Before all the pics of the recent dresses I made, I want to show a picture from a website I came across recently. This company is selling beautiful dresses, but on a second look, it's a Feliz! sewing pattern made up. Can you imagine having the cheek to use that and market it in such a large scale. Not only that, but the Laguna skirt from Studio Tantrum and Patty Youngs Kyoko and Sydney are also on the site, the latter two are even made up in Patty Young fabric! Oh, and to even top that, they call their Feliz 'Patty'. All these patterns are copyrighted, most of them I have, so seeing a company being this blatant is unpleasant and must be so upsetting for the designers.
Back to my own sewing ..........
I'm almost finished the Lonsdale Dress by Sewaholic. I was going to shorten it quite a bit but after seeing the pictures, I think I'll just sew a narrow hem.
The two dresses below are for my nieces 7th birthday. I wanted some pictures of them, so my daughter had some fun trying them on, odd socks and all!
The orange dress (my niece specifically wanted an orange dress - this is the girl who wanted the green dress at Christmas) is made from a sewing magazine Sue & Blu #3080, 2006 with Anna Maria Horner 'Innocent Crush' fabric. I sized up the dress to size 8 to make sure it would be long enough. This was the second of the 2 birthday dresses I made and I wanted something easy to sew where I wouldn't be forever finishing seams. So it's a bubble dress.
Very straightforward to sew, all seams hidden and no zip, just 2 buttonholes, with lovely patterned shell buttons from my stash.
I even made belt loops, which are a bit twisted, but much improved on my first effort. There is no belt in the pattern, but the dress looked too wide for my niece, so I added it a simple ribbon belt which worked perfectly.
I lined it in white rather than any other colour because it seemed to brighten the orange on the outside.
Another action shot!
The second dress (which I sewed first) is a combination of 2 patterns, the Analise from Portabellopixie for the bodice and Studio Tantrum/Farbenmix Redondo for the skirt. I had decided for quite a while that the skirt would be the Redondo, but it took me ages to settle on a bodice pattern. I make these dresses without my niece's measurements, so I'm always trying to make sure they're adjustable in some way. The elastic and shoulder straps of the Analise were ideal.
The Analise is easy to sew. I made 2 changes to the pattern - adding 4 more rows of elastic to the back, which means the back of the dress lies flat even with the straps tied which is not the case in the pattern pictures. The other change was to cut the underarms higher because these seemed to be too low, also in the pattern pictures.
My fanatical seam finishing continues ..... I sewed flat-felled seams on every curved seam to neaten the inside, hence, my choice of an easy bubble dress after.
The flowery fabric is Heather Bailey and the purple is Kafe Fassett, and I bought all these from Quilt home.
Finally, the Redondo part of the dress. What a fun pattern! I added an extra panel so I could have an even mix of colours, this meant I had to do some calculations on the pattern pieces to make sure they would fit to the bodice.
The pattern pieces are like a puzzle, and when I had the fabric cut out, I had no idea how I would make the curved seams fit together, really NO idea, even after reading the translation of the pattern instructions.
Once I realised that the inner circle of one piece was only sewn halfway down the outer circle of another piece, it started to come together. Two other tricks helped: sewing the curved seams with the fabric to the right (rather than the usual left) of the sewing machine needle and foot made these curved seams dramatically easier to sew; and tapering to zero seam allowance at the hem made hemming the skirt much easier.
On the day of my niece's 7th birthday, she opened the bag with the dresses, pulled out the orange one and put it on - a happy Birthday girl! and a happy sewist!!!
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