Mon 14 Oct 2013
Alice and I love to go fabric shopping together, and she especially loves choosing fabric for me to make her dresses. Unfortunately, she can choose fabric and plan dresses exponentially faster than I can actually make her a dress. (Isn’t that the perpetual problem with crafting?) During our most recent fabric buying spree, I had a light bulb moment. I decided to make her a closetful of winter dresses (which she needs, since pants are rarely tolerated) by sewing skirts onto store-bought knit shirts. That way, I save the time and effort of the hardest part, and I don’t have to worry about the fabric of the print she loves not being stretchy or soft enough for a dress. A fabric order and an order to Old Navy later, and the first three dresses are done in about 2 hours of total sewing time!
Before you look at the pictures, I should explain that we decided to do a “fashion show”, and she picked out a bunch of accessories, so that she would look like “a pretty fashion lady”. The Elton John glasses are the best.
This one was the prototype that we did before the online orders arrived using existing materials, hence the short sleeves.
She picked the skirt fabric out. I simply sewed a tube, gathered it, and attached it to the drop-waist of the shirt. It tended to hang down past her hips too far and bug her, so I later added a band of elastic inside the shirt waistband to hold it up.
This dress was made by cutting the skirt fabric into an A-line and seaming at the sides, instead of the back. I used a wide band of high-quality pink elastic to attach the skirt and shirt together, which conveniently hid the raw edge of the skirt, and helped calm the two prints where they attach.
The fabric is Sarah Jane’s balloon print from Children at Play. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on some of that for a while. The combination of the dot top and balloon print isn’t my favorite, but Alice insisted that it looked pretty, and it’s her dress after all.
This one I’ve saved for last because it’s my absolute favorite. It’s another Sarah Jane print from her ocean collection. Alice picked the print and the top, and the combination is fantastic.
She looks like she’s headed for a cruise on the Riviera. For this one, I directly attached the shirt and skirt. The skirt is seamed in the back, but the fabric tube is more of a trapezoid, so it has some nice drape in the back and is smoother in the front. I used a bit of 1/4″ white bias tape that I had on hand for the hem, which really finishes the skirt nicely.