I'm being very dramatic, but this dress nearly drove me crazy. Matching the lines on gingham fabric could take a few posts, if I started!! seams kept puckering, tension was wrong, I seemed to be ripping every second seam. It just did not want to be sewn, though eventually I managed to produce this ...
To start at the beginning, my 8 year old niece wanted a yellow dress for her birthday present. I got strict instructions that it was to have puffy sleeves, be twirly and frilly. This involved combining elements of some Burda patterns and this Butterick pattern, or so I thought. The Butterick pattern was put aside once I saw this difference between it and the Burda bodice....
The picture shows the huge amount of ease included in the Butterick pattern (sizes 6-8 with 1.5cm seam allowance) compared to my traced Burda bodice on top(size 7&8 with no allowance)
My nieces measurements were much closer to the Burda sizing so I took the bodice from Burda 2/2011, the pleated skirt from Burda 2/2012, the sleeves from Burda 5/2010, drafted the back 'v-shape' and bias neckline and hem ruffles myself and this is what it started to look like ...
I really wasn't liking this dress while sewing, which is unusual for me because I love sewing dresses! It reminded me of a nightdress or a bad version of an 80's dress, like this one I Pinned, or this Little Vogue version...
The Saved by Ribbon bit?
At one stage I was going to put the dress away and start again with a different pattern and fabric, then I thought of ribbon. Initially I tried red gingham but it didn't help. However, this 'vintage red stitched' ribbon from janemeans.co.uk is pale yellow and red and matched perfectly. (It's not very clear in the pictures but this ribbon has stitching along the centre which reminds me of sashiko, that beautiful Japanese embroidery.) I considered sewing ribbon on the neckline ruffle and the sleeve cuffs also, but it would have been too much, so I sewed it to the waist and to the pockets. I love the difference the ribbon makes.
I didn't do a bad job matching the ribbon at the zipper - don't look too closely at the gingham though!
The whole dress is lined because the gingham was a light almost sheer fabric. This meant it was also necessary to line the sleeves to make them 'pouffy'
There is binding on both layers of hem ruffles to hide the raw edges.
The zipper is also bound so that the dress would be comfortable to wear. I meant to sew the zipper between the lining and gingham, but couldn't do this because I had already sewn the bodice and bodice lining together at the side seams ( the dress was sewn without any pattern instructions - which might account for a lot of my difficulties)
The dress will be much shorter on my niece as she is quite a few inches taller than my daughter. By time I was finished, I decided I almost liked it, but I have no plans at all to make another!
Edited: Linked to Justine's Sew&Tell at http://www.sewcountrychick.com
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