Last week, I showed you Lila’s very sensible and useful trio of tiny shorts, and we talked about some ideas of sewing cost/sewing value, and ways to express that value. I’m not 100% with my Value The Sewing worksheet, but I’ll keep working with it until I have some kind of Epiphany (or you do!).
This week, I wanted to make a dress. I blame the new release of the Oliver + S patterns for fall! They’re so cute! I especially liked this Book Report Dress, and when I saw it available as a digital download. (I bought the pattern myself, I doubt Oliver + S knows about me, a fangirl.)
Besides, I’d pay much more than the digital price to purchase the pattern here, not to mention waiting for shipping or for it to show up in a shop. I highly recommend these digital patterns, they’re very easy to work with.
Lila wears dresses all the time, and I allowed myself to plan for one or two dresses in her Lila Wardrobe. I chose the rainbow dandelion print about a year ago and set it aside “for Lila.” Then the pink cotton babywale cord came my way and I thought they’d work well together for this dress.
Before I cut, I decided to make a new sleeve pattern for this dress. The original design features long cuffed sleeves but I only had .5m (1/2 yard) of the rainbow dandelion print and we live in the land of perpetual summer, so I opted for the bell sleeves from the Oliver + S School Photo Dress. The bell sleeves are breezy and cool, but will help protect her skin from the sun.
I laid one sleeve pattern on top of the other and used the sleeve cap from the Book Report Dress and the sleeve shape from the School Photo Dress. I could have simply shortened the original sleeves, but they wouldn’t have a bell shape.
My other major alteration was to omit the button loops- they’d be quite bulky in the corduroy fabric. Instead, I stitched the yokes together. No buttons. Naturally, when I tried the dress on Lila the first time, it wouldn’t go over her head! No biggie, I unpicked one side and added a snap closure. Next time I make this, I’ll draft a larger neckline for a simple pull-over dress. I used several types of buttons Lila picked on various trips to fabric stores, something about them reminds me of baby toys or candy. She likes them, anyway.
I took this with my phone mid-construction. The dress needed “something,” and I couldn’t decide about the buttons. It’s funny- I’ve become so accustomed to photographing my sewing, sometimes I can’t make decisions like that without photographing it to help me decide. Does that happen to anyone else? Just me?
I scrounged around my sewing room and turned up some cotton sateen bias binding left over from another project. Eureka! I ran the red binding by Twitter peeps- y’all are such enablers- and decided to use the binding as a trim. I hand-basted the binding because pinning often results in a wavy final result. Then I used a top-stitch (3.0 length) close to the edges of the tape. It took a little time, but it’s very clean and neat.
Lila wore her new dress to preschool today, terribly pleased with herself. I’m pleased, too. I usually let her choose her own fabrics, but this time I did myself and managed to make something she liked. Win!
Cost and value?
Now, this dress cost more than her clothes usually cost. I quantified it here:
Value: $ 91.34
I didn’t go shopping online for a similar dress. I’ll do that for some garments, common ones, but for one-offs for a little girl I won’t bother.
In the comments section from the last discussion of quantifying sewing value, Craftastrophies brought up the idea of subtracting the cost of from the value. Someone else mentioned adding the hours spent working to the “cost” section. I’m thinking about that- what do you think? It seems to me if I spend more than a few hours on a garment, it has something of an inflated value… Any math minds out there want to chime in?
Oh! And Molly at Toforet’s Empty Bobbin made a denim Burda dress, and played with the sewing worksheet! Check it out.
Oh! And the pockets! She loves pockets, and is especially delighted by these “secret invisible pockets with PINK inside!!” She keeps trying to stuff apples and stuffed animals and sand into her pockets, good thing I reinforced the stitching!
Next Post: Bra #2. I’ll try to be brave and take some fitting shots, for science!
Then- finally, finally, finally, I can tell you I’ll be launching the Tiramisu Circus And Pre-Sale on the 25th of this month! I couldn’t in good conscience start the pre-sale until I nailed down some production issues, but they’re sorted so now we can have some fun!
Why a circus? Because they’re loud, fun, exciting and *extremely* educational!
The pre-sale will help offset the cost of printing the patterns- a big hurdle in the production process. American Duchess runs pre-sales for new shoe designs, and she helped me think through my own pre-sale for Cake. Thanks, Lauren! Tiramisu will retail for $17, and I’m offering it for AUD$11 during The Circus!
I’ll be posting more frequently, with shorter posts including guides to purchasing knit fabrics, handling knits on regular sewing machines, and a look at how I handled sizing for Tiramisu! If you think of something you’d like to see during The Circus, please let me know, and help spread the word!