This is my first post from Pune. Yes we've shifted! Again!!! But Pune is my happy place so apart from the not-at-all enviable task of shifting I'm very happy to be back here.
In the time between my last post and now its my little sister who's turned into a serious blogger and I'm super proud of her. I've been asking her to blog for quite some time and since she always listens to me :) she tried it and now loves it. My sister is a voracious reader and an excellent cook. There are book reviews and yummy recipes and her blog also reflects the funny, witty and sweet person that she is. Do visit her blog : Mixed Bag
And it is her daughter Meera's dress that this post is about. I made it for her (the cutie in the picture) second birthday.
I'm super thrilled that it turned out exactly the way it looked in my head. It started with the lovely coral cotton that I had. The cotton is bottom weight fabric really but the colour is so amazing that I decided to turn it into a dress for Meera. Next I bought some coral tulle and lining fabric (its more red than coral) to make the skirt.
Measurements: I asked my sister to refer to this video for taking Meera's measurements (this is a fantastic channel for pattern making). Once I received the measurements, I compared them with the standard measurements chart from Winifred Aldrich's book Metric Pattern Cutting for Children's wear. I was going to be sewing and sending the dress a few months prior to her birthday, so to account for her growth, I used standard measurements which were a bit larger than her current size. From the book, I went with measurements for a one and half year old which were a little larger than her measurements.
The Pattern: The dress consists of the flat sleeveless body block and the circle skirt pattern. Both were drafted using Winifred Aldrich's book.
Seam Allowances: The dress has an invisible zipper at the CB seam. The seam allowance at CB is 3/4". The side seam and waist seam allowances are 1/2" each; hem allowances - 2".
Cutting the pieces:
1. The front bodice is cut on fold. The back bodice is not (due to the zipper)
2. Similarly for the skirt, for the lining fabric, the front skirt is cut on the fold while the back is not.
3. For the tulle skirt pieces, the circle skirt pattern is placed in such a way that both the side seam and the centre front are on fold. Once cut, a whole circle is formed.
Sewing the dress:
Attaching the invisible zipper - At the CB waist seam, I sewed the bodice pieces to the skirt for 3/4" plus a few stitches more. After doing this, for both the right and left side pieces, I attached the invisible zipper. The invisible zipper extends 2" below the waist seam into the skirt.
Next sew the CB seam of the skirt and cut off the excess zipper.
Sew the side seams of the skirt.
Baste the 2 layers of the tulle skirt to the lining. Slash the tulle at the CB seam till the point where the zipper ends and sew down the edges of the tulle to the lining with very tiny stitches.
Sew side seams of the bodice and attach the skirt to the bodice.
Finish the edges of the armhole and neckline using bias binding.
And this is how it looks.
Hem the skirt. The tulle layers will hang 2" longer than the skirt.
I added coral lace at the waist by just sewing the lace to the dress at the side seams.
This is how the back of the dress looks.
I sewed on ready made crochet flowers on the tulle layers; some on the top layer and some on the lower (inside) one. By doing this, some flowers had a hazy effect against the tulle which I really loved.
I was overjoyed when this dress was completed. But the biggest joy is in knowing that its Meera's favourite dress :). I think children are the hardest to please and they are most honest in their opinions. So I declare this dress a success! :)