Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pillowcase Peasant Dress

I had bought the sheet set thinking that I'd make the girls more pillowcase dresses out of the pillowcases. However, it turns out? I am not the fastest in the project-y completion rate. Add to that the fact that it got fall-chilly in the space of, oh, two days, and that Viv won't wear t-shirts under a dress (yeah. The next few months are going to be FUN, I tell you), and the idea of making the pillowcase dresses had. . . well, faded somewhat in its appeal.

But, I still had these pillowcases.

And I still had girls begging for dresses.

So, I went all anarchist-alchemist-pattern-free-mix-it-up-y and decided to wing it using a tutorial and some pictures of dresses that looked cute as a rough guide.

I used the Peasant Blouse tutorial from Just Tutes as a jumping-off point.

I cut the top off of the pillowcase, then opened it up to use it for the sleeves. I cut the sleeves a *wee* bit short, which made the gathering somewhat challenging.

The tutorial has separate back and front pieces, which, to be honest, would have been MUCH easier to work with/line up than my method of keeping the pillowcase as a whole and adding the arms onto it, but. . . live and learn, right?

So, I followed the tutorial steps of stitching the sleeves to the front and back, but then, there wasn't really very much "sleeve" left to stitch to itself (see: cut too short, sleeves, above). Which meant the "make the pocket for elastic which will create the cute gathering on the sleeves" was completely out of the question.

Time to punt.

I remembered that Angry Chicken had super-adorable dresses that she made for her girls with fold-over elastic used to gather the sleeves and neckline. So, I used some blue FOE for the sleeves. The sleeve edges didn't quite match up on the underside of the arm, which led to some cussing. But, after some patience and invocation of St Jude, the FOE and I triumphed, and the sleeves were both gathered and finished. Perhaps not quite as neatly as I might have wished, but since the dress is going to be worn by a child who spends most of her day covered in paint, marker, play-dough, ketchup, or some other disturbingly unidentifiable sticky substance, I suppose perfection is not necessary.

After the fight with sleeves, it was super-relieving that Just Tutes's neckline instructions worked a treat. Am I alone in my incredibly dorky love for how magically easy pressing makes sewing? "well-pressed is half-sewn," indeed. It doesn't take much to make me happy, I know. But there's a lot of joy to be had in being someone who's easily impressed!

After gathering, the dress looked good, but still needed a little something. I stole more from the Chicken dresses, and added a piece of elastic to gather the bodice, which was just the thing.

I will definitely make this again, but I'd probably cut the pillowcase apart the next time to get slightly better shaping, and better attachment of the sleeves. But, for my first "totally make this up as I go" project, it didn't turn out too bad!

1 comment:

Dragonfly said...

You did a great job flying by the seat of your pants! Way to go!