Monday, July 02, 2012

Seamstress Katie

Katie made both of these dresses almost entirely herself. I cut the fabric, marked the pleat folds, did the zippers, and top stitched the lace along the bottom. All the other stitches, buttons, and other details were her hard work over the course of yesterday afternoon and this morning.

Even the design was hers.  The dress pattern we were working off of had gathers at the waist but she wanted pleats.  The original dress sized for American Girl dolls had pleats. When I modified that to fit her BFC doll, I had changed the instructions to have gathering to avoid the hassle of re-calculating, but she saw the original pictures and wanted pleats.  And so I had to figure out pleat measurement for both dresses.  So I got to do some algebra with her to explain how 4y+2z had to add to the bodice width and that 5x had to equal (skirt width - bodice width) and y had to be bigger than x and z should be about y/2.  We worked it out.

She wanted them to be fourth of July dresses (i.e. red, white, and blue) and rummaged around for iron-on roses and decided each would have a small-ish one on the bodice and a larger one at the left knee (you can sort of see Gianna's; Katie's is just out of view here).  Gianna also got two white satin flower details sewn to the shoulders but they're not wash-friendly so Katie found big sparkly white buttons for hers.  Finally, Gianna has a looped satin ribbon as trim on the skirt but it was too small to show on Katie's.  She picked out a wide rick-rack trim for hers to get a similar look.

I love the sound of her singing to herself as her sewing machine hums along downstairs.  Even the occasional "Farlgh!  My bobbin thread broke again!? Are you kidding me!?" does my heart proud.


  1. This is absolutely precious! She did such a wonderful job! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. :) Congrats on teaching your sweetie to sew--she'll be fighting you for time behind the machine soon!

  2. Thanks! I linked to the pattern again in the post. I had originally linked it back in June as a pattern we would try but forgot to link the finished project. She got her own machine for her 7th birthday and it hasn't had a day off since!