So I know that in my previous post, I said I would work on my dress for my niece Princess S over the weekend and hopefully get it all done, but as usual, I let myself get distracted by all sorts of non-sewing activities. Always fun, but not so constructive.
Still, I had to get it complete before this weekend as I was due to visit Princess S and her parents - and visiting them means hopping on a plane so it's not quite as easy to justify putting the project off until the next visit - especially since little ones grow so quickly!
As you can see, it has a gathered skirt section, 2 ties to tie into a bow at the back, and a zip. The top section has been lined.
I found the following when making this up:
The embroidered cotton I had selected was beautiful to touch - lovely and soft - but also very thin, which means that I had to be extra careful. Any mistakes I might make could weaken the surrounding material and I didn't want to chance that since I had only enough to just cut out the pieces for the dress. It is gorgeous fabric though - I'd definitely work with it again but next time ensure that I have lots of extra on hand.
I used some thin soft white cotton for the lining and basic black thread and a black zip to complement the embroidery.
Pattern (Butterick B4701 : View B)
I liked that the dress was quite simple and that the instructions were easy to follow. My main issues with this dress was the fact that it required hand-stitching in a couple of areas - under the shoulder seams to tuck away the unfinished ends into the lining, around the zip to secure the lining to the dress and hide the zip, and another couple of spots to secure the lining to the inside of the dress. My hand-stitching skills are shoddy at best, and doing this took me almost as much time as it took to sew up the entire dress. Luckily, since the stitches are supposed to be hidden (more complexity!) you can't see how ugly they are.
I also managed to mess up the zip a little - when I basted the zip it, everything looked great, but once I secured the zip in with proper stitching there was some pulling at the base, and also the top parts of the dress don't match exactly. Frustrating, but I didn't want to undo it all for fear of weakening the material too much. I hope it's not too noticable but it is very difficult to be objective about something you just made.
Would I do it again?
Yes, definitely. In fact, I did! I tried making the dress in View A, with an floral peach cotton fabric. The difference between the 2 views is that this dress has a fuller skirt, whereas the skirt in View B is gathered. I thought the result was great - and lining the inside with the same material meant that it was less obvious if there were any issues with the zip alignment or under-stitching. I also tried my hand at adding some white piping (more hand-stitching!) to hide the waistband at the front.
Overall, very happy that both dresses turned out well - I think once Princess S has them on, any issues I have won't be noticable at all. The next time I make this dress up, I might just line the whole thing so I avoid the whole hand-stitching issue!