The first week's challenge at Project Run and Play is to re-mix the Party Dress pattern and tutorial by Lindsay over at The Cottage Home.
Here's the original pattern photo:
Here are some of the changes I made to the pattern:
- Kept the bodice pattern and drafted/added a peter pan collar (This required me to veer off of the tutorial instructions for lining the bodice.)
- Omitted the sash at the waist and added a little bunched flower
- Added horizontal pleats to the skirt
- Added a lining layer with a ruffle to the skirt in lieu of the contrasting fabric at the hem
- Used snaps on the back instead of fabric-covered buttons and loops
I opted for the snaps because I wanted the pleats and collar to be the focal points.
I also knitted the little sweater. It's Debbie Bliss's baby shrug pattern that's available for free online. The online reviews said it runs big, and it definitely does. She'll be able to wear it next winter.
The dress is also a tad bit big, so she'll be able to wear it into the spring.
The pleats were fairly easy. I added 8.5 inches to the stated length in the pattern, then drew 8 lines (with disappearing marker) one inch apart all the way up the skirt on its right side. Then I folded the fabric on the lines, wrong sides together; stitched .5 inch away from the fold; and pressed the resulting pleat down.
The volume of the skirt is one of my favorite features. One tip I'd recommend when gathering a large amount of fabric, especially when using quilting cotton or something heavier -- use heavy weight thread in your machine basting. Also, I follow Sarai's advice and do three lines of gathering stitches for a more even result.
The hardest part isn't the sewing. It's taking the pictures. The same things that make this my favorite age (19 months) also make it impossible to snap decent photos. She's too young to bribe, but too old to position and adjust.
All of the materials came from my stash. I bought the linen at JoAnn's ten years ago (literally!) to make a pair of pants. It's thin, so they would've needed lining, and I was never that ambitious for casual pants.
The collar and skirt ruffle came from an H&M shirt my sister handed down. I wish I'd been able to salvage more of the fabric -- it was beautiful. Alas, the peter pan collar took four attempts, and unfortunately I used the pretty shirt instead of muslin.
I'm glad to be participating in this challenge if for no other reason it gives me an excuse to capture these expressions on camera.
The Cottage Home
The Cottage Home: The Party Dress
The Coletterie: Gathering Stitches
See Kate Sew: Pleat Week Guest Michael Ann Made: adding horizontal pleats to lengthen a skirt
Kitchy Coo: How to Fully Line a Bodice