I’ve always found it hard buying dresses for my Little Miss; she’s a good height for her age but narrow/slender. If we buy the right length, invariably the bodice is too big with straps falling off her shoulders, necklines gaping, armholes bagging. Knowing we had a family gathering coming up in a couple of days, I decided to step up to the plate and start sewing for her!
I decided upon New Look 6205, having seen a gorgeous version of it made up by Thread Carefully. Minerva Crafts also showcased it as a Pattern of the Week recently highlighting some great fabric and notions. The pattern itself has a couple of sleeve variations and styling options. I love them all but decided to first go with View D, as the sleeve/straps really appealed to me; at last she’d have a dress where they wouldn’t be falling off her shoulders every two seconds! The pattern calls for only the bodice to be lined but I figure it would be simple enough to turn this into a full-on party frock by adding extra skirting layers and lining. My husband chose the fabric and I’m really glad he did; it’s a gorgeous poplin from Minerva Crafts (see here)
I cut a size 4 in terms of chest measurements/width and lengthened all the pieces to an age 6 based on her age/height. I made up a full muslin as I mainly wanted to check how the bodice lining went together. I’m glad I did as this had me befuddled for a wee while until the ol’ brain went ‘ping’ and I realised I was merely overthinking it. Basically, you pin and sew at the armhole ‘U’, with the already lined and attached straps sandwiched down inside between the two layers. You then turn the lining to the inside. But this still leaves the neckline with a raw edge which you then have to finish with bias binding. Which seems a bit odd. The instructions call for you to machine stitch the bias down on the inside. On the finalised version I decided to hand slip stitch it to the lining instead for a cleaner finish.
You then hem the skirt (I used my Clover Hot Hemmer for the first time and it was fab, I swear it’s the neatest hem I’ve sewn!) and then the skirt is attached to the bodice as normal. I overlocked the seam for a decent finish, however it would be cleaner to have had the bodice lining enclose this seam really. But again is this overthinking?! I swear ‘Sarah Smith, overthinking everything since the day she was born’ will be my epitaph.
The last thing to do then was a lapped zip. Another first for me having only recently conquered the invisible zip. I was literally dreading this bit as it was getting late in the evening and was worried I would mess up the whole project hours before we were due to pack and travel up country.
And then guess what. My sewing machine decided to throw a wobbly, chewing up fabric and nesting thread all over the place. I swore like a trooper. Which is putting it mildly. The husband popped his head around the door, saw me bent over the machine with a screwdriver in my hand and promptly turned on his heel and scarpered! Thankfully removing the throat plate and bobbin holder, cleaning and putting it back again, twice, replacing the needle and rethreading solved the problem. It was now ridiculously late; being 1 am.
I gritted my teeth and ploughed on. Thankfully I’d taken notes from a blog post tutorial by Lauren of Lladybird earlier in the day which is brilliant and meant that the lapped zipper was finished in no time. They’re incredibly easy to put in actually, if you too haven’t done one before, and I really like the finish.
It was now 2 am. I cleared away and went to bed getting up just 4 hrs later with just the hook and eye to hand stitch in, which I did in the car en route. With a banging headache.
💕💕 But I absolutely love 💕💕 the resultant dress, as does the Little Miss.💕💕
Until next time