Monday, August 3, 2009

thing 2's tiered sundress, check

Here's the tiered dress for the youngest. Why isn't it pink, orange and brown? Because I'm easily distracted, that's why. I can't resist greens, blues and citruses together. It's my favorite combo right now.

Here's a side by side comparison. As planned from the previous post, I lengthened the bodice 1.5 inches and took out some of the width in the skirt. Even though I bought plenty of fabric this time (duh), I still cut the tiers 8 inches long (that's less than the pattern) to make up for the added length from the bodice. It fits her like a dream. I like the shape of this version a bit better. The added length on the bodice made her dress a bit longer than big sister's, which is fine. At the rate she's growing, she'll need it (four inches last year).

I made the fabric flower pin a tad different this time. Instead of puckering each layer in the middle and tacking it together, I took tiny tucks in the middle of each petal on only the two largest layers. Just a couple of stitches in each one with the machine to give it some depth. Easy. Then I layered it all together and put in a circle of blue behind the button for some extra pop.

The fabric I chose this time for the dress cost a mere $7. Total. For the whole dress. That is because it is super cheap 60/40 poly-cotton broadcloth. Why? I couldn't find the stinkin colors I wanted in cottons. I needed just the right olive green -- not foresty, not kelly-y, but the perfect dark true olive. I looked at two fabric stores with no luck. Then I stumbled on a huge row of great solid colors in all these scrumptious shades at Hobby Lobby and thought 'Bingo!'.
Then I read the fiber content.
But then I saw the price.
Sold, baby.

Of course, there are things I definitely did not like about the poly blend fabric.
  1. The drape is not as nice and it feels a bit flimsy.
  2. The surface texture is too smooth.
  3. There is no give.
  4. You have to watch the temperature on your iron or it starts to pucker.
  5. And what is UP with the bizarro resistance to pins and needles? It is a huge pain to pin it, the pins just refuse to puncture it half the time. It seems to have a force field around it. Also the machine needle has a tough time punching through. It makes a disconcerting pop each time, and also gets bogged down if it goes through multiple thicknesses.
However, there are things you have to love about it, plastic content or no:
  1. The price, I mean, seriously. It wasn't even on sale.
  2. The color range, all my favorite shades--why can't cotton come in that kind of variety?
  3. Also, this stuff does not unravel much in the wash and comes out wrinkle-free. To me, that is huge. I hate ironing.
  4. Lastly, when you press a hem over, by gum it stays pressed, with a knife edge. It makes a narrow hem so easy to do.

Sorry, this is the best photo I was able to get of Thing 2 sporting her new dress. She was very very VERY grumpy at the time. Then Thing 1 shut her finger in the back door as I was trying to shoot this. We were having one of those days.

I was thinking earlier today about this post and how this is so typical me. To be making sundresses at this point in the waning summer. It's a good thing it will be warm here through September, maybe October. I had all these high hopes and ambitions to make a bunch of summery clothes for the girls and for me too, waaaay back in the spring. I did get some things made, but as usual nothing for me.

(And I'm still wrestling with Lori's bag flap design. Great Scott! Why why whyyyyy won't this flippety thing come together? I've worked for hours on a version that I don't love. But I WILL press on. I WILL like it. And I'm scrapping what I've done so far. Back to the ol' drawing board.)


  1. Those dresses are so adorable! And the flowers add just the perfect touch!

  2. Greens and Blues are my favorite. Love, Love, Love the dresses. I've got to see if I can't make some for my girls before summer is over.

  3. When I see the dresses side by side, the longer bodice seems to make the new dress seem more "big girl" and less "toddler". Maybe it's just me, but I was surprised how a little difference made such a change in the overall feel of it.
    60% poly seems like a lot, but cheap and no ironing would win me over too!

  4. Hi Larissa!!
    I absolutely LOVE the dress!!

    I've been fighting with a tiny dress for my baby these last days... I tried to change a pattern I made previously, but it's not working at all... I don't know how to fix it... argh! But I'm not planning on giving up.

    Big kisses from Brazil!

  5. I love the flowers! They would also be great accessories to pillows and such! :)

  6. About pinning to this fabric...the lady at Hobby Lobby gave me a good tip. She runs her pins through bees wax (like the quilters use) before pinning it. She got the idea from her mother, who used to run diaper pins through her hair to pick up a little oil before pinning. She said this makes all the difference when pinning fabric.

  7. I love the color combos. I think the browns leave it wide open for fall wear with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath.

  8. You will have to make one for yourself next! they are way cool dresses. Love the colour combinations

  9. Hey, everyone! Thanks a bunch for your very nice comments.

    Sarah, you are right, 1.5 inches made a big difference.

    Thalita, don't give up! everything you make is beautiful!

    Michelle, thanks for the wax tip! I'll try it.

  10. Both dresses look so so so pretty... I might try my hand at the flower and dress as my little girl has been asking for flowers.

  11. Hello from Malaysia!

    Just found your blog while looking for sewing inspirations...oh my...what a lovely dress! I'm amazed with the color combo, simple yet chic, you're amazing! so, so inspired right now :-)

  12. The dresses are great, Larissa. Beautiful colors. As for the fabric, you had me at "wrinkle-free". :)

    This was one of the first dresses(but another view) I ever sewed from a pattern. Pretty easy, but you're right, way too wide. Audrey can still wear this dress 2 1/2 years later!

  13. The dresses are so cute, Larissa!! Beautiful colors on the girls, too! I too envisioned a slew of hand made garments in the girls' closets. Guess I will post-pone those lovely items for fall and winter. :(

  14. I got to this post via One Red Robin and boy are your dresses gorgeous! I'm inspired to try making something similar for my girls (LOL at your Thing 1/Thing 2 names!)

  15. My friend put a cute knitted dress on her daughter for church the other day. I told her she looked adorable. And she looked up complaining... "But it doesn't twirl... :(" In her mind it might as well have been a brown paper bag. I immediately thought of your blog for these dresses-> such a brilliant mother and designer.;)


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