Saturday, November 30, 2013

handmade holidays: merry and bright

I've had a remnant of Ralph Lauren red plaid kicking around in my fabric stash for years. I bought it to make a shirt for myself, but I felt the plaid was a little too small scale (though I still have enough leftover to make a sleeveless oxford, so I may do it after all!) for an adult's garment. So I made this little 2T dress for a friend's daughter (pattern is Butterick's B-4054). The only change I made to the pattern was in the sleeves: I made a separate casing, rather than turning up the sleeve's hem to make a casing for the elastic, as I knew I wanted to trim the sleeves with bias tape (in a contrasting white/blue/green/red plaid) that I'd fallen in love with at my local fabric store. I used it to trim the skirt, neckline, sleeves, and to bind the seam where the skirt meets the bodice. This dress is full of careful details: most of the seams are French seams, the skirt seam is tacked down, invisibly, by hand, and the invisible zipper is the best one I've ever done. Children's clothes are so small that I always feel like I have time to indulge in the special finishes.

After sewing the dress, I embroidered a little laurel garland to the chest in ivory cotton sashiko thread, using a chain stitch for the stems and herringbone stitch for the leaves.

Here's another picture: it's a bit less romantic with the light filtering in through the window, but it'll give you a better idea of the dress. I can't wait to wrap this little cutie up and pop it in the mail for a special little girl's Christmas!

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