I was about to give this old pink valance for a single bed to the charity shop, when, with my newly creative eyes, I saw that it would be perfect for little girl dresses - with the gathering already done! so, sorry, charity shop, you can have some other things, but in this case, charity is beginning at home!
I used the top of a free pattern to design the yoke, Amber's Crazy Little Projects Ruffled Tiered Dress.
This is a lovely pattern which I have yet to use as it is, but I used the bodice for my yoke. I used the 3-6 months size, which really came out smaller than I would have liked for Baby A, going on 5 months. I printed it as actual size, or 100%, but I still couldn't tell whether it printed out right. I did ask Amber if in future patterns she could include a grid square of 1" or 2.5cm or whatever - I hope she'll consider this. She did tell me her seam allowance was about 1/2". I used less than a quarter inch.
I cut the yoke twice: once continuing my cutting down into the already attached 'skirt', and secondly, just as a yoke, to give a lining, as a separate piece. I left the hem of the dress as the bottom of the valance. This was really a bit long for A, who would be about 5 months old, but I wanted to finish it in a hurry - with the idea I could always shorten it later. (I never did, as she outgrew it way too quickly!)
The only really fiddly bit was the curved tabs on the shoulders, I found it very hard to do a neat job round the tight curves. I think in future I might square off the corners.
I added some pretty pink teddy bear bias binding to cover the seam that was part of the original valance. Covers a multitude of errors! And how I hate sewing button holes. I cheated and sewed buttons on the outside, with press-studs inside.
And finally a little pink bunny.
Unfortunately I was lazy, and in my hurry to finish it in time for A's holiday, I ironed the cute bunny on (as you can) and didn't, as I normally would, stitch it round. So first time in the wash after wearing, bunny came off never to be seen again - and the shop had no more the same. Serves me right. Fortunately, A was photographed once wearing the dress before it went in the wash. You can see it's a little cosy round the armholes.
So my only expenses were the bias binding (about half a metre) and the cute bunny. But later, I'll blog about how to save money on motifs, too.