Great British Sewing Bee Baby Dress

I’ve decided recently to refocus my blog a bit more on my sewing, since that’s a big part of my life now, so you might notice I’ve made a “Sewing” tab in the menu bar at the top of the blog now. I’m starting to branch out away from making circle skirts and dresses for myself now, so hopefully you’ll be seeing all sorts on here soon.

Anyway, what do you think of this baby dress? I wanted to make something special for my beautiful goddaughter for Christmas and thought this would be just the thing. As I keep mentioning, I’ve made a few dresses from the Great British Sewing Bee book already, plus a pair of leggings, so I decided to go for something that looked a little bit more difficult and had a few new skills I could try in it. The baby dress pattern also has baby knickers to go over a nappy too, but I decided not to do these in the end and just went for the dress. In addition to the tiny Peter Pan collar and bias bound edges, it is supposed to have two little applique hearts on the front – I chose to just put one on, mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to cut more out! I think it looks better with just the one though. The heart isn’t the neatest – as an excuse, it was my first time sewing anything like this at all, let alone going round the edges that I’d cut out not so neatly (not my forte, clearly!), but I’m sure I’ll neaten up with practice.

The bias bound edges are self-cut and made with an iron, so I was pretty impressed with that! I’ve used bias binding before, but always the shop bought prefolded stuff, so it’s fairly simple, but this took more time. In the end I was really pleased with how it turned out though, and with how much better I’m getting at stitching bias binding.

The only issue I had with the instructions for this pattern was that it never told me to sew the edges of the collar, so I unknowingly sewed it on before realising, so had to do them by hand in the end (which I dislike doing!). Now I know, I can add it in beforehand, but since I was doing a collar for the first time, and not being a very technically minded person (I really have to reread sewing instructions multiple times and stare at diagrams for minutes at a time for things to sink in properly), it didn’t occur to me at all before I sewed it on. Can I just add that I’ve discovered something I strongly dislike about sewing? Poppers: sewing poppers (and buttons, but these were worse) is, for me, tedious and boring. I also had a particularly thick part of fabric with a few layers right where I needed to sew one, so it was also difficult – I ended up using less than they tell you to simply because I was fed up of them!
The main fabric is actually the same as I used for the lining of this dress (although you can’t see it there) – it was some that my grandma found and was about to throw away, but I claimed it. The collar and bias binding are cut from some fabric that bought on eBay – I actually made a halter top out of it, but it was one of my very early projects and it doesn’t fit me very well, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it or reuse the fabric since it’s actually fairly neatly finished, with all the seams hidden away inside a lining.

So what’s next on the sewing agenda? I recently made a pair of pyjama bottoms for my sister (really easy to do) out of the most amazing fox print fabric, so I’ll try to get pictures of those, and I’ve got my corset to make plus I’m joining in with the Watson Bra Sewalong at Cloth Habit since Ben bought me that pattern for Christmas – I’m planning to get started this weekend! I’m also planning on a few makes for Ben too – possibly something simple like a wedding cravat like these (http://www.dqt.co.uk/wedding-cravats.html) to start out with as we’ve got several weddings coming up at the moment, but I also have a pattern for a pair of boxers to try out for him. I’d intended to start those a few weeks ago, but it was a printed PDF pattern, and Ben printed it at work for me on the wrong scale, then I realised I didn’t have the right needle for it. I’ve now got the correct needles for stretch fabric (for the Watson sewalong), so I’m ready to go. I had huge problems finding those, since I wanted them on next day delivery or to buy them in person, but Hobbycraft didn’t have them, and neither did Amazon or anywhere else online. Amazingly I managed to find a little mail order company in Ripon called Barnyarns literally a 5 minute walk from my office with absolutely everything I needed – amazing considering the fact that I couldn’t even get these things in a proper chain store in York! I’m so pleased I’ve found it – it’s really such a tiny town that I was surprised they had anything like that!

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