Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Remnant Project #1

So after failing to complete a project during Kids Clothes Week and picking up some very inexpensive remnants, I thought yesterday would be a good time to experiment sewing something for G without a pattern.  I was originally inspired by the pillow case dress tutorial on Freshly Picked, but wanted to tweak a few things and use only what I had on hand (namely by doing self ties rather than elastic at the neckline).  In full disclosure the tutorial looks really excellent, and any difficulties I outline below are due to my own experimentation-during-sleep-deprivation process.
After measuring G's chest and length, I cut two appropriately-sized rectangles, then a J-shape for the armholes.
I also made my own binding and self-ties.  It was my first time doing this and I was pretty proud of it!

After finishing the first version of the dress, though, I realized that I had made a pretty dumb mistake.  I had cut the body to the size of G's chest, but did not add any flare to the skirt, so I couldn't get it over her ginormous baby head (I can say this.  I have the C-section scar to prove it.).  Plus, even if I could have gotten it on, the dress was so narrow (and G so increasingly mobile) that she would have been very, very uncomfortable in it.  But I was really proud of the binding work around the arms and the casing I had made for the self-ties.  Plus, since I was working with a limited amount of fabric to begin with, my options were pretty limited.  And finally, as you should know by now, I am a very lazy seamstress.

So, I cut the dress about an inch and a half below the armpit, leaving just a little bodice.  Then I trimmed the rest and sewed it together to fashion a wider, fuller skirt.
Finally, this is what I came up with.  I am still debating adding rickrack to the bottom of the skirt, but I can't decide between the yellow or the navy blue in my stash.
Below is a detail of the binding around the armholes.  The self-ties go through a casing across the neckline and tie at each shoulder.
And here is the fuller, gathered skirt so I can actually get it over her head:
G is growing so rapidly that it won't fit her for very long, but I feel like experimenting without a set pattern helped me learn a lot about construction and fit (albeit through my mistakes).  Plus, the total cost of this dress was around $2.50 and some stolen time during naps.
So voila!  A relatively quick and easy summer dress for baby and a learning process for mama. 

(I also feel like I should add a disclaimer at the end of this piece.  A couple new moms have asked me how on earth I find the time to sew with a baby.  Let me just stress that blogs, including this one, are incredibly selective.  I might be showing off a project I pieced together during a few of her naps, but I'm certainly not showing off the dirty dishes in the sink, the piles of dog hair hiding under the couch, or the stack of unopened mail I still need to sort.  Some days I make choices to put those other things aside so I can enjoy a bit of creative alone time--- please don't think I have it all together, because I definitely do not!) 


  1. What a cute little dress! I love it.

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like! It is called Make It Wear It and I host it at

  2. angela!! hello!! you won brooke's giveaway! her email is on my blog for you to contact her.

    ps. your blog is so cute--you are SO talented!!


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