Sunday, 27 May 2012

Abbey Baby Dress

Bunny modeling my finished dress

I found this really cute dress tutorial on and I just had to have a go at making it. One of my friends has just announced that she is pregnant and that she is going to have a little girl. What more of an excuse do I need?

I used the tutorial on the website to draw out the pattern and sew it together. However, in places I got a bit confused by the tutorial (most probably simply down to my inexperience) and so I just made it up in places. At other points I decided to do something slightly different simply to 'make the dress my own' so to speak.

I have attempted to write out the tutorial of the changes I have made to the method and show how my way differed. Apologies for the orange colour of the pictures that were taken in the evenings - I will edit them to make them look better.

Here are the photographs showing how I made the dress:

First, draw out the pattern on paper. I followed the instructions on the Shwin&Shwin website and found that I had to draw out the bodice template again as the written instructions contradict the picture of the pattern pieces.

Follow the measurements from the written instructions:

For the bodice. I make a rectangle that is 3.5 X 4.5 inches. Then marking in 1.5 inches from the top and 1 inch up from the bottom I cut in a curve for the neckline. All of these measurements can be adjusted for any size you are making.
For the Skirt. I make a rectangle that is 8.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Then I angle one edge slightly and on the other side I cut a small curve for the arm opening so I measure one inch over and one inch down and curve between them.

So the bodice template length is 4.5 inches rather than just 4 inches.

Cut out the fabric pieces as shown in the above photograph.

Next, stitch the bodice pieces together at the shoulder seams. Do this for both bodice pieces (so you have two separate bodice shapes).

Place the two bodice pieces right sides together and stitch the neckline and the back opening seams. When turned right side out it should look like the above picture (less yellow though - sorry about the pictures - I will sort them out).

Now topstitich around the neckline - it holds it in place and adds a little detail. I was actually quite pleased that my stitch line was relatively straight... well curved - what I mean is that it was not wonky.

Now sew the two skirt pieces together at the side seams. At the centre of the top of the skirt back piece cut down two inches to make a slit. This will match up with the split in the back of the bodice. I almost ruined the dress cutting into both pieces - perhaps I shouldn't have the tv on in the background...

I then used a rectangle of fabric to make the underarm piece - see Shwin&Shewin

The above picture shows the outside of the underarm and side of the dress.

For the back slit in the dress I decided to use the same method as the bottom of the arm holes on the skirt piece - using another rectangle of fabric.

At this part of the tutorial I got rather confused as to the order and how things were done. As such I made up my own thing which I think works.

  • First, take the bodice - fold and press all the edges in on themselves to make neat edges. Do this at the shoulders, along the front and back of both the inside and outside pieces.
  • Pin them in place and the shoulder seams together.
  • Place the bodice face down with the inside up.
  • Fold back the inside piece.
  • Insert the front piece of the skirt.
  • Pin it at the two edges and at the centre.
  • Make eight pleats in the fabric working from the centre out to the sides - four each side of the centre pin. 
Back/Inside of dress (so far)
Front of dress (so far)

  • Now pin the inside of the bodice in place over the pleated fabric of the skirt piece so that it is sandwiched inside.
  • Stitch two lines over the join. This secures the sandwich of pleated fabric
  • Use the same method to attach the back of the dress to the bodice - inserting the top of the skirt between the two bodice layers. The pleating and pinning it into place - securing with two lines of stitching

  • Now, having already folded and pressed the edges of the arm holes; stitch around the arm holes on the bodice to secure the two layer together.

Back of Dress

Front of Dress

Now I just need to hem the dress:

Add a bow to the back using THIS technique.

 I also need to add the buttons at the back and make loops to secure them.

For the loops I found some really good instructions on Ysolda original patterns. Check it out by clicking on the link.

Finally, Bunny was chosen to model the dress as the intended recipient has yet to be born - I will have to wait a few more months to see how it looks!

1 comment:

  1. Very cute interpretation of the dress! I like how you put the gathering towards the middle.


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