Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

In Which I Actually Complete a Project

Once in a great while, I actually manage to finish something I've started, and it's as much a surprise to me as to anyone. A pleasant surprise, mind you. But a rare and noteworthy occurrence all the same, so I thought I'd share.

In early August at the fabric store I saw a simple little girl's jumper style dress that had features I much admired. For one thing, it was a reversible dress, and for another, it required neither zipper nor buttonholes. 

I would have purchased the pattern, but the shop had run out of them, so I decided to fool around and see if I could contrive something similar on my own to suit my oldest granddaughter. (Hey, it's not like I don't have fabric to spare if the whole thing proved to be a huge disaster!) 

I had a vintage jumper pattern (not reversible, and requiring buttonholes at the straps) but I used the pieces as reference and made up a sort of pattern of my own on large sheet of bulletin board paper. My main innovation was to extend the straps into bow-like ties.
(Hope that makes sense!)

 I cut out pieces from two coordinating fabrics, one a vintage plisse print...

and the other a solid springy apple green broadcloth. I decided the plain green was too boring, though, and began doctoring it up with more and more additions of trim and fusible "wonder under" iron-on webby stuff with some scraps of border print fabric. It looked worse before it looked better, but eventually I ended up with this result:

I constructed each little dress separately by sewing the side seams, and then attempted to join the dresses at the yoke/strap area with right sides together, leaving the hem open. 

I used a trusty large wooden knitting needle then to turn the straps inside out. The result was a little bunchy, but not too bad after ironing. Hemming was a bit problematic. I tried a few methods without liking the result, so in the end decided not to join the two together, but hemmed them separately. This came out a bit uneven, but I doctored that up by applying some jumbo rick-rack trim on the shorter (plisse print) one. It's the same color as the fabric for the solid green dress, so if the trim peeks out a bit, it looks like it's supposed to do so, and hopefully nobody will be the wiser. 

Anyway, here's how it all turned out after several weeks of puttering about.

Before adding the rick rack to disguise the uneven hem...

...and after.

I think it's kind of fun! A bit late in the season, unfortunately, for a summer dress, but I've gotten some white tights and a long-sleeved white knit t-shirt for B to wear with it, and it should still fit her next spring, when warmer weather returns.

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