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...|
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.