Monday, 14 July 2014

Summer in Paris Sun Dress

No, we're not spending summer in Paris unfortunately, however I realise I need to up my game in naming my creations, à la Dolores's auntie Rehanon. This is the first make from the batch of sewing patterns that were kindly sent to me from Adey from The Sew Convert. I stated in my last blog post that I was going to attempt to use each of the patterns sent to me by Adey, Catherine and Jenna, so I'd best get on with it! But don't get me wrong, I don't think that there's any point in making clothing for her just for the sake of it. She has plenty of clothes for her current size, however she doesn't have a 'special dress', if a baby needs such a thing. We were invited to lunch a couple of weeks ago and that provided the catalyst for getting this make completed. 


I used the pattern pictured below, Newlook 6718, view B omitting the contrast lower band. The pattern was already cut to the Small size, which according to the pattern envelope should have been almost too small for Dolores in terms of weight and definitely too small for her in terms of height, but the final garment actually came out quite roomy and may even span two summers. Win! 

As you can imagine, this pattern sewed together very quickly, particularly because I left off most of the faff and frills. Unusually, the dress fastens with buttons on the back, kind of like a backwards pinafore, so I chose the flattest buttons in my stash so hopefully they won't be uncomfortable when she lies down. I did add a single strip of lace from my stash along the top of the front yoke for a little bit of extra interest, and to make it clear that I HADN'T put the dress on her the wrong way round if people were to notice the button fastenings being on the back! The only part of the construction that I changed was the method for binding the armholes. I preferred to trim away the seam allowance and apply the binding to cover the raw edge, making it visible rather than tucked away on the inside creating lots of bulk. 


I've recently reorganised my fabric, putting the pieces that are too small for adults' garments, but large enough for a child's garment, or at least part of one, in a separate storage tub. This is the tub I plan on mining for Dolores-projects and this awesome Eiffel Tower and birds print cotton sateen scrap was residing within. I originally bought a long length of this fabric about a squillion years ago from Goldhawk Road, before I started this blog and before I realised that the circle skirt style I'd made from it wasn't for me.

I think I donated the circle skirt to a friend, but I still had some fairly substantial leftovers, enough for this project. Aside from being an amazing print, it makes sense to use it for a garment for Dolores because A), despite being cotton it doesn't crease very much, and B) it's red which is the colour of her favourite foods (strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes) so I won't need to soak stains out of this garment, unlike every other garment she owns. In fact, remind me going forward to make everything for her in red and dark colours with busy prints!


I have firmly got the children's-clothes making bug, which is pretty handy when you think about it, eh? Making things for babies/toddlers/children requires less time and less fabric, which is perfect at just the time in life when you have reduced amounts of sewing time, and reduced funds to spend on sewing projects. It is my aim to dress Dolores as far as possible in handmade clothing, and for it to be made from my stash of fabric and notions as much as I can. But it is also my aim for those clothes to be beautifully made and stylish. That way she will hopefully look back at them and feel proud of her mama for making them for her, and also so that they will have further life after Dolores has grown out of them when other children wear them.


Inder-ific said...

Sewing kid's clothes is SO FUN! Like you say, fast, cheap, and generally not as demanding in terms of fit, etc., as women's clothing.

I love this little dress! So cute! The fabric is perfect, and I love to see kids in bright colors like red, yellow, green. RTW girls' clothes are way too pink, and RTW boys' clothes are way too somber and dark.

Mother of Reinvention said...

Such a cute dress and your daughter is adorable. I loved making dresses for Sprogzilla when she was wee. Now she is a teenager she wouldn't wear anything I made even if I paid her. Still got loads of 1 metre pieces bought especially for making little linen dresses. Bonus about making childrens clothes is that you need so little fabric you can splurge on it.

Anonymous said...

Love your little dress! I've also got the bug for making little girls dresses, but unfortunately my bubba is a boy!There are not many patterns around for boys and they tend to be of the sweat-pants variety which is not as fun as making cute little dresses. Ah well.. at least I have gifts for friends bubs..

Inder-ific said...

nx44 - Just had to chime in and say that actually there are a lot of really great boy's patterns out there, especially if you're open to indy pattern designers. Check out Oliver and s Patterns and Blank Slate patterns. Also, Ottobre magazines are amazing. I love sewing for my little guy - boys' clothes are all about the details, which I really enjoy.

Philippa said...

Your little one is growing! The dress looks really sweet. I love the bright red.

Adrienne said...

Cutie pie! Awww...

Metalmom37 said...

Adorable!!! I used to love making stuff for my daughters when they were small. Of course, now that they are grown, they make terrible fun of those ruffle dresses!

mumasu said...

So cute :)

Amanda said...

Zo, this is so dang adorable! I must admit making tiny clothes looks a lot more fun then big clothes most of the time. Adorable!

JustSewJenna said...

This is so adorable! I love it! You've reminded me that I really should sort my fabric out into big bits, little bits and scraps so I can see what's what.

Kathryn said...

What a gorgeous dress, and great fabric! I just made my wee boy a sun hat with free Oliver + S pattern & definitely got the kids sewing bug! Looking forward to seeing more of your makes for Dolores.

Anonymous said...

This is so adorable and Dolores definitely wins the award for cutest baby of all time (just don't tell my nephew I said that)!

vintagerockchick said...

The dress is lovely and Dolores looks fab, no wonder she's smiling x

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