I apologize for the low-light, bad photos, but it's snowing like gangbusters outside and it's the best I could do. Here are the first two items of Daughter's Summer 2010 wardrobe:
floral dress with contrast facings/bottom band
This is a great pattern. It turns out my kid actually has pretty strong opinions where her clothing is concerned, and has been asking for more dresses/jumpers that have "straps, and buttons on the shoulders." Unfortunately she has outgrown the New Look pattern I used for several years to make button-shoulder jumpers. This year we got lucky and found Simplicity 5489 (on sale for 99 cents, awww yeah). The only differences between the old and new patterns are rounded shoulder straps instead of square, and the bias band at the bottom. The construction, however, is exactly the same. I barely glanced at the instructions, just enough to confirm the steps, and I was able to whip these out during naptimes over the past couple of days. I would say this pattern is good for an advanced beginner.
The ladybug fabric was a special request from Daughter - I made her one with the old pattern in that exact fabric (but I can't find it on the blog, and frankly this blog is an emotional landmine for me so I stopped searching for it). I wanted to do a contrast band of red pindot at the bottom but Daughter insisted it be made entirely of the ladybug print. I had 1 yard + 15 inches, which is all we could get, and the pattern calls for 1 yard of the main print and 3/4 yard of the contrast. I did some seriously creative cutting to get the bias band. Then, to hide the seam, I stitched on some vintage black ric-rac from my grandma's stash. The buttons are also ladybugs.
The floral dress was a result of my WalMart fabric run the other day. I didn't know how much to buy, so I went with 1 yard of each print, figuring I could make something out of that. I love how it came out - I used the stripe for the facings as well as the bias band and the pale green color looks really pretty on Daughter. She is having a serious love affair with ric-rac and has asked me to put it on just about everything - in this case it functions nicely to separate the two prints.
I'm going to ballpark it and say each dress cost about $3. The buttons and trim were from stash, and the interfacing (at 63 cents per yard) adds a negligible amount. I generally shoot for less than $5 per homemade item if I can do it, so these qualify as frugal in my book.
I'd love to sew something else right away, but the weekend will be spent knitting up an Etsy order. Hopefully I'll be back to working up Summer clothing next week...I am desperate for sunshine and warmth to return!