I had an ugly green dress that I made out of $1 a yard fabric from Wal-Mart. It was a basic drawstring neck loose thing (Hilary Duff, McCall’s 5617, to be specific) and was very comfy, because the fabric is sooo soft, but there was a reason the fabric was so cheap: after it was washed a few times the color bled out all over. Anyway, I wore it around the house for a few years and definitely never in public.
Flash to now and along with my copy of drape drape I also ordered I Am Cute Dresses by Sato Watanabe. The book has patterns for 25 different dresses (more or less, a few aren’t actually all that different) and I decided to take the ugly green dress and reconstruct it as a muslin for dress 21: I Am Shift Into Tunic. I started cutting out the pieces, thinking I had a large enough piece of matching scrap to do the smaller split part of the bodice that would hold the buttons for this particular pattern. I am a self-admitted hoarder so I couldn’t fathom not having it.
Now I’ve cut all the pieces and go up to my fabric stash to find it and… I can’t! No clue where it went, I mean, I have stockpiles of scraps from other projects but can’t find those from the green. So what I did instead was grabbed a hand-me-down dress in a size 5 from my niece for my daughter (who’s in a 3-4 range currently) and use it to pattern a dress for Persephone. (My oldest.)
I did take some elements from one of the other dresses in the book, number 17: I Am Sweetly Tied. Namely, the way the pleat was done in the front and the basic bodice shape which I adapted somewhat. I purposely used the same skirt pattern pieces I’d cut for myself, making a longer skirt for Persephone’s dress. I also did two pleats in the back because I didn’t want to gather it or do lots of pleading because I am lazy.
I used some scraps of fabric from trimming to make little straps for the dress and Persephone loved it. It’s the first thing I’ve finished making for her and while it’s not perfect, it’s a good start – especially for working without a toddler pattern.
Note that the dress is kind of big but I figure she’ll grow into it. I am working on a renaissance festival outfit for her and she’ll probably be a size 5 by the time it rolls around so I’ve gotta plan ahead.
I did actually make dress 17 but I’ll write about my issues with that particular pattern later. Maybe I should do a full book review, too. Hm.
This last picture is the back of the dress, you can see the two pleats I did on either side. Also, how bad the dye job is on this fabric now… I also didn’t iron it before my toddler donned it. Aheh… She immediately started spinning around in it. Too bad my iPhone doesn’t take great action shots.