Does the Spring Twirl Dress make you ready for spring? Living in Florida, we don't get much of a winter. Which is good since all my kid wants to wear are dresses all day, everyday, no matter the occasion. Please don't try to mention pants. This "phase" has been going on now for almost 2 years. And not just any dress... it has to twirl... a lot. She actually tests the twirl-ability each morning after getting dressed. I'm hopeful the Spring Twirl Dress will pass the test.
I also must confess that I finished this dress about a year and a half ago when my daughter was 3. She's 5 now and it finally fits! Yeahhh, I may have overestimated the size a bit when I made it. I've been waiting a really long time for her to fit in it so I could finally take some pictures and tell you what I did.
Let's give some credit. The main inspiration was the Patchwork Circle Skirt from Indietutes. Awesome, right? I was intrigued by this skirt in all it's twirling splendor, but was deterred (I just spelled that "de-turd" and laughed to myself... haha, carry on) by the time and work required. It's very quilt-like (and pretty), but I had just finished the Meandering Quilt around this time, and kind of in need of a piecing/patchwork break.
My solution was to make each "layer" of the skirt portion one long strip instead of a bunch of pieces sewn together to make a strip. I sewed 4 strips together. Each strip 50% longer than the strip before it just like the Patchwork Circle Skirt tutorial says. Here's the inside.
Measure from your kid's waist to knee (or however long you want the skirt to be), then divide by 4. Remember to add 1/2" or so to each strip for seam allowance and even more to the last strip so you can hem. That's how wide to make your strips. My green paisley is from Walmart and the pink fabric is the same clearance curtain panel I've used on the Ballet Bag and the Men's Shirt Turned Toddler Dress. Still have some left!
The entire skirt portion of this dress was done before I even knew what I wanted to do for the bodice. In the past I used old tanks, but I really wanted to try to sew a true bodice this time. I tried a Simplicity pattern.
It was my first time buying a real pattern and holy crap, someone should have warned me! Con-fu-sing. I seriously had to read the first few directions 10 times and then Google a few words. After 30 minutes of cursing and still not knowing what I was doing, (what the H are those little triangles for on the pieces?!?!) I decided to just cut out the pieces I thought I needed (minus the mystery triangles) and sew them together how I thought they should be sewed. It worked out ...sort of.
At one point it called for interfacing and all I had was maximum strength Heat-n-Bond. Not the same thing! I repeat, not the same thing. Live and learn people. Sewing machines don't like the super duper Heat-n-Bond, just an FYI.
Next time, I'm just going to trace an existing shirt she has. Seems like it would work just as well.
Here are some of the details.
This (above) is the back. The neckline is finished with facing. I did not take any pictures during the construction of the dress (sorry, my blog mojo was not quite up the par then). See Kate Sew has a great Tutorial on facings if you'd like to try it. Keep in mind, this was the first time I ever did it and it turned out pretty well. Let's just all pretend that WTS label is in the center. :)
The arm holes are finished in double fold bias tape from Walmart.
After sewing the bodice to the skirt, I excitedly tried the Spring Twirl Dress on my kid and realized it was gigantic. Seriously, my kid was 3... this dress is probably a size 6. I guess I didn't pay close enough attention to the sizes/seam allowances in the pattern. : ) To try and combat some of the hugeness and get more life out of the dress, I added a tie to the middle so I could cinch in the waist. I also sewed a small piece of elastic into the back of the waist as well. Last step was a decorative hand sewn yoyo and button on the front. Done.
To date, this is my favorite piece of clothing I've made. It's been while since I've made clothing from scratch but I think I just inspired myself to try some more by writing this post.