This one here to the left is a "Rapunzel", princess-y type dress that I thought would appeal to the oldest (almost 3), as she's into the girly princess stuff right now:)
I did some googling and stumbled across a fellow blogger that created a bunch of princess-style dresses for her nieces from this pattern, Simplicity 2377.
This little dress in the "Hello Kitty" print was for the other, she's about 2 1/2. She's fond of cats, so I thought this would be a nice print for her. I figured it was good to use a contrasting white & red polka dot fabric for the sleeves and bottom flounce, as it may have been "kitty overkill" using the red fabric for the whole dress;)
I can't take all the credit, I saw this kind of contrast on another peasant dress pattern. I think it's pretty sweet.
My review on PR here.
I have to mention that this was not only my first time sewing for children (with the exception of receiving blankets, but they don't really count) but my nieces also live over 5 hours away! I asked my SIL's for the girl's measurements and hoped for the best:)
Caper lying on the pattern tissue. It must be the crinkling sound that attracts the kitties!
I'm one of those people that never traces pattern pieces. I usually can't be bothered as I pretty much always just sew for myself after all;) This time however, I figured I'd trace the pieces so I could use the pattern as they get older. I used the smallest size and still had to fold out a little bit of tissue to make the bodice smaller on both dresses.
|Traced pattern pieces on the Hello Kitty fabric:)|
One thing I found helpful was pressing the hem allowance on the sleeves before sewing the side seams (thanks newmama on PR!)
|Side seam sewn and sleeve hem pinned up:)|
|Sleeves attached and neck casing pressed and pinned up:)|
here. I didn't want to leave twine in either of my niece's dresses:/
For Hello Kitty, I decided to line the skirt. I used only my sewing machine (no serger), so I wanted it to be a bit neater inside at the flounce.
I cut the same skirt pattern piece for the lining and basted it to the main skirt piece before gathering. Side seams inside, so they wouldn't be visible. I just used the same red thread, as nobody's going to notice anyway:)
To attach the lining hem to the dress, I just pressed up the hem allowance and stitched-in-the-ditch of the skirt and flounce seam, catching the skirt lining. I supposed slip-stitching would have been the "proper way" but I didn't have time, plus this way is a lot easier and faster!:)
This pattern didn't have a "flounce" view, but another pattern I had, did. I used the flounce piece from the other pattern and cut the skirt piece a bit shorter.
Here it is, again. I think it turned out pretty cute!:) My niece loved it! I was really surprised to be honest. When I was her age, I just wanted toys, I didn't have much interest in clothes.
I wrapped this dress up with a "Hello Kitty" plush toy. She showed way more interest in the dress, actually started to put it on over her clothes as soon as she opened it!:) What more of a reaction could I hope for? Plus it fits her great!
For the second dress, I won't go into much detail, since the construction was even simpler. I did sew on ribbon to look like the front of Rapunzel's dress.
I guessed where I thought the ribbon should be placed. I wish I would have started the ribbon lower so it wouldn't be in the neck seam, made it a bit more tricky when I inserted the elastic. I had to put safety pins on both ends of the elastic and make it so that there was no gathering where the ribbon was at the neck (did not look good!).
I sewed a line of stitching to secure the elastic where you see the blue chalk line.
Lastly, for this dress, I sewed a lace trim on the bottom, similar to Rapunzel's:) I wrapped up a little Disney Rapunzel doll to go with it. My niece really liked her dress. :) I'm so glad!
I have to say, I'm pleased with how these dresses turned out, and I'm even happier that my nieces liked them! Makes me want to sew for them again:)
Till next time, happy sewing!:)