Based on the measurements on the pattern I decided to make the X-small for my 13-pound grandbaby for my first try. (I'm not going to show you photographs of that effort.) When cutting the dress I didn't realize there were two lengths. The pattern tissue didn't indicate cutting lines for two lengths, either. As I was stitching the pattern together I kept thinking that the skirt was going to be so short -- and it was. Very, very short. (I later realized that what I thought was a dress was actually a top.)
But it was the bodice that caused me greater disappointment. It was wide enough for a baby much heavier than 13 pounds. And the long sleeves that I cut were long and wide enough to add a casing for elastic.
In the end, I laid that dress aside and bought new fabric for a second try.
I made these changes on the second dress:
- I cut the skirt length as long as the longest pattern on the tissue. I ended up with a 1 3/4" hem. If she grows taller before she grows wider, I can lengthen the skirt. Or it will just get a little shorter on her.
- I fussed over the width of the sleeve and finally just cut it narrower from underarm to wrist. Much narrower. I angled the line from underarm to wrist ending 1 1/4" narrower at the wrist. The result was a sleeve that looks a little narrower than on the pattern but which allowed enough room for Olivia's cubby little arms.
These are the changes I'll make next time:
- I'll cut the neckline just a little lower in the front -- probably not even 1/4". She had room but her mom was afraid the dress would slip toward her back and choke her.
- I'll cut the sleeve narrow again (if I want long sleeves) but maybe not quite so narrow - maybe taking off 1" instead of 1 1/4".
- The lower edge of the sleeve was curved. I'll cut it straight across, keeping it at the longest point on the pattern, or possibly add a little length (maybe an inch).
- I will not sew set-in sleeves. The armscye on this dress is so tiny that after gathering and pinning, I was barely able to get it under the presser foot of my machine. Next time I will sew the shoulder seams on the bodice, gather the sleeve, then pin them together flat, and sew them flat. Then I'll stitch the underarm and sleeve seam all in one go. It will change the appearance a little but not enough to make it worth sewing the set-in sleeve.
- The other thing about this pattern is that the bodice is lined. Great for a winter dress but a little warm for a summer dress -- at least in our humid summer climate! That will take a little more effort to figure out the facings for the back opening....
Do you want to see the finished dress?
Are you like me? Do you pick apart your work to figure out how you can make it better the next time? I don't know if it's my introvertish ways, my perfectionistic tendencies, or my attempts at self-improvement....
By the way, Olivia loves "Center Light." I could barely get her attention off the fabrics long enough to snap a few photos.
I'm linking this post to Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation. Thanks, ladies!
I hope you're having a great time quilting or sewing or gardening or doing whatever you're doing these days.