Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Dresses (Formerly Known As Tops)


These may not look like the most exciting little baby dresses in the world, but to me they are.  That's because they are my own pattern.  And they are both recycled from two summer tops I've owned for years and never worn.  I guess I kept them around because I loved the fabric so much.  Both tops were that breezy, tent-style that I just cannot rock.   I need a little definition around the waist.
 
  

When I say I "drafted" my own pattern, I mean that in the lightest sense possible.   I used the height and waist measurement for a three month old from the Gymboree size chart and drew a basic bodice pattern piece free hand.  I used the same piece for the back bodice,  just adding in seam allowances for the zipper.  The skirt portion of both dresses was determined by what was available at the bottom of the original top.  No real technical skill here, just a bit of guesstimating. 


But still, I'm pleased with how they both turned out.  Not bad for a first attempt.  I kept the pockets and placket on the pink and green dress.   I changed the bodice slightly on the all pink dress.  It's slightly wider and the armholes are a tad bit smaller.  The picture below is a good comparison of the two.   I also changed the order that I constructed it and hemmed the sleeve openings before I stitched up the sides.  That eliminated the need for an itty bitty bias binding around the arm hole, which was not an easy thing to sew. 
 
  


Both dresses are for baby M and I'm excited to see how they fit.  She's not quite three months yet, but will be soon.  She'll be one well dressed little baby, won't she?  This was fun for my first time working completely from scratch.  I thought I'd always rely on patterns, but I'm starting to see that there is an infinite number of possibilities when you can create your own patterns.  It is something I'm interested in learning more about right now.  Anyone know any good resources for drafting your own patterns? Any tips or tricks you'd like to share? Any pattern drafting tools you can't live without?  I have two books on the way already.  I'd love to hear from what you think.  Happy sewing, everyone!

11 comments:

  1. Very very cute. I really like the skirt on the all-pink one and matching khaki trims on the other. Sewing for littlies can be so much fun.

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  2. I think I have learnt most from Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting.

    Cute dresses.

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  3. lovely colourful lil dresses! you'll find many online resources for drafting patterns here http://www.fashionstudentsonline.com/patternmaking-tutorial/pattern-drafting-links#sewingsloper

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  4. adorable! great job. I find that vintage patterns and vintage sewing course books are very detailed and explain things a lot better than newer patterns. You also get some insight into older techniques.

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  5. The dresses are adorable and the colours are so pretty. You've done a wonderful job!

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  6. Super cute! Good job on the refashioning, too :D

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  7. Who are you kidding? Of course they are exciting! They're lovely.
    The drafting tool I can't live without is a set of Draftsman's Curves. If you can't get hold of those a ruler with a curve at the end of it, well anything that gives you a graduated curve to play with. Invaluable.

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  8. Totally adorable! You are so artistic, and I'm sure the lucky little girl will be thrilled with them!
    I know what you mean about drafting. So many times I've bought a pattern, only to find there's often nothing to it!

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  9. They're gorgeous, well done! Excellent use of unwanted clothing! x

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  10. Very pretty dresses! I especially like the pink one. I dabbled in vintage patterns for a while- as mentioned before they do explain many details that new patterns leave out.

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