Sep 26, 2011

Knock it off!

Lately, I've been combining two of my favourite things - shopping and sewing. With the weather warming up, I figured I would need to go out and get some summer clothes for the girls (Katherine in particular - my love of shopping has ensured Ellie has a pretty constant stream of hand-me-downs from her big sis).

I found some gorgeous little dresses in Pumpkin Patch, but there was no way I could justify paying that much on a little girls dress. I'd baulk at spending $60 on a dress for myself! So, I had a bit of a think about how I could recreate a couple of them at home.

This military-style shirt dress was super cute. I thought I might be able to get the same sort of look with an Oliver & S Jump Rope Dress in similar colours. I've made a few of these dresses now and I love this pattern.  I made a (generous) size 3 as the 2T I'd previously made was now just that teeny bit too tight on my tiny almost-4-year-old.  It's probably just that little bit too big on her, but she will grow into it.  

I made it out of a lightweight cotton drill and some pretty pink and white floral fabric from Lincraft.  I made a few changes though - I did the inner placket, pocket flaps, and tie in the floral trim. Plus I decided I wanted the front placket to run the length of the dress, so it was more like the Pumpkin Patch dress.  You can see I tried to trim the hem the same way as the original too.

I am still toying with the idea of putting some pockets on the front here.  In fact, I might rip the pockets off the skirt and put military-style pockets on the skirt as well.  I think that's definitely what it needs.  I just haven't decided yet whether it's worth the effort.  I hate unpicking!

My second effort was inspired by this absolutely gorgeous striped dress.  I had to think about this one a bit more as I had never really made anything this shape before.  I couldn't believe it when I stumbled across the perfect pattern in one of my Ottobre mags!

Ok, maybe it's more accurate to say I knew it would be perfect after I had made a few adjustments!  I rounded off the neckline and then put in that little 'v' to make an almost sweetheart neckline.  I left the sleeves off completely, and made the shoulder straps just that little bit narrower.  I added belt loops.  And I cut a strip of fabric in the opposite direction for the trim along the hem.  Oh, and the original dress had a zip down the back - I decided on buttons because I hate zips!  I still haven't figured out how to use my zipper foot properly, and I couldn't have been bothered learning it now.

I was so happy with the finished dress!  I made it in blue as black and white just doesn't seem to suit my fair-haired little cherub.  But I did buy some black and white striped fabric to recreate this dress for a special niece of mine for Christmas!  Shhh...

The belt came off a pair of summer shorts I bought from Target a little while back.  I had it in mind for this dress as soon as I saw the one in the shop.

The buttons down the back are white with little stars.  I thought they fit well with the whole nautical theme.

So what do you think?  I'm not done yet.... I've still got a couple of ideas up my sleeve.  Two more dresses, and then I will take a break!

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