Saturday, 14 December 2013

Sucssesful Sewing Session

Over the last few months, I have rather desperately tried to learn dress-making.  It was an up-hill road, I assure you!  Usually the clothes would be two wide or way too tight, or something like that and I was starting to despair that I would ever get the knack of it.

Yesterday, as usual, I was minding Rose for a couple of hours.  Also as usual, I tried to think of something we could do together that would not only delight her, but give me practice in certain arts I should like to attain skill in.  This is what we did yesterday from one of my old skirts.

Sweet Summer Dress

  • One full length skirt with the elastic that is sewn in and reaches about twenty cm down the waist.  These skirts are generally sold as tube dresses at or strap dresses.  Mine was tiered.

Carefully unpick the bottom tier from the skirt (or if your skirt is not tiered, take about 20 cms from the bottom of the skirt.)
The original skirt with the bottom tier removed.

Measure Little Girl around the chest just under the arm pits.  Rosie (who is three and a half) measured 21 inches.  Take the skirt and measure the top of the waist from side seam to side seam.  Multiply that number by two.  (My skirt measured 13 inches from seam to seam, so the final measurement was 26 inches.)  Subtract that number from the measurement of Little Girl's chest.  (I got 5 inches)

Mark a point on one of the side seams near the top of the waist.  Then, make a mark on the back of the skirt subtracted number (5 inches, for example) away from the marked side seam.  Cut out a panel

of the skirt using the two marks as a guide to width.  You may need to widen the panel as you cut towards the bottom of the skirt.

Now you should have most of the skirt in tact save two smaller bits that we have purposefully cut out.  Oh, and the main part of the sirt is not sewn up.  No problem - we are going to fix that now.  Sew up the two raw sides so that the skirt now resembes a skirt again, save that it is far to small to fit you now.  :)

Get Little Girl to try the dress on at this point and make sure that the top of it fits snugly under her arms without being detrimental to her oxygen supply.  Measure over her shoulders from back of dress to front of dress.  Now cut out that length of material from the small bits we cut off earlier at about three inches wide.  Hem the long sides.  These are the sleeves.  It is helpful to pin these on while the Little Girl is wearing the dress.  The sleeves cannot be loose.  Sew on the sleeves.

Hem the dress.

Done!  :)  I'm afraid I didn't explain it very well.  Hopefully you can glean from my vague directions and the photos what should happen.  I am very happy with how it worked out though.

Have a great weekend



  1. And don't forget to cut of all the little threads off, (or snap them). Rose looked lovely in it the other day! I think I got those instructions, now all I need is a little sister.

    1. Hehe! Yeah - I think I got almost all those treads. :) Thanks so much, Clare. :)