Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Daisy's Ruffle Dress

This past Saturday, on Daisy's birthday, we had a small birthday party for her, and invited the few guests to wear costumes if they should so choose.  The day before, I completed a "Princess/Little House On The Prarie" outfit for her.  She was excited about all of the ruffles, but sadly the bonnet didn't stay on too long:


I cannot get over how precious she looks in the bonnet though -- I want to make one to match every dress!  I used this tutorial at Given Moments, and it was so simple -- I upsized it to make myself one too, although I don't have a picture of myself in it (maybe tomorrow).


I edged the hem of the dress with tons of ruffles, as well as the tops of the little pockets, and added diagonal ribbon accents to match the ribbon straps on the dress and bonnet.


The bodice of the dress is faux-shirred -- I tried following several tutorials on shirring with the sewing machine and elastic thread (simply loading the bobbin with elastic and sewing as usual), but that didn't work for me.  It wouldn't gather in, no matter how many rows I did.  Finally I just did a relaxed, wide zig-zag stitch over a strand of the elastic thread and gathered it in from the sides by pulling on the elastic afterwards.  It worked, but not as neatly as I'd hoped.

I experimented for a while on a swatch last night, and no matter what stitch length, tension, number of rows, or stretching the elastic as it loaded on the bobbin, I couldn't get it to work.  I've got a semi-basic Singer sewing machine with a drop-in bobbin -- I wonder if anyone else has had success with this machine or if there's just something I'm not thinking of? 

I'd really like to use the shirring technique in the future, because I like the effect a lot, and would like to implement it on my wardrobe too, but I need to get it to work properly first!  Maybe I just need to play around with it more...not sure what else I can try though.

The other parts of her birthday gift was a set of sewing/lacing cards that I made for her so that she can feel included when I work in my studio:



And a Two Kates bag (tutorial on Needled) to carry them around in:



Yes, I realize the inside probably shouldn't be white, but I couldn't find anything else in the fabric stash that coordinated with the purple (a linen/cotton blend left over from my favorite and oft used sling).

So far, she hasn't shown a whole lot of interest in the cards, but Sparky and Max love them!



I've been working on some home decor around here as well -- more in a future post!  Also, for Daisy's next (non-shirred) pillowcase dress, I'm going to take a photographic step-by-step tutorial to show exactly how I'm doing it for those of you who are a little bit sewing-machine-shy.  :)  Look for it sometime in the next few days.

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