Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sewing Project: St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Dress

Look!  I made a dress!  A whole dress.  It is wearable and everything!

She agreed to pose only if the tomato pin cushion could pose with her.

She made him a face of pins which is beyond adorable.

Okay, so how did I do it?  A lot of psyching myself up to start.  I must have looked at 100 different patterns and online tutorials to decide what I wanted to make (and to convince myself I could make it).  The basic bodice pattern I took from "Little Girls, Big Style" which I bought last week.  I used the size 4 pattern- my daughter is on the upper end of a size 3- and it turned out a little tight, just an FYI. The lower half of the dress I did without a pattern.  You can't really tell from the photos, but the bottom is a bubble.  I did the gathering with the help of this awesome online tutorial at The Handmade Dress.  It  really was helpful.  I didn't do it perfectly, but now I know how to do it.   

I lined the whole dress with muslin because that was the only neutral fabric I had with that much yardage.  The lining made it a little thick to attach the bottom of the dress to the bodice, but it gave the dress more substance.  It's heavy and fluffy.

Attaching the bodice to the dress-lining sandwich was a little tricky. 
 Notes on the project: 
-the straps (which button in the back) benefited greatly from my previous tote bag making; I'm no longer struggling with the fold and sew.  There should be confetti exploding over my head for that.

-the button and buttonhole-making process was a non-issue this time around.

-I'm struggling still with the cutting.  I think I just need to be more patient.  I also need a cutting table because my back does not appreciate the stooping over.  I had to re-cut the straps and the lining because I did it wrong the first time.

-the bubble bottom isn't the best, but it is fun.  I'll try it again another time, maybe actually follow a pattern!  To make it I attached the raw edge of the dress to the edge of the (shorter) lining which is something I should have done by hand.  It is a little funky as is.  Next time.

-this would be a really cute dress with a nice fancy fabric, maybe a wide silk belt that ties in the back?  I don't know, it could really use some embellishment.  Maybe a yo-yo or two?  Some lace?

-cost was probably $8-9 in materials.  It took me probably about 5 hours.  Maybe a little less. 

Verdict:  Successful!  The first of many dresses, I hope. Abby will wear it to the Irish Hooley mid-March and will hopefully be just as happy as she was today in it.  And she'll be wearing a turtleneck and tights too.  It is freezing here!

Places I've linked up!  (My first such attempt!):


lil luna link party button


  1. Great job! My friend Lisa did a great version of the dress with a sash and silk spiderweb roses. I hope you continue to enjoy the book!

  2. Hey! You're the author! The book is great, btw. It explodes with ruffles! Eventually I'll review all the rest of the how-to-books I've bought in the last couple of months...


Upcoming Projects: Not Yet Blogged

a rundown of what I've been up to: DIY wedding dress, "Back to School Night" decor, Flower Arranging for the Incomptent, more jam labels, a dog bed solution, paper embroidery, flying pig needlework, attempting to scrapbook, make your own board game kit, Link from Zelda costume, organinzing for homework, and how to build an afterschooling program!

how to declutter after a death... and how not to do it

what do you do with all your fat clothes? Make doll clothes!