"Eliza's Birthday Dress" is a nice name for it.
Much better than "My Sewing Nemesis" or "The Dress that Made Me Question Everything" or "Is Sewing Really This Hard?" or "Eliza Will Never Have Another Mommy-Made Dress Again. Ever."
In theory, the second attempt at this dress should have been easier. It wasn't. I debated about how much to tell you. Of course I've decided to share it all.
First I'll let you get a good look at it.
It's too big on purpose -- her birthday is three months away, and I want this dress to fit all summer. Maybe even next summer.
It's hard to tell because of the size and patterned material, but it's the same style as my PR&P Signature Style piece. There are gathers beneath the scoop in the front and back.
It's fully lined. Why does a 21-month-old baby need a fully lined dress? Because I was hankering for one more complication apparently.
|see her dirty fingernail? very fitting for a dress-wearing little girl, no?|
This time I opted for an invisible zipper. Again, because the button placket wasn't complicated enough. The good news is the zipper is truly invisible.
So now the truth.
Details: Piping and invisible zipper. Fully lined with enclosed hem.
You're looking at BODICE #3. That's right. I started over from scratch THREE times on the bodice. I ripped it at least half a dozen times before scrapping each one. So, that's a total of almost 20 rips. The piping, the shaping, getting the dots lined up, the gathering.
Eventually I ran out of store-bought piping for the bodice and had to make my own. Fortunately I had store-bought bias tape in the same color. (One of my first attempts at piping a year ago was much more successful for some reason.)
You're looking at front skirt #2. I re-did the gathering at least four times. All the ripping shortened the thing by six inches, so I had to start over.
The zipper took four tries to get things lined up.
I sewed the lining in twice before figuring out how to turn things around. (Thanks to this video tutorial, it finally happened. But I don't recommend doing things this way for kids' clothes -- it involves sewing the shoulders in a way that is nearly impossible when they're this small.) I did use Lindsay's trick for the hem, and it worked like a charm.
Normally I'd wax poetic and say it was worth the learning experience, the result is precious, and next time will be better.
Whatever. It'll be a while before I look at this dress and see anything but a scream of frustration.
I love this baby. So much.
Sigh. Maybe I'll make her another dress after all. (Read "softie" across my forehead.)
P.S. Thanks to my Instagram friends @emodette, @callajaire, and @francessuzanne for all the piping advice. It's part of my reSEWlution this year to become a piping pro.