Thursday, April 22, 2010

A spiny dress

Little N loves dresses. I've sewed at least 4 for her recently, but she complained they didn't spin. I have made simply A-line tank style dresses so far. I decided to get creative and go off the pattern, or off the reservation.

I visualized it with a large skirt and thought I could simply make a series of ruffles. I guessed at the amount of fabric, assuming 1/4 yard per tier. Then 1/2 yard for the bodice. I based the top off of the bodice of the A-line tank dress I have made for her in the past, but cut it so the top would be about 14 inches. I used the pattern bottom to trace a curve. Then I made the skirt. I approximated that I wanted each level to be about 6 inches and to have a short, 3 inch ruffle at the bottom.

Step 1 was to sew the top. I completed that without finishing the bottom edge. When that was done, I measured the circumference of the unfinished bottom and used that as the base calculation for the skirt. For Little N, the top came out to 16 inches across, or 32 inches around. Using 16 as my base number, I approximated that each level could be 1.5 times larger. This placed the first tier at 24 inches per piece of fabric, the second tier at 32 and the last at 44 (my fabric was 45 inches across). Then I cut. I made 3 tubes and started to join them. I first added a rolled hem to the bottom, the largest tube. Then I gathered and pined. I attached this to the second tier. I added a zigzag stitch to strengthen the seam and pressed the seam upwards. I top-stitched the seam on the next tier to further lock it in and force it to lay flat. I repeated this step for the next tier.

Finally, the moment of truth. I followed the same steps to attach this to the bodice. The best part about the project is since I started with the hem, once I attached the skirt to the bodice and trimmed off the strings, the finish work was done.

Little N was in love!

The spin-ability of the dress was a hit with Little N. She did not hold still long enough for me to take a photo. Granted, it doesn't take a spiny dress to have this effect on her, but the spiny dress sure sped her up.


Stacie's Madness said...

awe, i love it.

She's getting so big!!!

Mica said...

Great job Melany!!!