Sweet little pile of fabric in hand, a couple of days ago I spent the evening whipping up a sundress for my daughter. As I've mentioned before, I am basically a sewing novice -- I do quite a bit of straight stitching when I'm making bracelets & sewing tags into shirts or sewing acres of quilting grid lines, & I've done plenty of hemming in my time, but the niceties of sewing curves & understanding basic garment construction are new to me. Because I am so pleased with the skirts I've been making for my girl, & because she is still small enough that I wouldn't be ruining yards & yards of fabric, & because I want to know how to do everything, I decided it was time. The pattern was easy, the fabric was cute, my bodice curves worked out perfectly. Then, I put it on her.
Despite the fact that her measurements matched the pattern measurements almost exactly, the unaltered first version looks like the cloth version of one of those barrels with shoulder straps. (Oh, but I will cop to adding the red border -- my kids are usually tall enough to need a size or two up in length, plus I love the red with white dots & thought it would be cute. Which it...was? Kind of? If it hadn't looked like a barrel?)
Where are my feet??
I was trying to keep at least a little of the red border, so I cut it down & used it as a sort of binding on the bottom instead. It turns out that: 1. a thickish binding doesn't do much for the lightweight swish of a breezy summer sundress, &, more importantly, 2. the step from "barrel" to "mumu" is not that much of an improvement.
And it's still too long! Cut off all the red stuff, ok?
After hacking a bunch more off the bottom, we finally started seeing something that looked a little like what I was imagining. Of course, once I got the bottom sorted out, my attention was freed up enough to notice that the bodice -- despite the perfect underarm curves -- was way too wide & the straps had a tendency to slip. Note the casual clutching happening in the picture above.
I said it's FINE. Can I please just watch my show now?
Last night I shortened the straps & took in the bodice a little bit, & while it's still a little bit rodeo clown for my tastes, at least it's a summery, winsome sort of clownishness. Considering the pattern I used & the fact that I don't know how to put in zippers or anything, I'm happy with it, & it's certainly very satisfying to see her running around in something I made for her.
Sadly, she specifically forbade me to make a matching headband.