she doesn't even look like our Esme in this picture
must be the ponytail...
Working on the 4T dress. Esme is in her bed, because she wouldn't leave her hands and feet off the sewing machine and she's getting strong enough and tall enough that I can't just work over her head and keep her out of the way at the same time.
I am using some vintage wide patterened ribbon a lady at work gave me to cover where the front ties attach. It kind of makes the dress remind me of lederhosen ;) But Esme agrees the colors are pretty and the ribbon is pretty. At the moment (after the timeout) I've gotten to the point where I need to sew the zipper in by hand and pin the sleeves in before sewing them on the machine. Then the hem will be finished and it will be ready for a try on.
Once I kick myself and actually get over there to do it they don't take very long. That is, without "help" from little fingers ;)
More about making the dress:
Pattern is Simplicity 7196 copyright 1975, size 3 & 4T
I'll try to add pictures of the steps if I make a second one soon.
Step 1: Choose fabrics, cotton and prewashed. I had the turquoise leftover from a quilt project and the red plaid was a men's shirt from a rummage sale. Trace, cut and set aside all of the pieces necessary for the project.
Step 2: I made the waistband ties and turned them inside-out.
Step 3: Gathered the front skirt and pinned it to the front bodice. I actually don't really 'gather' but give a few pleats at equal distances from either side of the center - it works out better for me.
Step 4: Pinned the waistband ties at the pattern marks and zig-zag sewed their ends in place near the center of the front bodice, just above the skirt.
Step 5: Found some vintage ribbon in my collection that matched the colors well. Pinned it to the front of the bodice in vertical stripes that would secure and cover the zig-zag sewing of the waist ties underneath them. At the bottom of each ribbon I folded it up under itself about a half inch. I left another half-inch loose at the top that would be sewn into the facing seam and trimmed off. It would be possible to machine sew the ribbon into place, but I did hand-sewn stitches up each outer edge of each ribbon. I took an extra care to see that the flower pattern of the ribbon was in the same places on each side.
Step 6: I made the facings for the front neck (2) and back neck (2). Pin and sew the facings to the bodice pieces. TIP: Use a pinking shear to clip extra fabric on the round parts of the facings before they are turned right-side out - it will help them turn smoothly. Once turned and pointed, sew the front bodice between the ribbon pieces to keep the neckline flat during washing. I also sewed a little decorative stitch at the back neckline top on each piece for the same reason.
Step 8: Pin in the zipper from the top down in the back of the dress. At the bottom of the zipper pin the back together and machine-sew down to the bottom of the skirt. If you have a zipper foot, sew the zipper into the dress. Again, this is a part I choose to do by hand.
Step 9: Sew the hem under on the edge of the sleeves. Sew sleeves together at sides and zig-zag well over that seam (it will get pulled on a lot). Pin the sleeves into the dress. I find the easiest way to do this is to pin the bottom seam of the sleeve into the armhole at the side seam, then the top of the sleeve to the top of the armhole at the shoulder seam. Then make up the extra fabric by making two small pleats at the front and one larger pleat at the back. Make sure that these pleats are at equal distance from the top so they look 'supposed to be there.'
Step 10: Sew the sleeves into place with the machine. Leave a good seam allowance here. Armholes get pulled and tugged on all the time when dressing a toddler, this is one seam that shouldn't be skimped on! Zig-Zag around this seam as well afterwards.
Step 11: Pin under and sew a quarter inch hem all the way around the bottom of the dress.
Step 12: Check all seams, cut loose threads and you're DONE. Try it on and adjust if necessary.