Friday, May 20, 2011

Mother's Day Dresses - Freebie Baby Pattern

My friend Viv, is a fabulous photographer! I'm blessed to have met her. She has taken many photo shoots of the important times in my life - maternity, Julie's birth, and more. This year she took our Mother's Day pictures. My mom & I try to have pictures taken each year ever since I had Isabelle. It is a wonderful way to watch our family grow. If you live in Utah, I definitely recommend checking Viv out to do your next photo shoot!

This may not surprise some readers, but I made all the dresses in the picture. Isabelle's dress is from my pattern review of DMK (p.s. the DMK winners will be posted this Sunday!)

My dress is from Elegant Musing's Swing Dress Sew-A-Long. Never in a million years would I have attempted to make a garment from a vintage pattern on my own before this. Casey is an incredibly talented seamstress and she did a fabulous job of walking us through each step. The wonderful thing about a Sew-A-Long on a blog, is you can join anytime! If you have interest in sewing a vintage dress, I highly recommend you check this out. I love my dress. I learned soo much. I made a muslin to learn more about where and how to alter a pattern for your body. I'm very short waisted and most patterns don't fit right out of envelope for me. I have lost my fear of vintage and am now looking to tackle a 1940's bathing suit. Thank you Casey!

And last but certainly not least, I made Julie's romper.. from scratch,no pattern. My readers know that is uncharted waters for me. Garment construction has been a bit of a mystery to me, but I'm trying and learning. This is a super easy and cute item to make. I originally had planned on buying some fabric from Ruffle Fabric, but when I went back to purchase it, that style was sold out (so buy it when you see it!) They were at the Quilt Market and I bought a ton of material!!

Okay so on to my easy peasy tutorial. You will need to find a ready made romper in your closet. I choose the Winnie the Pooh one and tucked down the top at about the chest.
Lay out your fabric folded underneath the romper. Draw an outline 1-2" larger than the romper. My fabric had zero stretch so I made it a bit bigger. If you are working with a stretchy fabric you can give yourself less of a seam allowance.

Cut out your fabric pieces. Lay your cut lace across the top. You can put your lace through your ruffler or gather it by hand if you want a more flouncy appearance. I didn't buy enough so I just sewed it straight on. Pin your lace in several places on front romper piece so it doesn't shift while you're sewing. I gave myself about 1" inch fudge room at the top and legs - you'll need this to make the elastic casing.

Sew your lace strips down. I used a clear filament thread to reduce the visibility of the stitch line. With right sides together, sew the sides of the romper together with 1/2" seam allowance (I serged mine to make it quick and neat. Then sew the inner legs and crotch.

Before you take the time to make the elastic casing, try it on your kiddo. I found my legs were WAY longer than I wanted and cut off a good 2". Once you're happy with the fit, it's time to finish it up.

At the top you will fold the fabric in 1/2" and 1/2" again - to create the elastic casing. Sew along very close to the fold and leave about a 2" opening. Measure your kiddo's chest and cut your elastic that length - I used 1/4" wide elastic. Thread it through the casing and stitch the elastic ends together. Hand sew your opening closed.

Now do the same for your leg openings. And that's it!

I know I went super duper fast (the kiddos are being naughty monkeys this week!), so if you need clarification or more specific measurements please let me know..

Here is my angel Julie..
She's crying because her romper is so gorgeous and it took so little time!

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