Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Reading Dress: Pockets, Buttons, Lace, Zippers, and Apples

It seems like every time I turn around my little sister has outgrown a dress, again. On one hand this is frustrating, I want the clothes I make her to get lots of wear. On the other hand, it's fun, this gives me an excuse to sew her more dresses, which I really enjoy doing. So, I guess it's a draw. Old favorites have to be retired, but at least I get to make more!
Now the really frustrating thing is that  most kids patterns only go up to size 8. After that there is a very limited, boring selection. So I'm always on the look out for cute dress ideas that I can make with the very basic patterns available in my sister's size. A few weeks ago, while browsing sewing blogs I happened across this dress on So Zo, What Do You Know, and instantly fell in love.

I had to recreate it! Luckily I had the perfect pattern to start from.

McCall's 2074 had the right silhouette, I just had to add the fun details, specifically the pockets. So I traced the dress front on to white paper.

Then I drew the pockets on to the traced pattern, and made 3 different pattern pieces. The top, the skirt/pocket piece, and the pocket lining. I cut the dress out of some salmon colored, apple print, cotton that my grandma gave me a while back. Then I got to sewing and adding other fun details.

I found this piece of vintage lace in my stash. It was about 9 inches long and I thought it was perfect for this dress. I considered putting it at the neckline, as a collar, but that didn't look quite right.

 So, it went across the front of the pockets instead, along with some white piping I found in my stash. I also added some pretty pink and white buttons that I found at Hobby Lobby.

While cute, the dress was pretty shapeless once sewn together, so I added some tucks at the waist to give it a bit more shape. I covered the tucks with some flat eyelet to help visually define the waist.

Finally, I put the zipper in, while not a cute detail, it is a necessary one, and I'm rather proud of this zipper. It's an invisible zipper that is actually nearly invisible! This is the first time I've achieved putting in a zipper invisibly. It's not perfect, but now that I've done this well I anticipate the next zipper I put in turning out even better!

Once the zipper was in I gave the dress to my sister and discovered what a success it was. Pretty and comfortable, perfect for playing in and curling up on the couch with a book. The challenge for me was getting her away from the book and outside for some pictures.

Well, I got her outside, along with the book. (She is quite a bookworm, which is a good thing, except when she's supposed to be doing something else.)

Good thing this dress has a big front pocket where she can keep that book! (and side pockets for anything else she might need)

Yep, I would definitely categorize this dress as a success. She likes it, and it fits her well now, but still has room to grow as well. This way it should last her till spring!

In fact, this dress turned out so well I'm considering making a second one, with it's own unique details. After all, I spent the time making this pattern, making another dress or two from it will definitely make that time well spent!


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