Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A dress for my little Whovian

Simplicity 5580
 Dr. Who Tardis Dress

View B
Alterations:  Drafted new pattern to fit my size 10 daughter

I have had this pattern such a long time.  So long that my girls no longer fit any of the sizes (3-8).  

However, my daughter has been asking for a Dr. Who dress ever since I made her a Minecraft Creeper dress.  It took me a while to find some cotton fabric that was Tardis themed.  I ordered it twice and each time I got a followup email that it had sold out--so frustrating when that happens! The next time it appeared, I didn't hesitate to grab it.  

Once I realized the pattern only went up to a size 8, I tried to persuade her to look at other patterns I had.  Nope!  She had to have View B because of the collar.

She typically wears a size 10 in dresses, so I thought grading up one size wouldn't be too difficult even though I had never done it before--How hard could that be?

I used the existing pattern as a guide and measured between the pattern size lines.  I could not get the armhole drawn properly!  I  had her lift her arms and move them around and it would just pull tightly.  After 2 muslin attempts, I decided to look at one of her RTW dresses and use its armhole as a guide.  After doing that, I had to toss the pattern piece I was using and redraw the rest of the bodice.  This also changed the sleeve, facings, and collar pattern pieces significantly.

See the difference:

  I also added 1.5 inches to the length of the bodice.

I found some ribbon that was marked down to .25 a yard and the buttons were in a package for .99!
The collar is made from navy classic quilting cotton I bought at Joanns.

The only thing that could be better is if I had placed the buttonholes a little closer to the outer edge of the dress.  I was so wrapped up in trying to make sure that my ribbon matched up perfectly that I didn't notice I had started my buttonhole placement too far over.  But looking at it now, the buttons get lost in the print anyway.  No matter what I sew, it always seems there is one thing that could have been done better!

If you are making this pattern without any alterations, it sews up fast and easy!  I think this pattern must be out of print, but you can still find it on other websites.

Fabric:  Exploding Tardis 

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Simplicity 1716

I'm back!!  It has been a busy couple of months for me.  During my absence from blogging, my family moved back to the U.S. from Germany.  We started out in a hotel for 10 days, then relocated to a camper for 2.5 weeks, while waiting to close on a house.  It has been an adventure--a family of 5 in a 24' camper, all the while starting new schools and my husband starting a new job.  If nothing, we are a flexible family!   I'm enjoying fabric stores--it's so nice to be able to feel fabric instead of just shopping online.

Last week I purchased this pattern:

View A
Size 10 bodice graded out to a 12 at the waist
Shortened the dress hem by 5 inches
Shortened the sleeves by 1.25 inches
1/2 inch swayback adjustment

I made the mini dress!  I'm 5'1 and the length of this dress hit way below the knee before I trimmed it--not so mini on me.  I know I'm not tall, but compared to other patterns, I think this runs a little longer on me than most.  Thank goodness I didn't add length to it like I had originally planned to do! 

It is a little fiddly making the twist area, but not hard.  I think it would definitely be easier to do with a solid color fabric.  At one point when I was finishing up with the twist area, I seriously thought it was not going to come together.  It just looked like a lump of fabric on my table and I thought, "oh geez, what now?"  The pattern instructions are good though and if you follow them, it will come together nicely.

For the swayback adjustment, I referred to Nancy Zieman's "Pattern Fitting with Confidence" book and the way she explains how to do a swayback is so easy.  I thought it would be a complicated and involved process, but it wasn't.  In fact, it only took a minute or two to make the pattern adjustment.

Normally I do a forward, sloping shoulder adjustment.  After looking at the bodice pieces and the way they are cut, I decided not too.  I just wasn't quite sure how to do it.  And besides, it is a knit and I figured everything would just fall into place on its own. LOL

Also I want to note that the sleeves are pretty roomy.  Sometimes pattern sleeves can be a little tight on me, but no worries, this pattern has plenty of ease there if you find sleeves run tight.

Fabric purchased at Joann's.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley