Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Liberty dresses

As my daughter and nieces get older, I have less opportunity to sew dresses in smaller sizes. And it's my favourite kind of sewing.

The birth of a friend's second daughter gave me a perfect reason to sew a small dress and as it was close to the older girl's birthday, I made a second!

I picked some Liberty cotton corduroy (from Shaukat, I think), combined with Liberty cotton poplin (from Sewbox) which should suit the girls colouring. The pattern I picked for the smaller dress is the Tea Party sundress from Oliver+S, which I have made lots of times, including doll sizes!


(the colour here is a bit washed out, but it's the only picture I have of the back of the dress and bloomers)

The pattern suggests using piping on the seams, and provides really clear directions for this. However, I wanted to use ribbon instead, so I changed how I sewed the seams of the skirt part. These were sewn with wrong sides of fabric together, trimmed and pressed open, then I sewed the ribbon on top.

This finishes the insides very neatly. I used a different finish on the centre front seam of the bloomers, but still added ribbon on the outside. This seam is curved, so was a little more difficult to sew. The dress hem and leg openings are sewn with bias binding, which I could have taken more care to match!

The second dress is a Burda pattern from 11/2008, and it's even longer since I sewed with this pattern. I made a couple of versions back in 2008, and another in 2010. The skirt of this dress is pleated, and the pleats are topstiched. I always omit the zip when making this, as it fits easily without it.
For a clean finish, I brought all the threads from the pleats to the inside, and knotted each one.

The bodices of both dresses are lined with a cotton voile, and the method for sewing the bodice is similar for each. After reading the list of sewing skills that Beth covered with Karen, I took much more care in trimming the seam allowances at the neckline and armholes, and the lack of bulk in the seams made for a very neat seam line on the outside.

What I forgot? Pockets!! Especially in the bigger dress, my daughter loved them at that age.

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  1. These dresses are gorgeous. I love that Oliver+S pattern. I used to sew it a lot for my girls.

    1. Thanks Karin, I agree with you about the pattern. It's probably the one I've used most often too.

  2. Both dresses are gorgeous! I love the ribbon really highlights the charm of the Tea Party dress.:)

    1. Thanks Cindy. I love the seam lines of the dress and the ribbon was quicker to sew than the piping.