Thursday, February 28, 2008

look out...i'm on a roll

Wow, I don't know how long it's been since I actually posted two days in a row. Spring must be coming because my mood is slowly lifting, and I'm feeling more like doing stuff. The sunlight is noticeably returning, thank heavens.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm anxious to start Daughter's Easter dress because Easter is so early this year and will be here before we know it. March 23 in Buffalo is not known for being warm, but I'm making Daughter's dress short-sleeved nonetheless. She has a very nice fine-gauge cream cable-knit sweater that has seen precious little wear, which will go nicely over the dress. Plus she can then wear it through the Summer and early Fall.

I'm using this pattern:

New Look 6745, view c-ish, size 2

This is fast becoming my favorite dress pattern. It's fun and easy to make, has a brilliant back facing/finishing that results in stabilized buttonholes with little effort, and fits well. A miracle! I made it in flannel last fall and Daughter has worn it to death.

Using this very simple little pattern has taught me two main things. First, don't be afraid to Frankenstein your patterns. The exact dress I want doesn't actually appear as any of the presented views. I want a short-sleeved dress with a full, solid skirt. Luckily the bodice is exactly the same for all views, so it's possible to put together any combination of pieces to get what you want.

The second thing I've learned is not to always just blindly trust and follow the pattern layout and cutting guide the pattern company gives you.

Here, look how the company thinks this dress should be cut out:

Wha-? I took one look at this and said "awwwwww crap." This is view A/B, which I want to use with the addition of two sleeves. I know I have enough fabric to make the thing, but this layout makes me nauseous. I am ALWAYS wary of any layout that has you chopping up your fabric into multiple pieces. And looking at this layout I couldn't quite figure out where I'd fit the sleeves in. Using this plan you cut two of piece #2 separately, which I also hate because then they won't ever be exactly the same.

I decided to just fold the fabric in half, selvage to selvage, to see what would happen.

Well lookee here:

It's a tad hard to see because of the white pattern-ease and the sunlight, but all the pieces fit just fine using the traditional selvage to selvage layout. I even have a few inches left over.

So. There's my sewing tip for the day, I guess. Always check and see if there is another way to lay out your pattern pieces before just whacking the yardage apart with your shears. You can't put it back together, so it's worth trying other ways, especially with tiny kid pattern pieces like this.

I'm going to try and get this cut out and marked before naptime is over. Then it's off to the machine!


Liz said...

I know, I hate cutting my material before I've tried every way to lay it out.

Karen said...

Amen sister! I check out the pattern cutting layout and usually end finding a more fabric conserving way to do it.

My goal is to start B's Easter dress for the exact same reason you mentioned. It's a "Cold Easter" year.

Yay for sun!

Morning Glory said...

That's one of the cutest patterns I've ever seen!!