Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dress with Embroidered Front from Girls Style Book

I found the Girls Style Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori and H.H. at our local library. It has 24 gorgeous outfits for girls and includes pattern sheets with sizes  two to 10.  I admired the book for the two week loan period and then had to return it, having made nothing. It is a bit intimidating for a learner sewer. It has step-by-step instructions but nothing like the picture-by-picture instructions I have been relying on up until now. I ended up asking for it (along with another fantastic book Growing Up Sew Liberated - also discovered at the library) for my birthday and took it to New Zealand for our four week holiday, with the intention of this time making something.

My Mother in law meet us at the airport and surprised me with a large supply of fabrics bought on her recent trip to Korea and my mum picked the most time consuming dress in the book for me to make.

I have to be honest and say that I didn't enjoy making this dress. I go so frustrated and tired and it just felt like a chore in the end. Here are a few of my experiences:
  • One sewing class to get me started resulted in terrible sewing machine envy
  • My quick unpick was my best friend - almost every seam was sewn twice. My mum inspected every step and kindly suggested I fix my mistakes
  • The fabric, beautiful and soft, was fiddly
  • The smocking incredibly time consuming and although not perfect does add a nice element to the dress
  • It took me the entire four weeks of our holiday to complete (It's still needs hemming, some flowers for the front and the hook & eye sewn on)
  • The pattern pieces don't include seam allowances. So I assumed that if I cut a size two, skipped the seam allowance, it would fit a size one to 18 months. In practise I really needed to scale it down and add the suggested seam allowances as the pieces didn't match up exactly in places
  • Mum insisted on sewing in the zip for me so I still haven't attempted one myself
All the negatives are really just my learning experiences. I am very proud of myself for not giving up. I realise too that something so time consuming to create actually looks 'expensive' and makes it just a little more special than something whipped up in an hour or so.

We cranked up the fire and Alyssa did her best to model her dress:

The Girls Style Book was purchased from Fishpond for $26. Here are a few of my favourite outfits including the one I made:

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