For my birthday this year, my super thoughtful husband shopped from my Amazon wish list (have you made one yet? You should check out their universal registry button. Awesome.) and bought this Lotta Jansdotter book of patterns for me. I added it to my wish list the minute we found out we were expecting hoping that it would motivate me to use up some of my fabric collection on something useful: cute baby clothes and toys.
Of course, instead of rummaging through my fabric bin at home, I picked out a pretty cotton fabric at Gather Here (and used a great coupon by the way) to make a simple pinafore style dress as my first project. Fast forward to a hot and humid Saturday where it was about 20 degrees cooler to be down in the basement and voila! My first sewn baby dress completed in about 4 hours:
Although the book is titled “Simple Sewing for Baby”, I did struggle with a couple of components but I also attribute that to the fact that I’ve never tried to make a dress (of any size) before. The most difficult part was making the bias tape to sew onto the collar and arm holes (try making a straight piece of fabric curve — lots of head pins used).
I also don’t know if I did it completely correctly when it comes to cutting the fabric according to the pattern (um yes, I did realize that was like the very first step after washing and ironing the fabric … and yes, I did feel like an idiot struggling on step one for a lot longer than I would’ve liked to) because it seemed to me that they wanted the back piece to be larger than the front piece, but it just didn’t make sense. How would you sew that together after they tell you to pin the back seam down the center?
I think this means that I will take a class (hopefully at Gather Here if they offer one sometime within the next month or two) to really get pointers and tips on how to tackle projects like this. Don’t get me wrong – I like how the dress turned out in the end even though I
probably did fudge a few things here and there. But it would be helpful to have guidance the next time I make this dress again – and yes, I’m sure it will be with fabric from my stash this time. 🙂
One thing that I agree with in terms of the reviews of this book on Amazon is that it would be really helpful if there were more illustrations (I’m very much a visual and hands-on learner). The dress is a bit larger than I had hoped for but that’s okay, hopefully she’ll be able to wear it when she’s about 8 or 9 months old and during the late summer. I do love this fabric (thanks Kathleen for helping me pick it out!) and the colors (I am a sucker for green).
I’m curious to find more patterns for really simple baby clothing now, so if you know of any please let me know. I think a cropped version of something like this would be really cute as a top, but first I have to learn how to make button holes on my sewing machine. Till then, I’m very inspired for project number two, so stay tuned. And by the way, this is pretty much the only one reason I’m glad for 90+ degree weather. 🙂