I finally did it. Matchy-matchy dresses for my girls.
Complete with extra poof-age and big fat sashes, because I have never met a girl that didn’t love a good twirly skirt and a big bow.
It was a fun project with some new skills learned, little details added, and many a late night sewing after Lil’ Miss Cranky Pants was put down to sleep.
Fabric: Floral Brushstroke Sateen – Lisette Collection, polyester Satin, and a “Bridal Lining”
[Rant, because I have a blog and it makes me feel entitled to voice my opinion]
I just wanted to just how peeved I was to discover that this fabric was only 44″ wide. 44″??? Seriously? The smallest width patterns design for is 45″. I just barely had enough width to work with. It would be silly to have to buy that much more yardage for a little girls dress. So, do you hear me fabric manufacturers?!?! Don’t treat your customers, or lovely designers like Liesl, like this!!!! Raise the price of the fabric instead of cheaping out on width. [end rant]
Patterns: McCall’s 5791 and 5793
Great basic patterns. I didn’t even bother with the directions and did my own thing.
…like adding netting to Gladys’ skirt.
…and taking extra time to hide all the raw edges to keep my babies cozy. Why do I own a serger again? I enjoy these french seams and hidden sleeves seams much more.
Sewing teeny tiny sleeves can be a $&!@*#&$ to sew. Make it easy on yourself, press up the sleeve hem while the sleeve is still flat (before sewing anything). Then, sew the sleeve in “flat” before the bodice side seams are sewn up. (See Kate Sew shows the difference between “set in” vs. “flat”.)
(Thank you, all of you on Twitter and Facebook, for encouraging me to go with the puff sleeves. I really didn’t want to do the work, but it was so worth it.)
I experimented with making a pettislip for Gianna instead of building it into the lining. I used the dresses pattern as the basis. It works, but I’m not totally happy with it. I think I will have to make another, just for kicks and giggles. I’m sure Gianna won’t mind.
Update! There is now a tutorial available for the New and Improved Petticoat!
Some New Techniques
I sewed in my first two invisible zippers, and they really are quite easy, just like everyone told me. And, no, you do NOT need a special foot for this. This video by Craftovision was a big help with getting started.
And I made little thread chain loops to hold the sashes in place. (Tutorial, coincidently, by Liesl)
Sashes by Sew Fearless
The thing that really makes the dresses, though, is the sashes. By golly, I am proud of them. And they were ridiculously easy to sew. yay!
Apparently, I have a thing for this color scheme, because look what I picked out for myself to wear on Easter morning. I swear it was a coincidence.
Jesus Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed. Allelulia!
Beautiful dresses, Jodi! You have such a sweet family!
He is risen! Amen!
The dresses look beautiful! Very nicely done.
I’m confused about your comment regarding fabric width: many home-sewing fabrics (especially quilting cottons) are 44″ wide. The apparel industry works with fabrics that are wider, but narrower widths are very common for home sewing. The cotton sateen that you chose is available only in the 44″ width–it’s a width determined by the factory, not by the manufacturer. You’ll probably notice that the big sewing pattern manufacturer’s frequently give yardage estimates for both the narrow and the wide widths, since both are widely available.
Hope you had a wonderful Easter!
I don’t know who is “to blame” (obviously, not you, Liesl.) but why such discrepancies between these large pattern design companies standard of 45″/60″ and the factory widths (44″, 54″, etc)? It seems like they should both be on the same page.
Maddie Kertay says
The dresses are adorable.. oh how I miss sewing for little girls! You did a wonderful job!
You are the Queen of the machine. I hope one day I could be as good as you! You are simply awesome in the TRUE sense of the word!
Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy says
The dresses are beautiful! Love the Easter photo of the whole fam!
As to the 44 inch, back in the ‘day’ -like circa 1969, cotton was usually 35 to 36 inch for home sewing and then it shrank a lot when you washed it before using, and you were lucky if it was permanent press fabric. Very nice goods that were 44 inch and 45 to 60 inch were only for quality bridal fabrics and upholstery mostly. When you did use say an upholstery brocade for a miniskirt, you had all kind of fun, reinventing a layout that worked for 60 inches and then you bragged about making a skirt with 3/4 of a yard of fabric. Yeah, I am glad those skirts are gone.
Second comment: If you were to see these dresses up close, you would be amazed to see the insides look quite as beautiful as the outsides! Super skill dear SewFearless.
Jodi, all I can say is wow- you are an inspiration to me and I often check your site for tips and tricks (even those you borrow from others!). I am in the process of making my second first communion dress and wondered about the material you used to make your sashes? Thanks and God Bless
It was a polyester satin bought at Joann’s. Not the “costume” satin, but their special occasion satin.
Jodi, your models & their dresses are adorable. I’m really impressed by how beautifully finished the dresses are on the inside (as your mom proudly pointed out).
One of the things I love so much about your blog, is how well you explain how you made your items and the helpful links you include.
What a great picture of your whole crew together!
The dresses look great! I love the colors.
Jodi, how do you do the hidden arm seams? I tried searching for a how-to but can find any – please help… Thanks so much for your great advice and sewing tips.
It was done by hand. After sewing the arms to the outside and the lining to the neckline, I staystitched the lining’s arm scythe (at the seam line) and then slipstitched it to the the outer seam.
I don’t know of a way to do it by machine for a top with sleeves, but for without sleeves there are some fun tricks. Like this one (http://www.crafterhoursblog.com/2011/02/all-in-one-facings-tutorial.html) or this one (http://kitschycoo.blogspot.com/2011/03/tutorial-how-to-fully-line-bodice.html)
Thanks Jodi, that helps a lot! God Bless
yours is such a beautiful family!
Thank you. 🙂