So, you know Kids Clothes Week? (If you don’t, and you sew, you should check it out.) People crank out all kinds of cuteness for their children–tops, sweatshirts, coats, dresses, pants, shorts. If you can wear it, someone’s making it. And it seems like a lot of people crank out a LOT of garments. You know, two or three a day? They post gorgeously-styled photos, detailed tutorials for their adaptations, pinterest-ready .png’s, and they’re still making homemade dinners and spending mornings at the park. (And sleeping.) (Ok, maybe not if I believe this post. But that’s how the comparison game works, right? Everyone else is doing it all? :) )
I am not one of those super-people. Far, far from it! :) But I did manage to sew an hour a day so far this week, which is the gist of the challenge. And where did my hour (sometimes more if the kids cooperated) a day get me? (And don’t ask about dishes or laundry.) I made this. (Isn’t it adorable?!?! I love it :) )
I’ll be making a flower-girl dress for a December wedding and I needed a pattern with a zipper and puffed sleeves. I found this one (thanks to __) and knew I needed to make a sample to try out the fit and a few of the techniques. I had this red pin-dot cotton sitting around and I’m so glad I used it–the color is so cheerful and the weight is just right for autumn!
Overall, I loved working with this pattern! An used the “layers” feature to enable you to print just the size you need which was really, really nice. She also includes a table that tells you exactly which pages you need to print for each part of the pattern you’ve chosen.
The instructions are clear (with one exception–the tomoka collar–which I’ll get to in a second) and easy to understand.
I loved her method for gathering the skirt (it’s too hard to explain right here and I don’t want to breach her pattern copyright). I think these are the most even gathers I’ve ever made!
The puffed sleeves turned out exactly how I was envisioning with plenty of puff at the top. And the little pleat at the hem of the sleeve is a really nice touch.
I had only three snags when constructing this dress:
- The marks for where to start and stop the gathering on the sleeves were so close to the dotted line at the edges of the paper that I accidentally cut them off and had to go back to the PDF file to find them. Not a big deal, but I was a little confused at first as to where they were!
- The tomoka collar folding diagram wasn’t clear to me. I don’t really know how to explain why it wasn’t clear, but when I tried following the instructions, my result was terribly wrong. :) By looking at my fabric piece and the picture, though, I was able to easily get the intended result. I’m sure the problem was with my understanding of the diagrams, but I wanted to mention it.
- When inserting the zipper, the pattern directed, “Place the top of the zipper 3/8″ from the top of the dress.” So I did. I put the top of the zipper tape that far from the top of the dress. And now there’s a gap. Oops :)
Adaptations/Future Adaptation Plans
Instead of the sleeve hem method listed, I used a different folding technique to achieve sort of a bias-bound look. I’m not sure I’d do it this way again, but I’m glad I tried it! I’ll probably do a banded sleeve hem on the real flower girl dress. I’ll also probably leave off the collar, since my intended fabric will probably be too thick.
You’ll also notice that I didn’t use an invisible zipper because I didn’t have one and didn’t want to drive to get one. :) I like that this zipper is a little like an exposed zipper and adds some contrast to the back without being too modern-looking. (I have a feeling exposed zippers will end up being one of the things that date this era’s fashions. ;) )
I didn’t stitch down the collar yet, as is recommended to hold it in place. If you plan to use the Tomoka collar, you’ll definitely need to use the thinnest interfacing possible. Mine is slightly too thick, and you can see that the collar pops up very easily.
I also think it would fit my daughter better to remove 1/2″ or 1″ from the bodice length and add it to the skirt length. The proportions seem to be a bit off for her.
Tinny is a fabulous pattern that is well-worth adding to your pattern stash for anyone who sews for little girls (or medium girls, for that matter!).
(And no, I am not an affiliate on this pattern. It’s just that fabulous. :) )
Here’s a link-up with many more fabulous Tinnys. Click the blue box to see the link party. Enjoy browsing!