Fifth project, the turning point.

After cutting and stitching those curves on Shelly the Turtle, I figured I was ready for a dress for the girls.  I found a tutorial and pattern on a random blog.  I’m not linking it because it’s a bad pattern.  The very first comment stated that someone was trying to make something like it and had difficulty with another tutorial so was happy about this one and the next reply stated that the pattern was off–it didn’t include the seam allowances and had a few other things wrong with it.  All the other comments thanked the blogger for the tutorial and commented how cute the shirt/dress was.  So I wasn’t sure what the warning comment was referring to.  Anyway, I tried it out and turns out the warning was for that tutorial/pattern.  This is what you get sometimes with free patterns from a blog!

It was still a good lesson.  Just like in cooking, if something doesn’t look/seem right, then pay attention to yourself.  There were also several frustrations with sewing small seam allowances with this on curves.  And I’ve discovered I do NOT like snaps.  I looked at several snap tutorials and ended up cracking the pearl side of the snap or the pieces wouldn’t go together correctly. I haven’t given up entirely on snaps, but I like buttons better.

The top was way to small, so it has been given to the Cabbage Patch doll.  I still need to either conquer snaps or put in buttons.  Since it’s now for the doll, velcro would work just as well.

doll top from bad pattern

Still, the top seemed simple enough. So I went looking for an actual commercial pattern and found Simplicity 1673A.

1673Seemed simple enough and I liked that it came with a shorts and pants pattern too.  I opened it all up and immediately felt befuddled.  Why are commercial patterns so paralyzing?  The markings were unfamiliar and the instructions were difficult for me to follow.  What were notches and dots?  I folded it back up and decided to look for a tutorial…which I didn’t find.  But what I did find were several sewing blogs that told you how to draft a pattern of your own off a t-shirt.  Bing!

I found a 2 T knit t-shirt in the 1-2y box and got out one of their dresses that looked simple.  I traced around both to get the general shape.  The dress was a basic a-line with simple sleeves and an elastic neckline.  I pulled on the elastic to see how far out the fabric went when tracing.   (I later learned this type of dress is called a peasant dress).  I taped printer paper together and wrote the instructions right on the pattern.  This was a small lesson about necklines since going down at an angle makes a V neck, but with folding over for an elastic casing, it didn’t matter anyway.

instructions pattern

I’m not sure which blog tutorial I followed, most likely something from Craftiness is Not Optional or See Kate Sew since I was flipping back through all their older entries.  If I find a good one, I’ll edit this post.  Anyway, it WAS easy and the dress turned out just like their store bought one!  (Mine is on the right).

peasant dress

Hooray! This was a serious triumph and probably when I was completely infected by the Sewing Bug.  Of course I immediately made them another one.

Peasant dress

This is also when I realized I am attracted to directional fabric.  I looked through my small-at-the-time fabric pile and realized they were all patterns going in one direction.  Something to pay attention to next time I was in the store (I had not yet bought online fabric).  After folding over it little bits the sleeves I bought a foot set for my machine that included a narrow rolled hem foot.  See Kate Sew got me thinking about feet.


It’s about time I retackle that Simplicity pattern, don’t you think?



One thought on “Fifth project, the turning point.

  1. Pingback: 3rd Geranium Dress and a peasant top | Sewing By Doing

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