I once heard a young mom say, "Why bother sewing? You can buy clothes so cheaply nowadays." Hmmmmm. But then you wouldn't get the joy of seeing someone twirl in her new, little dress, with delight written all over her face. I have been a professional dressmaker for 35 years, and there is no client I like sewing for better than my little granddaughters. I have been making a few things lately, plumbing the depths of the Internet for all the fantastic FREE sewing patterns people so generously post, along with some of the great buy-able patterns, and thought I'd share a few of the things that I've made - both recently and in the distant past.
I made this darling little baby dress from a free bodice pattern I found on sewjereli.blogspot.com.au. It is for a size 6-12 month dress. I added a placket, as described in her tutorial, and I changed it into a bubble dress by determining the desired finished length, then add 3 inches to that length for the main fabric, and subtracting 2" from that length from the lining fabric. The lining was a rectangle cut 10 inches wider than her waist measurement, and the skirt fabric was a rectangle cut 3 times her waist measurement. I gathered the bottom of the skirt to the lining and stitched, right sides together, then gathered them together at the top edge with wrong sides together. After stitching, I removed the gathering stitches, then gathered the two layers together to attach to the bodice, as the tutorial indicates. I also added a flat piping to the seam between the bodice and skirt. Hard to see in the picture, but the fabric is a sweet little dotted Swiss, that I bought 2 years ago (long before the baby came along), at Joann. I bought 2 yards, and I had enough to make this dress, plus a full skirt for my 8-year old granddaughter, and a circle skirt (twirly - yay!) for my 4-year old granddaughter (the baby's big sister.) Got my money's worth out of that one!
My daughter sent this picture the other day, of her little sweetie wearing a nightie that I'd made her mommy when she was 5 years old. It has a matching robe, and the gown has an embroidered piece on the bodice that says, "Je Taime" ("I love you", in French.) I made it back in 1987, using a McCall's Enchanted Forest, Little Darlings #8261 (Note the price!) It is an adorable pattern, and you can still find it on Ebay, even though it is out of print.
This last one I made is called The First Day dress, from MADE. She wore it on her first day of kindergarten, and now her little cousin, who loves the dress, Dana, is wearing it. It's lined with hot pink, which peeks out at the neckline with a little faux piping, and in the side-seam pockets I added to the pattern.
Love 'til next time, Laura