I’d forgotten how quickly a child’s garment can be constructed. Admittedly, I chose the pattern partly because it was described as simple but even so, the process has been quite quick for the tortoise of a seamstress; I could never go on the Great British Sewing Bee because I would struggle with the time constraints! The pattern I used was See & Sew 3889 and so far I have made the dress for my oldest niece and the top for my youngest niece, who just turned 2.
I don’t live that close to either of my nieces and so I wasn’t able to measure them properly, so I asked their parents what high street sizes the girls wore and compared them with the pattern. Both the dress and the top have come up a little on the large size but the ties on the shoulders allow some adjustment and hopefully they’ll last a bit longer – children do seem to grow so fast!
Anyway, the dress I made out of a duvet cover that we were no longer using. The fabric was still in good condition and it seemed a shame to waste it just because we weren’t using it any more. I added little patch pockets for a bit of variety and I added an under skirt (in the same fabric) as it was a tiny bit see-through and even little girls don’t want to be showing their knickers off! This meant the gathering of the skirt ended up a little uneven. I struggled with the understitching on the bodice and basically ended up removing it and going without in the end. However, all in all I was pretty happy with the result and by all accounts my niece really likes it – I got a beautiful hand drawn thank you card from her yesterday!
The little top I found somewhat easier, probably because I’d already made the dress. This is the same fabric I used for my own top, which can be seen in this blog post. This time I managed some beautiful understitching! The problem here was one I’ve encountered many times and that was the finishing of the raw edges. Where possible, I like to use French seams as they are neater and because I hate using zig zag stitch. I always end up with the fabric getting puckered (and believe me I’ve experimented with the tension, stitch width and length). On this occasion I used a zig zag stitch, which has a straight stitch incorporated and actually I found this a bit better but I’m still not entirely happy. If anyone has any tips on finishing raw edges, I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, I’ve requested some pinking shears for my birthday!
Anyway, here are the pictures of the top. These pictures were some of my first attempts with a proper camera so they’re not amazing but practice make perfect!