Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reversible toddler wrap dresses

This has been my major preoccupation of the last month - hence the lack of updates. It's also something I've been holding off on, firstly because I knew documenting the project was going to be somewhat epic, and secondly because I didn't want people to stumble across their daughters' first birthday gifts online before they'd been gifted.

These are four fully reversible, crossover-back dresses/tunics - these pictures are the two sides of each dress. I patterned them myself, working out kinks as I went along, and I am unbelievably proud of them!

I got my measurements and basic outline from a button down the back tunic I got at a garage sale and made a mock-up out of old sheets. The lovely Mummy to one of the little girls who would be receiving let me borrow her daughter to check that my size and pattern was right (Thanks Tracey, and thankyou to my lovely patient model, Lucy!)

This is the first dress I then made (Lucy's Mummy likes to bake).

One side is printed cotton, with silver glitter decoration on some of the cupcakes. Unfortunately you cannot see this, because the weather here has been despicable lately, and thus the lighting is trashy. That, and I need more practice taking decent shots of my own handiwork.
The other side is pale purple polyester dug out from my stash (I bought several metres years and years ago!) which had a nice weight and matched the purple on the cotton. On the front of this side I hand-stitched a circle cut out with a cupcake.

The back two pieces cross over, and it's all sewn together like a simple Gordian Knot (perhaps I should call it a Gordian Knot dress?), which is what keeps the garment on. I'm possibly proudest of this detail, as it means there are no press-studs or zips to catch on sensitive skin or have to wrestle with whilst holding a squirmy child still. There's also no buttons for the small recipients to suck on and possibly choke.

Since two of the dresses are made from quite busy printed cottons they didn't get any sewn detail, but the last dress was made from red and neutral tone linen-cotton blend that had me salivating in the shop but is very plain.
I left the red as it was, since it's such a fantastic colour, and spiced up the neutral side with a little freehand embroidery in backstitch and running stitch. The more I do it, the more I'm enjoying exercising my embroiderer's needlework skills, these days!

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