Sunday, 9 February 2014

Peasant Dress Patterns for Baby Girl

My internet searches brought up several patterns that people have been generous enough to share. One of these helped me produce my first offering for granddaughter no. 1. This free pattern is from the Stitching Scientist. Remona, whose web site it is, said that her pattern was for twins girls of a year old who are tiny, and so it was intended to be a 6-9 month pattern. I though this would be perfect for our baby girl, who, at not yet 4 months old, is already out of most of her 3-6 month clothes. And when she goes to Mauritius in March she will be a little older anyway.

So here it is, now finished.

 I made various adaptations. You'll see I made it with two layers, a plain white cotton lawn layer, and an over layer of this pretty material I had in my fabric box. I think it's probably polyester, but it was quite fine and see-through, hence the under-layer. I just cut them out together and treated them as one layer until it came to the bottom hem.

Although the pattern seems right width wise, I shortened it considerably for our little girl. You may be able to see that on the outer layer I took up a big hem, on the grounds we could maybe let it down later for a longer period of wearing.

Why did I leave the inner hem longer? Well, I thought it looked pretty, and originally I had intended to put some lavender ric-rac around, halfway between the bottom edge and the hem of the outer layer. You can see it laid on top here.

However, having tried it out, I decided the ric rac looked messy and didn't add to the dress's charm, so left it off. 

In fact, the longer hem idea had come to me from another tutorial, for a double-layered skirt, that had ric rac braiding showing on the under layer. There are several  tutorials / patterns for this type of dress out there, I'll blog about them another day.

The other thing you may have noted is that I copied the Stitching Scientist's idea of the little hand-made flower, which I think absolutely sets this dress off. Basically she cuts out circles the size you want the finished flower to be, and folds each in half and half again. She uses 8 circles. I modified her design a bit.  I used only 5 or 6 circles, but for the second fold I only folded them over about a third. The other thing I did was to finish off the edges. She doesn't, but it depends on your material. For my first attempt I zigzagged all round each circle (no over-locker I'm afraid) but it did tend to reduce the size of them. So I then bought some Fraycheck and went round each of my lavender circles, letting them dry on the radiator before assembling the flower. I stitched them on the same fabric, not felt, and added the self-coloured button to finish off the centre.

I also attached it to the dress so it could be removed for washing, as I wasn't convinced it would come through unscathed. I attached a piece of button elastic to the back of the flower (wide elastic with pre-made slots for buttons - no idea where I got that from, it was just in the sewing box!) Then I sewed a small clear button to the dress. 

And finally ..... I decided our baby is at the age where a matching bib would be a definite asset. 

I used this pattern for a very easy bias-binding bib. It took all of half an hour to make - including cutting out more of the towelling bases for future bibs. Mine has a slightly wider border than the original pattern, but that's because I already had some pretty double-fold bias tape I wanted to use, which is slightly wider. Here's the pattern beside the finished bib.

And the bib in close-up. (I love this bias tape, you'll find me using it in other projects too. It has pink teddy bears and cupcakes and all sorts of sweet things!) The bib has a little pocket 'to catch crumbs' - though in in view of the age of our baby grand-daughter it won't be so much crumbs that drop in there as - well, let's say  liquids.

So - the first projects are done and ready for a model!

And finally - it got worn for part of her baptismal day. (Mote than one outfit required on the day!)

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