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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Sewing A Girl's Dress With A Re-purposed Frill

I am still hard at work sewing dresses for my niece. As I was planning today's dress, once again working with small pieces of leftover fabric, my eye fell on a bed frill that my mom had taken off a comforter more than a decade ago already. Somehow this had never been thrown out. It occurred to me that this could be a lovely addition to the dress. I show you how to incorporate quirky items like these into your projects in today's blog. I also show you how to cut your pattern from an existing dress.


Having only a tiny bit of fabric left, I need to be very careful how I use it. I lay the shop-bought dress on top of the fabric to trace the bodice.


Having traced the bodice, I add seam allowance of 1,5 cm all around. I then fold double and cut both the front and back panels. Then I remove the front panel and drop the neckline, hollowing it out even more.


As I do not want a long thin skirt, I simply turn the fabric that is left over. I will use it as is to make the skirt for the dress.


This was when I found the frill that my mom had taken off the bed spread. I cut this long enough to fit on the hem of the skirt.


The frill also dictated the colour of the lace I would use on the bodice. I cut a length of lace to fit across the front of the bodice.


The lace was slightly too plain for my liking and I decided to fix it to the top using an embroidery stitch on my machine.


Doing embroidery with the machine is very easy. All you need to do is to keep an eye out to make sure that the fabric feeds in a straight line.


The embroidered ribbon.


Laying the front and back panels of the bodice right sides facing, on top of each other, I pin the shoulders and the sides.


Once the shoulder and side seams are sewn, you can see a dress starting to emerge.


I then sew the frill to the hem of the skirt.


Then I sew the side seam of the skirt.


As I did not have enough fabric to cut facings, I need to hem the edges on the armholes and the neckline neatly by hand. I fold the edges over and pin it in place. I do not recommend sewing these seams as the results may be stretched and scalloped, which will appear very untidy.


Neatly sew the pinned edges by hand.


Find the quarter marks on the top and the skirt. Pin these quarters to each other.


Fold neat pleats in the skirt to fit it to the top. If you prefer tacking the skirt, you may do so, but I have always favoured pleats myself.


The result is that in next to no time you will have a pretty little dress for a girl. Take note, I have been working with stretch fabric, which allowed the dress to slip on without openings and fastenings. If the fabric were not able to stretch, I would have needed to insert buttons, or zippers, or something similar. Keep this in mind when you use an existing dress to cut a pattern from.


Here is my little model posing with her dress.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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