job working through the issue.
For the little jacket, another way of handling the seams would be to do a French Seam.

Linda T