I know, I haven't blogged in ages. I always think I'm going to get back around to it and then time passes, and well... apparently it is 6 months later. Just about the time I think I am going to quit altogether, I get a new idea that I want to share, so here I am again, LOL. I wanted to share my process for making the pattern for a new dress. I call it the "Anna" dress. Soon to be a new addition to my website and Etsy shop.
This weekend I posted a few sketches over on my Facebook page. Whenever I get an idea, if it is handy, I try and sketch it out. I'd say that probably 90% of these never wind up becoming real garments. Mostly because of time or money constraints, but also because I wind up tucking these little drawings away and I forget all about them until I run across them again. Sometimes years later. This weekend I decided that I would try and work through at least some of the sketches that I posted. I wasn't sure where to start, so I just started with sketch #1.
I went through my pattern stash and decided to use this pattern as the base pattern for the bodice.
I traced the pattern onto freezer paper. I measured the length of the skirt piece from the pattern and extended the center line approximately the same distance. From the side of the bodice I simply drew a 60* angled line the same length as I extended the center line. I drew a right angle from each line in just an inch or so and then just eyeballed a gentle curve for the bottom of the skirt. I traced the same curve onto the back pieces so that they would match. This gave me a simple A-line dress pattern. The entire dress was composed of 6 pattern pieces. One cut on the fold for the front, one piece that was cut mirror imaged for the back, a center pleated panel, which was just a big rectangle, facings for the neck and a contrast trim piece for the front.
Drafting the cap sleeves was the trickiest part. It involved reading several tutorials and trying to take adult measurements and size them down to toddler size. In the end it worked out, but I did have to kind of play with them a bit in order to get them looking like I wanted them. I wound up dropping the sleeve opening to where the notch is on the pattern instead of where I drew the dot on the pattern. It just looked more right when I sewed it together. The center panel of the skirt was done by cutting a rectangular piece out from the center of the dress front piece. I measured the pleated panel by deciding how many pleats of what size I wanted and then doing the calculations to decide how large to cut the piece.
Construction of this part was a little unusual, but it worked just fine. I reinforced the top and corners of the dress front piece with stay stitching. I clipped in the edges the same amount as my seam allowance. I drew out and ironed my pleats into my insert panel and sewed the side seam allowances. Then I zig zagged the top edge to the opening in the dress front piece with the raw edges butted up together. It worked pretty well. I then used a little bias tape on the inside to hide the seam and the contrast trim piece on the outside to hide the seam.
The rest was pretty standard dress construction. Zippered back, facings, etc. I serged the edges of the side seams before sewing them. When I got to the sleeve openings, I just ended my side seam at the notch, turned the edges of the sleeves in and topstitched them down.
Voila! A new dress! I am hoping to get some "real" pictures of it and get it listed over at Etsy soon.
I am also linking up with Randi at I Have To Say for Show and Tell Tuesday.