Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blue Hyacinth

This is surely candy sewing. A couple of days ago Summerset spoke of the need to do some fun, simple sewing in between working on intense projects. I concur completely and that is exactly what my little Blue Hyacinth provided for me. I needed a shower gift for a baby that will inherit tons of newborn items and thought it would be nice to have something in a 6 month size which this is. My inspiration was the dress on the cover of Kari Mecca's book "Sewing with Whimsey."
I was unable to use her pattern, which is included in the book, because it was in larger size, but the inspiration was there. I used my go2 bodice from Simp 5279 (vintage) as the base. Triangular sections are cut from center shoulder to opposite side seam for the bodice and from the notch to the opposite side seam for the sleeves. These were self faced and the large ricrac inserted between. They were then placed on the white linen bodice and basted in place. The same was done with the sleeves being careful to have the overlaps mirrored. I followed Mecca's direction but if I do this again I will have the diagonals on the straight to prevent stretching, an issue here but overcome with steaming. I am not so sure I would have all those layers either. There was no bulk here as the fabrics were thin but on anything heavier this could be an issue.
I think these sleeves are darling and the triangular overlays really make them stand up and stay puffy. This whole dress has a precious retro look in my opinion and I am dying to make a little scalloped white linen bonnet to go with it and emphasize the retro look. Also contributing to the look is the hem length. Back in 1963, when this pattern was made, little girl's dresses were much shorter than today's traditional counterparts. And, I added 2 inches to the length!
The hyacinth fabric is 100% cotton and a Patty Reed design. Love her stuff! The white is a lightweight linen, not quite handkerchief. You can see I put some little purple iridescent beads on the cuffs and neckline. They are Mill Hill Petite beads. I figure even baby girls need some bling! Self made piping is added to the cuffs also.

I detest zippers in little girl's dresses. I mean really detest and that seems to be how the Big Four do most of their patterns. Because of my boundless enthusiasm on this project I didn't plan for the placket at the cutting stage but it worked out fine in the end. I extended the back overlap a half inch by just taking a 1/8 inch seam. For the underlap I added a one and a half inch extension to the lining and the bodice underlap. Took a quarter inch seam, and it was good to go. For the skirt I took a one inch seam ( all were serged) and it all fell into place nicely. No bottom of the placket unevenness here.
On this I used probably my favorite hem treatment, a tuck. The hem is folded up and machine stitched. The fabric is then folded so the raw edge is enclosed in the fold and the tuck is stitched. Its a real clean finish. These are often called growth tucks but I think those that sew them will probably sew more for the child before a hem needs to be let out!

I really felt like I was eating a box a chocolates while making this one and we all need some candy sewing now and then. Now I can get serious and back to the cashmere jacket. The facing fabric has been purchased. It is a relatively thin poly suiting whole color works great with the lining. There are so many shades of grey and many of them have a green tinge to them. I really had to look at the fabrics in different lights to pick out the right one. Using this facing fabric will eliminate bulk and make a nice facing for the bound buttonholes. Have you felt me procrastinating on those? I have no excuses now..Bunny


  1. I love that little retro dress! It smacks of you, Bunny. But your break is over--get back to that jacket!

  2. Oh, yes, a great big box of handmade chocolates! How divine! Yes, certainly a treat to make and look at.

  3. Such a cute little dress with all your special touches. I agree with Summerset, wonderful chocolates.

  4. That is just sooooooooo gorgeous! But I am afraid I did not follow how you did the hem.:((

  5. Vicki, I think you have inspired me to do a tute on the tucked hem. I will try to use some fabric and off color thread on samples to make it a little clearer. Thanks for the comment.

  6. So, so, so sweet, Bunny! Just adorable! I love the little details of the rick-rack and "bling"!

  7. Hello Bunny,
    Currently I am running a christening gown giveaway competition on my blog.I hope I am not emposing on you, but would you mind letting your readers know about it ? Dana

  8. What a darling wee dress! I love all the details with the ric-rac.

  9. Just beautiful, and all your details are so much fun to see. Thank you for posting so fully about them.


Engaging commentary:

Flower Power Denims!

The Age of Aquarius has dawned with this bit of clothing fun! I am not sure what to call it. Is it overalls, culottes, a jumper, a culot...