Ever since my granddaughter was born I’ve been wanting to make her a little dress, and as summer is coming, I’ve finally done it!
You might be wondering why it’s taken me nearly four months to do this, but this baby possibly has more clothes than I do and I’m aware of not burdening her parents with more stuff. A small piece of this special vintage cotton was donated to my stash by her mother and I took that as permission to use it.
I had a couple of different patterns in mind and began cutting out one of those Jiffy patterns that only uses one pattern piece. Half way through I realised that the pattern had been cut strangely (a thrifted pattern) and I was no longer certain that I had a properly sized dress. Back to the drawing board! I finally settled on another thrifted, but never opened, pattern, Kwik Sew 3035 which has a couple of different dresses, two different hats, some rompers and bloomers. I also love Kwik Sew patterns, the only commercial pattern company that I use really.
I decided to make the dress and bloomers, but because of the previous cutting error I had to make the dress with the ruffles as I didn’t have enough length for the other one.
I am not good at ruffles, so I tried a variety of methods as the doubled over fabric was quite stiff. I finished up using the dental floss method. I keep dental floss in my sewing room and always use the waxed variety as it slips out more easily.
If you’ve never done this, all you do is lay the floss along the gathering line and zig zag over it. You can then pull the floss up to give you gathers. Because the floss is strong you won’t break it. I pull it out afterwards and wind it on an empty cotton spool for reuse. I can only reuse it a couple of times before it begins to fray though.
Anyway, it worked perfectly! I’m not a fan of seeing the join between the dress and the ruffle so I used some cotton bias binding from my stash to cover it.
I made the dress and the bloomers, just managing to get the bloomers out of the fabric. I used shell buttons for the back as they are very flat and won’t dig in as Miss G is still too little to sit up by herself.
I gathered up all the scraps and began to wonder if I could get the hat out too. It’s made of small pieces and I was able to piece the ruffle together.
How cute is this outfit?
Then my friend Suzanne gave me a baby coat hanger which was perfect for the dress but I wasn’t sure how to attach the hat and bloomers. I didn’t want loops or anything that Miss G could catch fingers in.
I scrabbled together the last few scraps and made a little bag for them.
I figured that this way there will be no need to go hunting for the bloomers and hat, they should always be with the dress. Maybe!
Anyway, I’m rather thrilled with this and I have several small pieces of corduroy left over from making trousers for Miss G’s dad when he was a little tacker, so I might make her those rompers for the winter. Although I might not be able to wait that long and she might get a summer pair. There is a transfer for that little swimming duck in the pattern and I’m keen to make it.
A special dress for a special baby!