Here is my final project for Kids Clothes Week this summer — a Desert Rose Dress by CailaMade for Lulu.
This makes six finished projects this week. What was I thinking? It’s like I’ve gone insane. I think the answer is that since I started teaching part time in January, my sewing time has been pretty limited. But now that school’s out, I feel like the world is my oyster, and I just can’t stop sewing. Is this normal, or should the authorities be notified?
Another problem with this sewing thing is that fab new patterns and fabric seem to be coming out all the time. And no matter how OCD I may become about sewing, there’s just not enough time (or money) in the world to make everything on my ever growing list.
The Desert Rose has been on my list since it came out last summer, but alas, the weather got cold around here before I got around to sewing it up. But summer’s here again, and I finally got to give this one a try.
It’s a simple lined bodice and gathered skirt — but the shape of bodice makes it really unique, I think.
Lulu chose the ladybug buttons and has been obsessed with them since the moment she saw them actually sewn on. It was hanging in the closet yesterday afternoon with only the top button buttoned, and Lulu ran to find me, saying that she was worried that she could only see one ladybug. I assured her that the other one was still there, hiding behind the button hole. What a relief!
Our town has a pretty cool Fourth of July Parade each year, and it’s probably clear to you that this dress was made for the occasion. I figured you can’t really go wrong with red gingham and chambray for the fourth. The gingham is actually a cotton/polyester blend, and it’s really light and flowy. The chambray is Robert Kaufman Chambray Union.
This dress is very simple and easy to put together, especially if you’ve made this style of dress before. But I still managed to run into a minor crisis in this process.
Caila has you fold the bottom raw edge of the bodice under 1/2 inch and press, and then attach the gathered skirt to the bodice lining. Then, you’re meant to pin the top of the bodice over the seam allowance and top stitch. But after making about a zillion of Geranium Dresses over the past couple of years (which is done the opposite way), I forgot that I was attaching the lining, and not the main bodice to the skirt. It wasn’t until after I had sewn the skirt on and trimmed the seam allowance, that I realized that I had managed to sew it on backwards. The already sewn on buttons were now on the inside of the dress, with the lining on the outside. Gak!
After considering my options, I decided not to pull it all apart and re-gather and sew on the skirt. Too much work. Happily, I lined the bodice with the same fabric as the outside — so all I had to do was take the buttons off and re-attach them on the new “outside” of the dress. Then, I sewed in the lining by hand. The buttonholes look a little nicer on the inside than the outside (since they were meant to face the other direction), but you can’t really see it when the dress is buttoned. So who cares, really?
The first test of any dress that Lulu tries on right now is it’s twirlability. She’ll say, “Let’s see if it spreads around,” with a look of doubt and disdain all over her face. She is a real stickler on this point. She was almost shocked when this dress passed the test with flying colors . . .
Don’t tell Lulu, but I upped the twirl factor by adding an additional 2 inches of width to both the front and back skirt pattern pieces, giving the skirt a total of 8 extra inches — just to be sure Lulu would be satisfied. I really wanted her to like this one!
I also added some eyelet trim around the bottom of the bodice. I just pressed the raw edge of the trim under and top-stitched it on after attaching the skirt to the bodice. I tucked the ends of the trim under the lining on the inside of the dress before stitching it in.
I have to say that I love the result! I think this dress is cute as hell, and I’m sure I’ll be making more — I just have to find the time 🙂
I hope you finished all your projects this Kids Clothes Week. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a drink!