Saturday, February 26, 2011

Every so often a complete fit of insanity attacks just anybody! (Hint--it's turquoise)

I think my only reason is "because she will love it"--need I have any other?

Our 5-year old has a new passion for bright turquoise--after being PINK for so long that Nana bought almost only pink for her and now has a HUGE stash of it.  When I give her something now, her usual response is, "You know, Nana, my new favorite color is turquoise.  But I still like pink, too."

Soooo, I decided to make her a turquoise princess/fairy dress.  She has no wedding, no special occasion really--she just LOVES to play dress up and the sparklier the better!   (Comes from the "Dolly Parton" part of her personality!)

Fortunately the store had something in just her color, but the pattern had the MOST ATROCIOUS directions--it was virtually impossible to determine how much of each fabric was required. After half-an-hour's reading in the store, I tried to buy what they said.  As it turned out, I got too much of EVERYTHING, so now there are some small stacks that one day I will have to decide how to use.  

I am REALLY glad Jo-Ann's puts patterns on sale for $1-2 regularly!  I would never have all these patterns if I didn't stock up, and there is NO WAY I'd pay the price they ask for them even at 40% off!

Here goes...

Bodice under construction (shiny stuff--not sparkly--lined with medium weight lining fabric.  It is actually heavy enough to line a suit with.)

Then turn it inside out.  (I used the length of an size 8, instead of a size 6, PLUS I added a full inch at the waist because she is so much longer waisted than the patterns and I keep getting caught out.  I can't wait to see how it fits--it may be a little long in the waist, but if she can wear it, that's fine--it will look better for longer that way.)

This is also the first time I've made her the 3-piece front for a bodice--curious to see how it looks on a flat-chested little girl--but that's the way they designed it...

Stitch the sides together

So it looks like this.  It is now ready to attach all those slip/linings, skirt, and overskirt.  (I elected NOT to use the net layer as well- it was SO not needed!)

After the slip/lining seams are sewn, attach the crinoline ruffles.  They showed you where to attach them, and said 6-inch strips--six of them!  

I didn't want to gather up all those miles and miles of crinoline strips, so I used the "gathering" stitch on my serger.  I went around it twice (to gather it up more), THEN I sewed a big stitch through all that thread and pulled a thread to gather it the remaining amount.

It called for two rows of these ruffles, which was WAY too much!  I ended up completely removing the top layer (all three rows of stitches...)  Then I whacked at least a third of the fullness out of the bottom layer...  (I was excited.)

I also think they should have tapered the skirts at the waist--the lining should have been tapered WAY down, the skirt pretty far down, and even the overskirt would look better if it was slightly tapered.  (Before I removed so much of the crinoline, it looked like a stiff bubble--kind of like those early Queens of England wore which probably had metal cages under them.)

After gathering and attaching the overskirt (sparkly stuff) to the bodice, then gathering the slip/lining and the skirt together, I attached them to the bodice.

Then I began the most extensive basting I have ever done--even when I hand-tailored a suit for my mother-in-law many years ago I didn't do this much.  (I keep doing different things just "to see if I can"...) 

I stitched together the skirt and the lining/slip where it was open to allow for the zipper with proper small blind stitches.  I then basted the outside top seam together where the zipper would go.  I basted the zipper in place.  

Then I turned the lining to the inside and stitched it to the zipper and all around the waist.  I then basted each side of the zipper to make certain the lining did not slip at all when I stitched it all in place.  At this point I think there are about five layers of basting in the zipper area, which I pulled out after the final zipper stitching was in place.  

The stuff is SO slippery and as it turned out so well I am really glad I did all that basting.  NO WAY was I putting a hidden zipper in this stuff!)

When I was finished, the lower ruffle which I left in place (vastly reduced by simply whacking sections out of it) looked like this.

Then the skirt layer (sparkly overskirt lifted so you can see it)

Back full length view

And finally...  SHE'S GONNA LOVE IT!

So I made it as properly as a "real one" even though she will mostly play in it and wear it for parties, etc.  Now I'm ready when prom time comes!  (I'm a little early--like hopefully 10 years or so!)

I had done so many things for her birthday that I knew her sweet, sensitive brother might feel a bit slighted, so I decided to make him  a matching cumberbund and bow tie to go with the tuxedo vest and pants I made him at Christmas.

Sometimes he looks up at me with those georgeous eyes and says, "Nana, did you make ME anything?"--so sweet.  Also, he KNOWS that at Christmas I made the vest and pants, but that I did NOT make the shirt or the cumberbund and bow tie.  He knows this so well that he has mentioned it SEVERAL times to both his mommie and me.  We explain that Nana didn't have time to make those, and that was ok--still, he notices...

(Both of their sets of big beautiful eyes are just about the color of this fabric!)

I had the scraps of the stiff lightweight stuff I used for the brim of my packable beach hat (NOT the Amy Butler one), so I put a velcro opening in the back of the pleated area so it could be easily inserted (it is NOT good in seams--you could never get it turned to make a nice edge).

open, so you can see inside (It's actually fusible on both sides but it doesn't stick very well and I didn't want to fuse it here anyway.)

I think he'll be pleased!

Do I think I worked out the fit of insanity?  Probably not...

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize you made this dress when I saw her wearing it at the party. She did look lovely. I should have realized! What a talented Nana she's got ;-)