As much as I love making little things for my boys, sewing for girls is a lot more fun. Boy sewing is all about details. I feel like all my time is spent making fancy and functional pockets, adding belt loops, and top stitching. When I sew for girls I finally get to use all the pretty prints that I have been hoarding, and try new patterns and tutorials that I come across while I'm reading blogs.
While I don't have any girls of my own, luckily I have tons of nieces. My sister Emily has two little girls, and my husband's sisters have 9 little girls total. I've also been known to give handmade dresses as baby shower, Christmas, or birthday gifts. Basically what I'm trying to say, is that I'm happy to sew something girly given the opportunity.
A little while ago, Emily jokingly mentioned that it was about time I sew some new dresses for her girls. Just the week before I inherited a pile of fabric, and one piece was calling out to me.
No, not the crazy green batik, but the yellow piece on top! It's a pretty, pale yellow, with textured stripes, and sort of a dull satin finish. Now, as you all know, I love to buy fabric at the thrift store, but better than that, is to be given a stack for free. I actually inherited quite a lot of interesting fabric from my Grandmother when she passed away, and three friends recently sent a few bags my way as well.
Lots of vintage fabrics and sheets are at least partially polyester, and I really prefer to sew with natural fibers (wool, leather, cotton, linen) but often I can still use it. When I'm making clothing for kids, I try hard to make sure that only soft fabrics touch their skin. This means more work for me, since I spend lots of time lining things and preventing exposed seams, but for kids, comfort is King. Adults will tolerate some itchiness, or discomfort from their clothing for the sake of fashion, but most kids won't.
I have plans for two dresses (one for each of Emily's girls), but since I accidentally fell asleep at 6pm on Saturday night, I only have one to show you. I'm making them the same, so you aren't missing too much anyways.
I used Simplicity 4711 and I cut out a size M, hoping it would be an appropriate 12 month size. It was giant. I ended up taking about 2.5" off the bottom and 1" in from each side seam. Lately, most of my sewing has been based on my own patterns, and I forgot how frustrating it can be to sew from a commercial pattern. Am I crazy or is the sizing always weird?
The white and pink polka-dot fabric is cotton with soft velvety spots, and my nearest and dearest will likely recognize it. I've used it for several other girl projects in the last few years. The piping was handmade and the buttons were covered using a pink swiss dot farbic.
Here is a close-up on those details.
Like I mentioned, the fabric wasn't the softest, so the dress is completely lined with cotton. I am a bit of a crazy person when it comes to finishing things, so I'll also show you the inside.
Next up, sew the second dress! Oh, and make something for my own children to wear for Easter as well.