Archive for the ‘Sewing For L’ Category

Too bad this dress is hard to photograph today, because it is one of my favorite little girl dresses that I have sewn.  I used a turquoise embroidery thread to hand embroider the blanket stitch around the yoke and at the top of the pockets.

The puffed sleeves have elastic casings.  I used bias bars to make the casings which is easy and produces a nice even casing.  Here’s a tutorial showing how to make bias strips with bias bars:


My sewing machine did not like trying to make buttonholes on this fabric, and produced very sloppy-looking  buttonholes.  I covered up the mess by embroidering over the buttonholes with buttonhole stitch to match the edging.

The dresses will be on their way to my niece today along with a useful white cardigan sweater.  Now that I am done sewing kids’ clothes, it’s back to the regular sewing routine.

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This one turned out very well, but whether or not Miss Opinionated will like it is up in the air.  If not, I can always donate it to another little girl from church.  I managed to sew this out of the textured fabric without destroying the texture the way I have in the past, so it should wash and dry wrinkle free.  The pattern is McCall’s 6238 with the sleeves lengthened about 1 1/2 inches.

Notice how my ribbon bow looks much better.  I used this method:


It’s a little more work than just tying a bow, but it certainly is an improvement over my usual crooked bows.  I always hem the ends of the bows  so that they won’t fray away.

I also finished the purple dress, and will show that one tomorrow.

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I’ve had this pattern for a long time.  The little girl I used to sew dresses for using this pattern is now in college.  Now there is another little girl in the family, so I am getting out my dress patterns and having fun sewing up some dresses.  This dress uses up a yard of knit fabric from the stash.  The color is an apricot pink scattered with slightly sparkly stars.

Because my niece lives in the Midwest, I have to get her measurements by email and can’t try the garments on her.  This knit is not very stretchy and sews easily, but I wasn’t sure the neckline would fit over her head.  To make sure, I put a little opening in the back and found a button that echoed the star theme:

The loop that goes over the button is elastic cord.

The front is trimmed with ribbon and beads.

A little sparkle always appeals to little girls.

Here are the fabric and trims that are going to be used for the next dress:

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The Blue Dress

Another dress made from Butterick 4434, this time with a zipper instead of buttons.  The fabric is a lightweight denim that I had leftover from a skirt I made for A.  I couldn’t find any matching fabric for the bodice lining so I went with a hot pink to match one of the colors in the embroidery.  The pink lining fabric is actually cut from a  sheet from Target that was on sale a few weeks ago.  I think the twin set had a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and a pillowcase all for about $12 or so, so the fabric was a bargain.

Since there was a zipper, I didn’t want to use a hook and eye so put on the usual tab and button.  I found the perfect button to match the flowers in the embroidery and sewed it on with yellow thread for the flower center.

I had fun making the dresses, but the little-girl-sewing mojo has vanished, so now I am going to start working on the business shirts for my scientist daughter.  The dresses have been packed up and will be on their way to their recipient next month sometime.

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Forest Princess Dress

This dress is so easy to put together because you don’t have to gather a wide skirt.  The skirt, in addition, is nice and twirly and would please any little girl.  I didn’t have a zipper the right color, so I changed the back closing to a placket and buttons.  I needed to have a wide overlap to make the buttons work, so I decided to make the overlap on the outside and make it decorative.

I made three scallops on the back, and I really like how it turned out.

Next time I make this pattern I will try the zipper up the back because that would be a lot easier.  This dress also cost nothing since my sister-in-law gave me the fabric last week, and everything else was from the stash.  This is a size 5, and I think you could get this dress out of less than 1 1/2 yards of fabric, especially if you use a different fabric for the bodice lining.  I have several lengths of cute fabric I may make up for my niece since stash reduction is a goal this year.

The little girl’s dad says she is picky about the colors she wears and will wear anything as long as it is pink or purple, so I told him to stress that this is a Forest Princess Dress and to get her to demonstrate the twirly skirt.  That should win her over.  I hope so, because this color will look fabulous with her beautiful red hair.

This is an unusually cold and wet spring, so we haven’t gotten the yard cleaned up yet.  That doesn’t stop it from being really pretty out back in a wild sort of way:

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I was in the discount decorator fabric store two weeks ago and saw this fabric on sale.  My little niece  adores the book and is in that pink-and-purple stage, so I got a yard of the fabric and sewed up this tote bag for her.  The bag is lined with some yellow denim-type fabric.  The measurements for the bag came from a canvas Trader Joe bag that was hanging on the sewing room door except that I shortened the handles a little bit to fit her smaller hands.  The bag isn’t really as lumpy on the sides as it looks, it just photographed that way.

There needs to be  a tote bag for my nephew, too, but I don’t really have many manly embroidery designs for the pocket, so I will have to look around and see what I can find.  I have some nice denim that would make a good tote bag for a little boy.

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When we were out of town last year for a convention my husband was attending, I saw this little dress:

I have been working on a pattern for this dress, and I drew it up in Size 4 because there is a little girl in my family who just turned that age.  Here is the pattern so far –5/8″ seams were used throughout and are included in the pattern measurements, and the skirt front and back are cut on the fold.

The dress went together easily.  I cut a slit in the back center and made a placket, and the back yoke closes with buttons.  The half armholes are finished with bias binding cut from the fabric.  The ruffle is narrow hemmed (two 1/4″ turnunders) along the straight edge and gathered along the curved edge.  The bottom hem has a 1/4″ turnunder followed by a 2″ hem. This is my first draft of the pattern, so there may be errors, though I used this plan to sew the following dress and everything turned out fine:

I used the embroidery machine to stitch the hearts on the yoke and pockets.

The yoke is lined with self fabric, then it is topstitched.  The cost to make this dress was nothing, since everything came from the stash.  I would like to try this in a plain cotton with lots of embroidery motifs.  It would also be super cute with a ruffle on the bottom.

The method I use to make the placket is the same as this one:


It’s been a long time since I sewed a dress for a little girl, and I had forgotten how fun it is.  I think I will make a few more.

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