Saturday, April 21, 2012

5 Little Dresses

Remember when I told you about finding an amazing place for fabric right here in Lumberton, NC? Here is some of what I found at They are the top seller of industrial sewing machines and have an overwhelming amount of fabrics and notions, most of which are from apparel businesses that have closed due to this horrible phase our nation is experiencing. Fear not, we will rise again!! In the meantime,"goody for me"!  I am starting a "cottage" business and have found excellent fabric at an affordable price.

This fabric is wonderful for the type of work I do, i.e. heirloom sewing and smocking. I have already made a couple of sweet baby daygowns. (FYI-This will be the subject of my next post.) With the upcoming trip to Alabama, I wanted to make something special for my little girls there. Hopefully, I'll have pictures of them wearing the creations in a few weeks. I decided  to make something they would know I made especially for them that they would hopefully keep as an heirloom, so I monogrammed each dress with their own initials. Two of the girls are sisters with the same initials so they will be able to swap dresses if they want since I made one in pink and one in blue.

Once I got all five monograms, including two of the same monogram, I cut out the top parts of the dress.  I played around with the "pillowcase" dress style again. Of course, I had to add my twist to it. Since this fabric is rather thin I thought it needed a slip. Who wears a slip with a sundress? So, I built the slip into the dress.

The only thing I used that resembled a pattern was this guide for cutting out the curve of the arms. I still changed it a bit since I was experimenting by adding the layer for the slip.

I struggled with how I would add the eyelet lace to the bottom of the dresses. I would love to have connected the eyelet to the fabric with entredeaux but I didn't have the amount I needed on hand and that is one thing they DID NOT have at the liquidators along with fine french lace, Swiss insertion and other things I would have loved for them to have. Hey, I guess that is a good sign that those kinds of places are doing well and not going out of business. (My "happy thought")

This was a definite NO!!!

At last I just decided to sew it without any fancy details. I used the KISS method. Keep It Simple Sweetie. This is something I have to tell myself often because I tend to go overboard sometime. As you can see in the pictures below, I just stitched the two fabrics together and top stitched.

I spent all day monogramming and cutting the dresses out and calculating how to put them together the simplest way with the built in slip. After sleeping on it, the next morning I woke up and had the answer of how I thought it should be done. (lol! another "sewing by ear" moment) Once I got to my sewing room and started working on what I saw in my vision, it looked different. I was afraid I didn't actually have the answer to it, but I thought "Just go with it, at the most you'll just have to rip it out".  So I did and voila'!!

 I'm not ready to share all the details yet. That will be in my first book or Cheirlooms Children pattern line.

This isn't the greatest picture and I'd love to have an actual child to model the finished product. This happens to be the mannequin I used to make my daughters wedding gown. It is too big for this child's dress, I know, but I needed to see how the dress  would work on some shoulders not a hanger. And speaking of hangers...I have to share another idea I've been saving paper towel rolls for. I've been needing some nice hangers to use when I take pics for my Facebook store and Etsy shop.


I can't recall where I got this idea, but I think it was when I visited my daughter in November and we went to the Nutcracker Market in Houston, TX. Sometimes I look at how things are displayed more than what is being displayed.

I have been saving these rolls anticipating to make these hangers for quite some time now. Since I had these dresses done I decided ...."If not now, WHEN?" Remember that?  I made a tube using white satin (left over from Magan's wedding dress) several inches longer than the paper towel roll. I then slid the paper towel roll down in fabric tube gathered the fabric evenly on the roll. I left about an inch of fabric on each end to tuck inside the roll and hot glued it. (I will use low temp next time. OW!) 

 I just cut a random sized square and grabbed a little polyfil to finish out the ends.

Make sure to put the stuffing in the center of the square, then pull up the sides and corners to make a little "ghost" and tie off  around the neck, clip off any extra strings because you don't want them getting caught in the glue. Ask me how I know.

I just glued around the rim of the fabric covered paper towel tube and popped the "ghost" down into the hole "feet" first leaving the "head" out. (I didn't intend to describe it this way, but it looks like a little "ghost" to me in these pics.) Once you have a ball on each end, add some ribbon for the hanger.  I tied the ribbon a few inches away from the end on each side. Just adjust it so the garment hangs evenly.

Please don't laugh if this seems unusual. It's just what I came up with out of desperation. I wanted something I could use to take pics of my "5 Little Dresses" that looked as special as the little girls I made them for.


These are for the older girls

Then I added the two little dresses

There we have it.....5 Little Dresses!!!

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