Sunday, August 7, 2011

Little Dresses

Do you want to know what I've been up to since being sick? Copying down recipes from French library books (shhhhhhhh, I actually plan on buying most of them when the funds come my way), and organizing my links and photos on the computer... Thrilling I know! However, I will have the most organized computer I've ever had by the time I get back from France... and with the multitude of projects that I want to accomplish it will make it a lot easier to find everything and remember what project I should get my hands on next.

I've also been working on a new embroidery project and little by little it is taking shape, but man is this one taking a long time to finish! I took a pretty big circle hoop and just drew on it something cute that I'd seen, not realizing exactly how much work I was giving myself. The joy of starting a new craft for me is exactly those moments. The moment when you over-reach because you don't know enough to realize how daunting the task really is. Because of that ignorance I am now midway into a really cool embroidered hoop for Victoria's room and I am actually ecstatic about that.
Next on the list are some smaller hoops, and then a design for my mom I think... it was her birthday last month, and while I gave her a gift, I didn't make her anything, and now that I've seen how excited she is about the embroidery, I think making her one is definitely needed. Just have to come up with the design, but I think I've started seeing it in my head... now to draw it up before it's gone again.

Before my trip I had made two little sundresses for my daughter. I need to adjust the patterns still as I ended up making the arm holes a bit too small and a few other mistakes. I have a lot to learn about constructing garments, and sewing in the first place. I literally started making everything with no lessons whatsoever, and nary a look on the computer to learn how to work a machine or hand stitch. Everything I do, is learned by trial and error.
Well the first little dress I made was this:
A cute little thing, but I had made it as a slip on for my barely four month old daughter... by the time the rains stopped in France and she was able to wear it... well her head had grown too big to fit through the opening.
No all those buttons and snaps aren't a joke in kid's clothes. She could still wear it had I thought about not making it a slip on and rather added some buttons to the back of the dress. Lesson learned!

And this was the second dress I made her:
This still fits her, and now that I've adjusted it it really is quite cute, I had to add snaps to the very sides of the straps because the neckline kept on gaping... Why you ask? Well because I know nothing of sewing notions. In my head I decided that I was going to make those cute finished hems, that come from using bias tape.
*Note of importance here: I knew that the name of what I was looking to make was BIAS TAPE, which is a feat in and of itself!
However, not knowing exactly what bias tape was, I decided to make my own from the fabric I had on hand, not realizing that instead of making the shaping of the arms and neck more pliable, I was indeed making it hard and stiff to handle. Luckily the fabric I used was so thin that it still works, and Victoria can wear her little dress, but I would have had another unusable dress on my hands were this not the case.

So just in case there are other novice seamstresses out there trying their hand at making clothes with no notion of what they are doing, here is an amazing entry in MADE about bias tape:
Bias Tape Techniques
Indeed one of my next projects is going to be making a whole bunch of different color bias tape to use to finish up kid's clothes. I just love the look that it gives necklines and round skirts.

I'll leave you with this for today, but hope to be back very very soon!

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