Pattern challenges and success!


Got the size four nearly finished.  I don’t do a lot of garment sewing, but I have done enough experience to realize that this particular pattern (referenced in a previous blog  – )lacked some specific instructions.  My limited experience tells me to baste those straps and baste the bodice before the final stitching.  The direction just had you putting pins everywhere.  Even with the basting I had a hundred pins in that little garment, to keep the curves proper.    The pattern also really needed more “marks” to hit for setting the gathered skirt to the bodice.  Figured I gathered 80″ and if the marks had been there, I could have basted the gathering, and then pinned for the finish stitching.

I did figure out my new Janome has a wonderful overcast stitch, so no serger needed, and boy it gave a nice finish to the side seams and the join of the trim at the bottom of the skirt.

Overall, I would rate the pattern as an “intermediate” skill pattern.  If there had been “clearer” directions, I would say a beginner could tackle this dress.  I have a size 2 of the same pattern cut out and ready to stitch.   Pattern goes up to size 12 or 14, so I imagine I will get my “moneys” worth out of the price I paid.

Time to pick out some buttons for the back ….must remember FLAT buttons for little girls who get buckled into car seats! (Rounded or shank style buttons are a big NO-NO)  Need to do a little handstitching around the facing of the skirt opening, and then I will be finished and ready to start “size 2”.  Since the granddaughters live in Africa, I think this will make a fun new dress for Christmas! Bright and cheery and light weight!

Sorry for the poor pix quality; had to snap it and pack the dress into my sewing tote for todays Quilt Bee…where I will work on those buttons.  When I finish the size 2, I will take a better shot!  You can’t see in this photo; but I had a little fun with the fun stitches on the Janome, and put some cute little flowers in contrasting lime green thread between the bodice and the skirt and along the pocket top.

Fun stitching !!!




6 thoughts on “Pattern challenges and success!

    • I just loved the sparkles on the fabric, but worried they might seem a bit scratchy, so I used muslin on the inside of the bodice front. I keep collecting the “tutti-frutti” fabric when it is on sale, it makes up into such cute dresses. I picked up some more today at Hancock Fabrics using my “senior citizen 20% off” discount! I love their “spot the dot” sales…and I was able to get more at $3.99 per yard instead of $10.99. Considering the size of these girls, I only need a bit over a yard to get a dress! So, only a labor of love, and hardly any labor at all with the new machine. Got a Janome 8900 last month and it is AWESOME.


    • I say intermediate just because the directions are not explicit. There is an assumption that you have basic sewing / garment skills with this pattern. Lot of the big name (Butterick/Simplicity etc) give good directions. I enjoyed sewing for my daughters when they were little with nothing more than 7th grade Home Ec as a background. Simple sundresses are a great starting point. I liked that I could use the quilting tools (Rotary cutter and ruler) for the skirts. The beauty of making things for a toddler, is they LOVE anything. And, it can always go in the “dress up for play” bin. Athena will approach that “dress up and pretend” stage by 2 – 2 1/2!


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