Monday, April 9, 2012

Finished with my daughter's first Easter dress!

Good day everyone!

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter weekend!  I did!

The last time I posted I was trying to finish Simplicity 2265, a toddler-sized dress.  I wanted my daughter to have something special to wear for Easter that was made by her momma.  Well, I was making great progress until I got sick (ugh, again) on Wednesday.  So somewhere around Friday morning I decided, sick or not, I was going to finish the dress.  I didn't want another year to go by with an unfinished Easter dress!!

I took some Vicks multi-symptom cough syrup (non-drowsy), settled in my sewing room, and got to work.  One late sewing session Friday, and another late sewing session Saturday yielded a finished dress:

And I am so pleased!!  I thought the Burda boys trouser was the most ambitious project I have sewn to    date, but this dress was far more ambitious for me.  It involved a lot of gathering, a lot of slipstitching, and
   a lot of pattern pieces, but the end result was worth it!

Here is the back:

This was supposed to be my daughter's Easter dress for last year, so I already had the pattern pieces cut out in a size 1.  I was nervous that it would be too small this year, but it wasn't.  In fact, I ended up taking off an additional 1/4" on the bodice and skirt, so this ended up being fairly close to the size 1/2.

The fabric is a pretty stable cotton knit I ordered from  I ordered it thinking it would behave more like a drapey knit, but was surprised when it showed up and looked more like a woven cotton.  I kept it because I knew it would work out with some garment one day or another, and because it is just such a pretty polka dot!!

The inside of the dress looks fairly neat.  I used my serger to finish off some of the raw edges, but there was one seam I forgot about on the lining.  I lined the bodice with the same cotton knit fabric, but used a polyester lining for the rest of the dress.  You see it pictured above, and it ends just below the white banding of the dress.  

Speaking of the white band, it is a basic quilting cotton I picked up at Walmart last minute.  At first I was not going to even do a band, but the original length of the skirt for this dress was not long enough for me to not add a band.  As a compromise, I added the band, but adjusted the width of it.  I think I took off about 5/8" or so on it so it would not be so wide.  I wanted to achieve a nice balance between the midriff and the banding, and I am happy with it.  Also, I added an overlay so that it would add a little weight to the bottom of the dress.  The overlay is explained in the pattern directions, and it's very similar to adding a lining.

My only small issue is that the band is just a little off at the side seams.  Just a little.  And that is mostly because I was sewing at 1 AM, and by that point, I just didn't care enough to undo it.  So, I left it well enough alone, knowing I am the only one who will know about it (except for you all):

A great thing about this Project Runway pattern is that it can be edited in multiple ways, according to what you like.  You can add trim, or a bow, sleeves, or none at all, etc.  There are instructions for multiple variations to the design, and you really get to be the "designer."  I pretty much made my version similar to the picture located on the right of the pattern envelope, though I decided to not add a bow on the back of the dress.  

I do love how the fabric flower came out, though.   It was simple to make, and had I had more time, I might have added a couple more!  For the flower I used another fabric from Walmart, this time a cotton/polyester blend of lining fabric.  I chose it because I liked the smooth texture and feel of it.

As far as the instructions go for this pattern, they were mostly easy to understand.  I did have a little trouble with getting the gathered petals to stay attached to the bodice.  I ended up tacking them down in different places, and that worked fine.  My other area of difficulty was the extension in the back of the dress.  I had trouble with getting everything to meet up and look symmetrical, but I somehow worked it out.  

I would highly, highly, recommend this dress for anyone that likes the design.  It is simply adorable, and it would be fitting for any little princess to wear.  It is a little more challenging, though, so once again, I would not call this a beginner-friendly pattern.  

Here is my daughter wearing her FIRST Easter dress made by mommy (can you hear me gushing with joy):

Let me tell you...from the moment my daughter put this dress on, it was as if she knew how pretty she looked.  She transformed into a "little princess" and cracked me up with the way she was carrying on at church.  She smiled at everyone, waved hello, and walked with confidence!  I enjoyed seeing her prance around, and I know this is a dress she will be requesting to wear often.

For the buttons on the back, I found these adorable ones at Walmart that were shaped as flowers.  I used them to cohesively unite the flower concept.  You notice it with the petals on the bodice, the flower on the midriff, flowers on the buttons, and we even found some shoes with little white flowers on them!!  I love it when everything comes together without going overboard!

Here are my two little ones together.  I only wish I could have made matching ties for my son and hubby to wear, but the Easter dress took so much out of me I didn't have anything left for anyone else.  I know to plan further ahead next time.  ; )

All in all, our Easter was wonderful!  We had a pleasant day with family, and my hubby even put some burgers on the grill.  

I am grateful that this dress came out the way it did.  And, with everything said and done,  I am even more grateful that my daughter's dress was given the "seal of approval" by my favorite person in the world...

my husband!

I wish you all the best!  I am already moving on to my next project, and I'll let you know more about that with my next post.  It will be another first for me, and another item I will be gifting.

Stay sew-filled!


  1. Vanessa, you did a fantastic job on this dress. Your little princess looks sooo adorable..

  2. She looks GORGEOUS! You have a beautiful family. What a fabulous job you did on that dress.

  3. Oh Vanessa, how adorable your little lady is! I just love this dress on her! I agree with Janimal, you have a beautiful family!

  4. That dress is so beautiful! Love it so much! I'm looking forward to seeing my daughter wearing that dress.

  5. Your daughter's dress is absolutely adorable! What a cutie. Great job. How fun it must be to sew for your little girl!

  6. Great job Vanessa on the dress! So adorable and can be worn for any occasion! Love it!


Let me know what you think!