Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Comfy Christmas Dress, Simplicity 2377

I think I accomplished my goal here, a comfy, soft feeling dress that says "Christmas" for my little clothing fuss budget, Carly. Here is the low down:


Pattern:  It is Simplicity 2377, a classic little look, what my grandmother used to call a "gypsy dress". There is no zip, buttons, or placket. The neckline opening stretches quite large and it will fit over her head with no little aggravations to her skin. The pattern comes with a tiered or plain skirt. I found the skirt pieces just not full enough but was also constrained by the amount of fabric I had as well as Miss Carly. I knew if I used all the fabric I usually do in an heirloom dress she would find it too heavy and not wear it. Been there, done that, saw the dress on the floor.

Fabric:  I took Carly with me to the big Joanns in Middleton, Mass, not far from her home. "We" decided, with great discussion, to use a cream stretch velvet for the bodice, an embossed stretch velvet for the overskirt, and a poly tafffeta  for the underskirt. My last post showed how I texturized the poly tafffeta to mimic the original texture off the knockoff. I like it better than the knockoff.

The dress is fully lined using "Posh" from Joanns, something you would never want to line a summer garment with. But, here I knew she would be wearing this in winter and probably coming and going in the cold weather. She also liked the way it felt compared to the other linings we put on our cheeks.



Construction: I basically constructed two dresses. One was of the posh lining fabric, full length. The poly taff underskirt was gathered and triple zigzagged to the lining skirt. It sits between the lining and the public dress. From the inside you can't feel  or see the taffeta, only the "posh" lining. All seams except gathering were French seams on the lining.

Then I constructed the public dress. This consisted of the cream bodice and just the overlay. To get the proper size of the overlay I just sort of measured what I thought was right and cut. I didn't want a "ridgey" hem on the embossed velvet. I did various samples and found the best looking and very solid technique was simply applying Steam A Seam Lite and folding up and pressing  over a terry towel, just on the 1/4 inch hem area. I really like how that came out and am glad I tried it. The taffeta skirt has a traditional hand worked hem.



I differed from the original inspiration also with the sash. I felt the white bodice was not balanced with the rest of the dress. You can see the inspiration dress here. I liked how the red velvet sash added length to the overlay skirt when just simply tied in the back. I decided not to put any embellishment on the sash, as in the original, and just move my embellishment up to the neckline which I think balances the design much better. I made a flower and leaves out of scraps, attached it to a covered piece of peltex, and put a brooch pin on the back. If she doesn't like the way it feels we can just take it off and maybe move it somewhere else but I really like it at the neckline.

Oddly enough, Miss Carly loves to wear hats and will often put one on and still have it on at the end of the day. So I made her a headband to wear with her dress. This I know she will love. Can't wait to see my little platinum blonde in these colors. One more in the holiday queue done, yippee!

My next post will show a tute on how I made the sash keepers for this dress. Stay tuned.....Bunny


********************************************************************************

While at DD#1" home over the hodiday, Sophie and I did a lot of beading. Because of aging eyes as well as tiny hands of hers, we weren't using beading needles. I forget what I used but they worked fine other than maybe 20% of the beads wouldn't let the needle go through. I complained to my daughter about how I needed to buy a bead reamer, what it was, and that a decent one was stupidly expensive, at least IMO.
The next day she came home from work and handed me the above and said, "Mom, I think you can use these for a bead reamer". Well, I certainly can! Ever have a root canal done and the roots get filed by progressively larger teeny files by the dentist? Tah-Dah! I now have root canal files to use a bead reamers on those tiny delica beads. Thanks, darlin'.....

I want to send a big Thank You shout out to Rett of The Gazebo House who kindly walked me through screen shots and how to deal with the  zooming right click on the Simplicity and Macy's sites. Thanks so much, Rett. Please check out her gorgeous blog. She is a Tablscaping Diva who hoards dishes like I do fabric....Bunny

23 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous and comfy too! What a great combo for a children's holiday outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorgeous, cozy, elegant... You really did it this time! Carly is such a lucky girl!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are a fantastic grandma! How special Carly must have felt going to JoAnne's with and making all those choices. The dress is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Perfect! I had one of those "delicate" young ones, too (didn't like buttons, zippers, lace around the neck...or anything else, for that matter.) I finally made her a dress that had none of those things and she hated it. I had made her younger sister and myself different designs out of the same fabric, so she wore it a few times. I'm glad it was only $1/yard fabric (circa 1983).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful. What fun to decide together with your granddaughter on fabrics. It's so special.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another beautiful creation! Curious question though.. wondering what the trick is to tying a nice sash bow in velvet. Do you have a certain way of doing this?

    ReplyDelete
  7. OMG..this is such a beautiful dress. I know she will love it. You have such a knack of making beautiful items.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I thought I recognized those little tools...I believe I will be close up to them soon :-(

    The dress is fantastic! She will be a holiday princess.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bunny that dress is just beautiful - I am sure she will treasure it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful holiday dress! I love everything about it, including the flower at the waist. You outdid yourself, once again!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Carly will be thrilled. I like your flower better than the embellishment on the original!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beautiful, Bunny! She is going to be a vision!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just went back and re-examined the inspiration dress. Wow, yours is so much more fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  14. The dress is gorgeous! You took inspiration, but did so much better!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous dress and love the overlay of embossed velvet.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful dress Bunny! I love it. I was totally stunned when I got to the bottom. I asked myself "What in the world is Bunny doing with endo files?" I guess I should have known you would have some great new trick! Glad to know your trying to do root canals!
    Leslie

    ReplyDelete
  17. The dress is gorgeous! And I know Carly will be too, when she wears it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This turned out FABULOUS, Bunny! SEW CUTE! I'm pinning it, for sure.

    The hemming technique was interesting to me. I recently saw someone on Nancy Z's show use the 1/4" double sided tape to anchor a tiny hem in place prior to stitching. Thought that was a good way to get an exact 1/4", too.

    I'm glad I could help you with getting rid of Bloggers Lightbox & other stuff & I thank you for your kind comments about my blog. I hoard the fabrics just as much as the dishes, I'm afraid. I'm one dead husband away from being on that TV program...he is the only thing that stops me from buying more. LOL

    Hugs,
    Rett

    p.s. YUCK on seeing those endo tools ~~shudder~~but I like the idea of using them on beads. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  19. the dress turned out beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is sooooo beautiful! As I said before, I'm really keeping an eye out for your projects now since little girls have re-entered my life. You know sitting at the feet of the master and begging a few crumbs of knowledge to apply to my own sewing! *smile*

    ReplyDelete
  21. As a dental hygienist, I first wondered about the endo files in that photo... then I read what you'd posted.

    I've done very little beading but needed something like this. I didn't realize there was a bead reamer... I just looked for a skinnier needle! I'll get some of these files from work and have them for when I need them!

    ReplyDelete

Engaging commentary: