Addressing the Dress


I recently decided that I want to attempt to make a few little items of clothing for my daughters. I mean, what good is knowing how to sew if you can’t even make something adorable for your 4-year-old to wear? (And by “knowing how to sew,” I really mean “I have a sewing machine and a vague idea of how to operate it.”)

The problem is that I’m intimidated by anything with more structure than a quilt or a pillow. There’s something about that third dimension that scares the crap out of me. So aside from a couple of uber-simple unlined tote bags (tutorial here – I highly recommend it if you’re in my boat), I’ve stayed far away from garment and/or bag sewing.

But then I saw this kit from Above All Fabric and impetuously snapped it up (with a 15 percent discount courtesy of Jaybird Quilts!) It’s an adorable dress. It says it’s “suitable for beginner sewers.” Come on, it’s just a matter of reading and following directions, right? How hard could it be?

Oh my. This looks scary.

My goal is to complete this by Thanksgiving. We’re spending the holiday at my mom’s in Florida, so for once Miss E. can actually wear a sleeveless dress on a major holiday. Wish me luck!

9 replies
  1. Four dogs and one quilter
    Four dogs and one quilter says:

    I'm in the same boat as you. Haven't had much luck with garment sewing. I follow the patterns but they often assume I have some basic understanding of the whole process. I don't. Always seem to be steps missing. Maybe I will try again. Would use some scrap fabric on the first one just to be sure I got it right. Just saying. Good luck, can't wait to see how it comes out.

  2. QuiltyGirl
    QuiltyGirl says:

    I haven't seen that pattern before, very cute. And I love the fabric! Funny, I never would have thought to use Dear Valley for clothes (I think that's DV?).

    I also used to be intimidated by sewing anything that wasn't "flat". People would laugh at me and claim that quilting is way harder than garment sewing. I still think garments are harder, though! Sewing for kids is super easy-they are like little boxes and fit means nothing. It's sewing for me that I find so hard!

  3. AnneMarie
    AnneMarie says:

    I, like you, am terrified of garment sewing!! I went to Mood in NYC a couple years ago and spent $100 on gorgeous fabric that is sitting folded and untouched. I did at least try doing a muslin mock up for the dress I wanted for myself – but it was awful…

    I agree with Quilty-Girl – sewing for kids has got to be much easier! Super cute fabric and pattern! Good luck!

  4. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    I make dresses for my girls too…and the great thing about them is, they are so much faster than quilts! It's all about the instant gratification! Good luck to you!

  5. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    I'm right there with you! I have invested (ahem) a little in dress patterns (for me and the little one) but so far my adventures into this line of sewing have had limited success. The problem is there is nowhere to hide. At least with a quilt, if a seam doesn't quite match up with another, well, it doesn't really matter all that much. With a dress, every millimetre counts! Having said that, I'm sure you'll do a fabulous job!!

  6. joliesjunebugboutique
    joliesjunebugboutique says:

    I am actually the opposite! I am so afraid to jump into the world of quilting!
    Sewing clothing for little girls isn't all that hard. They dont have all the curves that we do, so it isn't ver hard to get the right size and pattern!
    I think you will do great! The pattern looks great and the diagrams in it look really detailed and helpful!
    Good Luck!

  7. Leila
    Leila says:

    All the comments are so funny – it is great to see where everyone is coming from. My mom taught me how to sew clothes when I was young and I picked up quilting 9 years ago. After working on a quilt I am always amazed at how quickly a dress finishes. And the Huge 5/8 seam allowances throw me off after working on a quilt. 🙂 I am sure it will turn out totally cute.

    One hint – on those tucks double pin them. One pin where you will sew and one pin farther down on the garment so the tucks won't shift while you are pinning the others or sewing. With sewing dresses the more pins the better. 🙂

  8. Thearica
    Thearica says:

    I loved sewing for my 2 girls as they were growing up. When they reached 5th grade they put a halt to my sewing for them. It wasn't cool to wear things to school that were made by your mom. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. 🙂


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