Megan is my 7 year old niece and during a visit over Christmas this year she expressed an interest in a couple of my fabric leftovers. She chose a few pieces and I agreed to make her a few simple dresses from what I could muster from my scraps.
I've only ever made a couple of pieces for children, actually babies, but really enjoyed the sense of satisfaction that I could knock something quite cute up in a couple of hours. Because children don't have any difficult curves like us ladies do, the fitting is pretty straight forward too. However not having made anything for this age group (and without a dress form to check fit and hanging!) I'm setting about this venture with a little trepidation.
All these pieces are made from left overs of other projects or from small scraps of fabric from my stash.
A-Line Dress (January 2015)
This free dress pattern is credited to Jamie from the blog Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. This is one of the patterns that Megan's mum and I colluded over during the Christmas break and agreed would work with well with some leftover red wool fabric from a trouser disaster I had a couple of months previously.
I had just enough for the dress but discovered during cutting, that I was short the red polyester lining by about 5 inches. I considered not lining the length of the dress but the wool is quite itchy and if Megan is anything like my son Isaac, she wouldn't tolerate it for 5 seconds.
I found an untouched metre of some black patterned quilting cotton I purchased early in my sewing career with some small feathers in different colours, including red, so decided to attach a panel across the bottom of the lining to compensate for being short the polyester.I'm quite pleased with the result and do like a sneaky bit of hidden interest in a garment!
A couple of other hacks I made to the pattern, include sewing up the back of the dress to 5 inches from the top and creating a back loop with a single button instead of a button up back dress. This was mainly out of (a) laziness and (b) pragmatism as I didn't have enough buttons. Again, I'm quite pleased with the result it could have turned out much worse. I also figured that as long as there was enough width created to get the dress over shoulders it didn't need to do up all the way. I tested the theory on a very unhappy Isaac who refused to allow me to take any photos of him in a dress for fear they'd end up on the web (oh, he knows me too well...). Anyhow, my model proved my point and it fits great!
Now to finish; not one of my strongest points and an area I am desperate to improve.My hems are never straight. For some reason I can never cut a straight hem so when it comes to turning up 5/8 inch or whatever it's all very well but only if you had straight hems to start with! So the dress looks a little wonky (and god forbid don't look at the seams on one side where the band hack doesn't meet evenly...). I also didn't properly read the pattern before cutting, my bad. I cut both front and back pieces on the fold where as the back piece is cut out as two separate pieces. As a result I ended up cutting the back in half in situ after I'd sewn the shoulders and, being the lazy arse I am, instead of using a ruler I just snipped away. I'm paying for this laziness with a wonky back seam.
However, all critique aside, I think it's a pretty wearable piece and should look quite cute with a pair of boots and a polo neck this winter.