Monday, January 7, 2013

Birds & Butterflies for Project Run & Play Week 1 Season 6

You can click on the photos to enlarge them to see details.
Project Run & Play Season 6
Sew A-long

  Week #1:  Pattern Remix of The Cottage Home Mama's Party Dress. 

This is not really a remix because I checked out the pattern pieces and realized that I had a basic bodice front and back in the size that I needed already traced that looked almost identical from the front.  It had the overlap I needed for the button and button-hole back bodice I was envisioning.  I just needed to adjust the neckline and sleeve arm openings to go with the scalloped bodice overlay that was in Sew Beautiful Magazine # 141 and pictured on the cover of the magazine.  It is drafted by Kathy Dykstra to be used with the SB pattern "Pascale" but it was an easy adjustment to my generic basic bodice pattern pieces.  I just traced the scalloped overlay in the size 4 that I needed and placed it over my bodice front and back pieces and trimmed away the excess.  I did not use a pattern for the skirt, placket, sash keepers, or sashes because they are just rectangles.  I determined the length I wanted for the skirt and added 8 and 1/2 inches for the seam allowances, hem, and two one inch tucks.  I wanted sashes that would finish 2 and 1/2 inches wide so I cut the pieces 6 inches wide and folded them in half and sewed with 1/2 inch seams.

I am hoping that this dress will fit the recipient of this gift.  (I am guessing on Kate's size!)  This is what I call a TQ Dress.  A 'thank you' gift for the parent volunteer in my kindergarten classroom.  Teachers usually give gifts to their regular volunteers at the end of the year.  I like to make their children something.  I didn't know that I would decide to participate in this sew a-long challenge before we ended the semester so I didn't take any measurements.  I will have this same dilemma for the Week #2 challenge, too.  I based this dress on the size Kate appears to be in relation to other little girl's dresses for whom I did take measurements in years past.  If it works, great!  If not, then I'll get the pleasure of sewing another dress!
I am particularly proud of the details in this dress.  I love the shell buttons (that have been mellowing in my stash for at least 5 years).  The self-faced sashes are heavy so I made sash keepers on both back bodices so that the pretty bow won't droop.  I changed the thread color when doing the tucks in the front contrast panel so that the thread would blend with the fabric.  There are no exposed seams and the bodice is fully lined.

My mother always looked to see how the dresses I made my daughter were finished on the inside.  She did not enjoy sewing and stopped as soon as she could afford to purchase whatever she wanted for us but she had learned enough to look for quality details.  I think my mom would be pleased with this one.
I did not line my bodices like The Cottage Mama did in her dress.  I used two different techniques that I will share with you in another post.  Almost all of the lining was done by machine with just a little handwork in the center front.  The shoulders and armholes were accomplished completely by machine but were not top-stitched.  I call these techniques my 'magic tricks' when I have taught others how to sew.

I did have fun while making this dress!  I hope you like it, too!


  1. This turned out really nice! You did a great job keeping all the seams & lines& really EVERYTHING clean & beautiful. I think that itself tells alot about your skills! good luck!

  2. How about a post about creating those scallops on the front bodice. The finished dress is beautiful.

  3. I love your fabric combination and those scallops are perfection!!!

  4. Gorgeous! I'm sure she'll treasure it!

  5. Wow, that is stunning! I bet she will love it.

  6. those sash keepers are a fabulous idea & it is very well sewn as seen by all the inside photos

  7. Very feminine and romantic. Cute!

  8. I love this little dress! The colors and the nature theme are both favorites. How lovely!

  9. How wonderful to see & hear about the special details that went into making this beautiful dress. I hope it fits!!

    I look forward to learning all about your "magic tricks", Karen.


  10. Thank you, everyone for all the lovely comments! This has been a fun challenge and I am enjoying making things just 'because I want to'. I will blog about the 'magic' soon, Rett!

  11. Wow...I really like this. You did a wonderful job on your sewing and keeping it neat! Love the spring color combo too.

  12. Wonderful job on the dress! I like my dresses to be finished well on the inside as well as the outside, too. I think it is just more comfortable for the kids to wear them when you don't have a bunch of itchy exposed seams on the inside.

    A great gift and I am sure the mother will be overjoyed by the gift for her little one. :)

  13. Your interpretation is so beautiful! I love those scallops and the fabrics you used... and the tucks along the skirt are such a subtle, pretty detail.


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