Sooooo, today I would like to say a very Happy 2nd Birthday to my honorary niece, Princess Pippa of the Terror Isles. She is my friends' little girl, but naturally, to her I am Queen Auntie Holly Fabulous (and she can even say that - very impressive!).
So, as with all nieces, she needs something handmade for her birthday. Cue Butterick 3772 and some left over fabric from a dress I am in the middle of making.
I actually bought this pattern a while ago as Pippa is so tiny for her age, her parents, Mark and Katy, asked if I would sew up some clothes for her that actually fit and weren't babyish. Of course I agreed, but me and Katy have yet to find time to go fabric shoppping together, although we have both now decided that this soon won't be an issue thanks to Haberdasherholic.
Anyway, this pattern has six variations, but for my first foray into toddler clothing (my biological nieces are practically teenagers now, and were never particularly small to begin with), I went for the simplest.
Oh Em Gee! This was the quickest and easiest think I have ever sewn - I might even get the eldest niece to sew some of these as part of her sewing lessons. Including cutting the pattern (in my lunch break) from the pattern sheet to hand-stitching the hem (watching MotoGP qualifying), this took me a grand total of two and a half hours to finish! Actual time at the sewing machine was probably an hour. I could probably lop about 45 minutes off the overall time by machine finishing the hem, but something about this dress wanted me to hand-finish it.
Although Pippaotomous is small, I cut an age two. Mostly, because I think she is out of age one now and the pattern did not have an 18 month option (and I always panic that they are going to come up small too). I also didn't have her with me to measure, as I fear, like the other nieces, if she comes to my house she may try to move in. Also, she can grow into it and with some white tights and a long sleep t-shirt it will look OK in the colder months (I think anyway).
Anyway, not much to say - construction was easy. I even thought about pattern matching to some extent on this one. To my mind, the sodding stars are the wrong way round, which made it difficult to get a centre line, but I think I managed it so it doesn't look too horrendous - the other option had been to cut off grain, but I didn't want to do that.
I managed the tiny 1/4 inch seam fine, but think I would now like to invest in a 1/4 inch foot. I don't have an overlocker (yet!) so seams were finished with a zig zag stitch, but I hope it will be hardwearing enough.
Buttonholes were a breeze, even if I did use slightly bigger buttons, because I thought they looked good, and I had them in my stash, so it saved me a trip to the shops - not that that is a hardship at all, but we all know I wouldn't have just bought buttons!
|check out that hand-stitched hem!|
Anyway, I hope Pippapotomous (and Mark and Katy) like the dress. As I've said, I will be making more and I will be trying some of the variations, which include little flower patch pockets, ruffles, contrast trims and balloon applique (not something I have done since school!)
I will also hopefully get my big girls version of this dress finished this week and move onto some of my other planned projects. I could also do with writing my dissertation, but its just not happening. I've still got a month to go . . .
In the meantime . . .