Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sophie's Toile Easter Dress

Sophie will now be able to wear her Easter finery. This is "Pretty Poppet" from Australian Smocking & Embroidery #81 with a caveat. That pattern only goes up to size 3. I used the simple sleeveless bodice of McCalls 4357 to help draft this design up to a size 5. This is an OOP pattern with just a plain, simple bodice. I needed to turn the bodice into one with a yoke. The back needed major work as the pattern used a zipper for closure. Pretty Poppet had a scalloped, piped button closure. So it took some effort but I am really pleased with the results. DD told me she wants this to be a "short" dress and it will be worn with knee socks and Mary Janes, a la retro. I like that she is going for that look. Most heirloom patterns are near ankle length and at Sophie's age I think she will be darling with her knees showing.

Bullion roses are the Holy Grail of heirloom sewing. I have been on a steep uphill climb with my efforts. These are the first bullion roses of the many I have made that I am really happy with. I tried not wrapping my "petals" so close to the two center bullions, instead letting them splay out a bit more. Result - better roses.

I absolutely love the back of this dress, the sash keeper at CB, the piped pseudo sash, the scalloped, piped closure, the MOP buttons. I just love it. The sash keeper is a big loop at CB. The sashes are piped and just simply passed thru the loop, not at all fussy like a big honkin' bow. I will definitely do this treatment again.
You can see how the sash has a little pleat stitched down and it is then inserted into the side seam. Luv it.







Then there is the "growth tuck". Really, most sewists of this type of clothing don't need a growth tuck. They are already on to the next dress as their little princess gets taller. But they look good. The big advantage of growth tucks, in my opinion, is that they make a killer speedy hem. You just tuck the raw edge of the hem inside the tuck and stitch away. Hem done in minutes! I also like the way it makes the skirt stand away. This may look a little wonky in the photo, but trust me, it's perfectly straight and even.
This fabric is "Tulip Toile" from Waverly. I picked it up in clearance at Joanns. Hey, sometimes you just hit them right. It has a linen texture but is actually 100% cotton. I used FusiKnit in the bodice for interfacing the yoke as well as the backclosure. The piping was made with a poly cotton blend, not something I will do again. I threw away more piping than I installed. I have made tons of piping and rarely use a synthetic. This time I did because of color matching. It gave me more ripples than you can imagine so there was a lot of chucking.

This will go out in the mail Monday morning along with Jack's "Magic Treehouse" books for Easter. He loves reading those books and Grandma loves to encourage reading. Am I being sexist here? Pretty dresses for Sophie, books for Jack? Let their mother worry about it..................Bunny

24 comments:

  1. I love what you are doing with heirloom sewing. This dress, with it's smocking and beautiful embroidery ist not all "fru fru", and looks more grown-up than "little girlish".

    With all the heirloom you do, do you sew much heirloom for yourself, and if so--how do you encorporate the smocking, laces and embroidery into your clothes, and they still be wearable?

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  2. I love the sash and the sash keeper. I like big bows, but truly on this dress it would have been too much and would have distracted from the beautiful scalloped bodice. I also try not to ever use bought piping, but sometimes it works. Gorgeous dress!!!

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  3. WOW! Gorgeous dress, Bunny! Absolutely love the piping, I bought the maker and just need to find the right project. So sweet, your grandkids are the luckiest kids on earth!

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  4. The scallops in the back are precious, but I love those tiny roses. It's so beautiful and timeless. Her daughter will be able to wear it 25 years from now.

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  5. Sooooooo pretty, I love it. I loved the scalloped back too. And the smocking at the bottom almost looks like a waistband which gives it an older girl look as well. Love it.

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  6. This is simply stunning!!! I love it!

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  7. OMG, the dress is adorable in every way! Your craftsmanship is impressive! The piping, the smocking, the little roses, all put together creating perfection!

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  8. *Gasp*
    Just lovely. Front and back.

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  9. Love the scalloped back and the tailored tie. It is the perfect touch.
    Cissie

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  10. again, Bunny, another masterpiece!!! I love all your detail on this one. Classic elegance!!

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  11. Bunny .- a small dress and so full of beautiful things. I am sure has been a pleasure and a satisfaction for you. Beautiful, no doubt.

    Congratulations, Paco




    Bunny.- un vestido tan pequeño y tan lleno de cosas bellas. Estoy seguro de que ha sido un placer y una satisfacción para usted. Bonito, sin duda.

    Enhorabuena, Paco

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  12. Well I don't hink Jack would look so pretty in that dress...lol! So better give him the books. Sophie will however look lovely, as it is just gorgeous.

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  13. Just a note on the growth tucks. Admittedly, I am one of those "sewists" who is always off to the next project. But I do love the growth tucks -- for lots of reasons. Usually, if I have enough fabric, I do two of them. I like the interest they give at the bottom of the dress. I love the "instant hem". And they give an extra 2 inches of growing room -- which translates into another year. Every now and then, my girls have a dress that they just love and want to wear forever. The growth tuck helps. Of course, there is always the issue of that pesky line that shows sometimes. I can usually fix this. And now with another little DGD, I'll probably be putting the growth tucks back in some much loved dresses.

    Cissie

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  14. Absolutely beautiful! I love the scalloped closure at the back! And your smocking and bullions are perfect! Great job!

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  15. The back is perfect. Everything about this creation is wonderful. Your granddaughter will love it I'm sure. Hope we get to see model pictures. I love your work.

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  16. This dress is SO gorgeous and displays so much creativity! I really love the scallops and that the sash still serves it's purpose without the big bow (which I can never tie right). Bravo!

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  17. So beautiful!! You know what this would retail for at an exclusive children's boutique on Madison Ave, don't you? Mucho bucks!

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  18. Absolutey wonderful! I love the lining technique and have done something similar with past projects. Working in the flat is so much easier!

    Funny you mentioned Peggy Anne's. I pop in there once in a while. I haven't been there in a long time, though.

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  19. This is the most gorgeous little girl dress. The roses, the smocking, the piping... not just adorable, but also very chic, I think! I adore yellow toile; the children's bedroom has yellow toile curtains... I'd have to take them down and sew a dress, if it weren't for my inferior technique. Maybe I'll get back to it as a grandma!

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  20. Bunny - I just LOVE it - I knew it would look just perfect when completed! I sure hope you get pics of your grand-daughter in it and post them!

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  21. Truly an heirloom! Beautiful. I hope that it gets packed away in acid free tissue when your little princess outgrows it and gets passed on to the next generation. I am glad to hear your process on learning new techniques. It is certainly mine. Like you I love the process of sewing and adding wonderful sewing books to my library.
    Enjoy your Easter.

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  22. That dress is unbelievable! Your talent blows my mind! I don't have anything constructive to say really, I just popped by and had to say "WOW!" You're on my "must read" blog list now.

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