Thursday, February 13, 2014

Little White Dress Contest

Back in January I entered a Little White Dress Contest on Patternreview. I've always wanted to enter one of their contests but always got sidetracked. This time I clicked on the "enter contest" button determined to follow through. I got a late start (a week before the end of the contest) but that's okay. I need a deadline to motivate me.

I decided to make a white pique dress for my daughter since she wears more dresses than I do. It's difficult to find patterns in size 4 but we agreed on Simplicity 1650. We looked beyond the peplum to the basic lines of the pattern. I made a muslin to check the fit and it's a good thing I did. One adjustment that definitely needs to be made before cutting is the width across the front neckline area. I had to take out about 3/4 inch from the front width by moving the pattern over at the fold about 3/8 inch at the top only. Otherwise, I would have been adding darts to the front neckline!

Simplicity 1650

The front princess seams needed to be taken up a bit but I decided to adjust that after cutting out the bodice so that I could pin the adjustments on her body. I compared the skirt to a favorite skirt pattern and it was very close so adjustments were easy for the skirt.

We liked the cap sleeve but not the gathers at the top especially for the weight of the pique. I spent more time on the sleeves than any other part of the process. I don't know a lot about sleeve drafting so I laid the cap sleeve pattern (with the extra fullness folded out) on top of tracing paper on top of the basic short sleeve and drafted a new sleeve with the parts that I liked from each.



I added self-fabric piping to the neckline and to the bottom of the sleeves. I love piping! I used a Bernina #3 buttonhole foot which has grooves in the bottom and I was able to get a lot closer to the cord than with a zipper foot. I also used the #3 foot for the invisible zipper and it worked just as well, if not better, than my invisible zipper foot. 

This is the sleeve piping before understitching with the lining opened out from the sleeve. The piping is tapered at the underarm seam to reduce bulk.

  sewing piping

sewing piping

sewing sleeve piping

I made thread loops at the side seams with a method I learned from a Children's Corner pattern many years ago when I smocked for my daughters. I think I might be a nerdy seamstress because I counted the number of loops so that the thread chains on each side would match! 


how to make a thread loop
 
Here she is all accessorized for an evening out.


Evening out without the belt.

Patternreview Little White Dress Contest

This is the casual daytime version with brown leather belt and strappy wedges, brown wood beads, and a denim jacket.

Patternreview LWD Contest

Simplicity 1650

Simplicity 1650

This is the blank canvas. My daughter loves the dress. I think she will be able to wear this very classic style for many years, dressed up or down, or somewhere in between. 


Paternreview Little White Dress Contest

I lined the dress with a poly/cotton batiste and inserted an invisible zipper in the back. Total cost of the dress is $16 for pique, lining, and zipper with coupons and my "over 55" senior discount at Hancock Fabrics!

Link here to my review of this dress on Patternreview.











28 comments:

  1. You did a wonderful job on this dress, and your daughter looks beautiful in it! Good luck in the contest.

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    1. Thank you Vanessa! My daughter and I enjoyed this project very much. I think we'll get a lot of use from this pattern!

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  2. That is such a nice dress! Love the piping. And your daughter looks so nice in it.

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    1. Thanks! My daughter is fun to sew for!

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  3. Wonderful dress for your daughter, but I must say that the fit is absolutely perfect! It looks totally custom and is extremely flattering on your daughter.

    I was intrigued by your use of the #3 Bernina foot to attach the piping on the dress. I will have to take a look at that, very interesting.....

    I always enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for your nice comment! I love finding other purposes for feet but never have the time to experiment. I'm glad I tried it out on this project.

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  4. Exquisite. Love your piping, how you managed it at the underarm seam. Smart! Beautiful work.

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    1. Thank you Coco! I love piping on everything from dresses to pajamas!

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  5. Very beautiful - the dress is perfectly form fitting and wonderfully sewn. Such a lucky girl! I LOVE how you did the piping, when I grow up I want your skills!

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    1. Thank you! My daughter has already "ordered" another dress by this pattern now that we have it custom fitted for her.

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  6. Oh, using the #3 for piping... your piping is just exquisite, much nicer than mine. Would you be able to publish a little tutorial on just HOW you get yours so nice? No such thing as too much detail I tried making piping but was so unhappy with the outcome I gave up for that outfit. Seemed like the fabric kept twisting, even though I tried a piping foot (Bernina). Obviously, it is operator error, but I'm honestly not sure what I am doing incorrectly. I would really like to master that skill. It adds such a lovely touch.

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    1. I'd love to see what I can come up with for a tutorial!

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    2. Thank you! That would be so very nice of you to take the time to do that. I've admired your sewing skills for some time now. I used a bias strip, but somehow in the stitching it just didn't look very nice. Too much of that homemade look, if you know what I mean LOL!

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  7. The piping is a great detail. The dress looks great on your daughter. It should be great basic to build outfits.

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    1. Thanks, Annette! We love the basic pattern and the possibilities.

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  8. I love pique, and I love this dress. The piping is a lovely touch.

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    1. Thank you Susan! I love piping too!

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  9. So beautiful! Superbly sewn. I love the dress.

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    1. Thanks for the nice comment, Ruth!

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  10. Really pretty! Pinning:) I <3 your white dress:)

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  11. Oh, I did look at the entries on Pattern Review, and I truly do think you have one of the nicest. I will put in my vote for you when voting opens!

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  12. Your sewing skills blow me away! Hannah is one lucky (and beautiful!) girl.

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    1. Thanks Allison! Hannah thinks we make a great team. She places an order and I fill it! She really is very patient with the many fittings it takes me to get everything just right.

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  13. Wow! Your stitching is perfect! Congratulations on winning the contest, well done.

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    1. Thank you Lynn! The contest was fun and gave the me little push I needed to be more productive.

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  14. Lovely craftsmanship, Jan. I found your blog through PR. Thank you for posting all the detailing. Your dress is beautiful and so is your daughter.

    Congratulations on winning the contest.

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