Despite the plethora of dresses already hanging in her wardrobe, when Stella asks me to make her something I find it really difficult to say no. She especially wanted a new dress that could have a sparkly transfer ironed on to it. Of course she did!
Stella is quite definite about her likes and dislikes, and chose the fabrics and how to combine them herself. First of all we looked at some of the dresses already in her wardrobe and identified some favourites, and what it is that makes them preferred over other garments. Stella definitely prefers knits, with full or swingy skirts, that are easy for her to get on and off. So, that’s basically a t-shirt dress, albeit with volume in the skirt. We then spent time going through the pattern box to decide on what she thought would be suitable.
This one came in the girls Pattern Parcel that I bought a couple of months back. It is the Fishsticks Designs Playhouse dress. From the website: The Playhouse Dress is the perfect dress for playtime or dress-up time! In sizes 12 months to 12, this dress can be sewn with all knits or with a combination of knits and woven quilting fabrics. The Playhouse Dress features a knit bodice, a circle skirt and puff sleeves which can be sewn short or long. As you can see, we chose the short sleeved version, and printed and cut out the size 6 for Stella. The pdf allows you to just print one size rather than multi-sized if you prefer, which is quite handy. And the skirt is very flared, but I’m not sure that i would describe it as a circle skirt – it’s definitely at least a half-circle though, so is certainly swishy.
I applied the neckband using the handy tip on Gillian’s blog that helps to estimate how long to make it. I discovered this recently and it’s definitely helped my hit rate for applying knit neckbands in the round (often I do them before sewing closed the second shoulder, and I’m pretty familiar with just how much to stretch to get it right when applying them that way). I like the way that it accommodates the more extreme curve that is found in the front of the neckband, that simple quartering never seems to allow for.
Otherwise there’s not a great deal to say about this make. I used the overlocker throughout, with twin needle stitching on the yoke to secure the neckband and the curved empire seam. I also twin needled the hemline after securing it with a non-Vliesofix tape that is such a thick layer of glue that I can’t wait to use it all up. It took quite a bit of stretching of the sleeve bands to get them to fit, but the pattern was designed that way so that it gathers at the bottom, and the instructions do let you know that will be the case. It all worked out fine. And the final touch, which was the most important part of the whole design as far as Stella was concerned? Yes, it’s that sparkly iron-on transfer, picked up from Clear It a little while ago! She is very pleased.
Both fabrics were in stash, and are cotton/spandex blends. I have to admit that I didn’t like them together all that much when Stella first chose them, but now that the dress is made I think that the final proportions of each colour – and the fine white stripe in the blue knit – work very well! She’s chosen a colour combination that isn’t too cliched.