Sunday, June 03, 2012

Little Dresses 1 thru 5

So I built a craft table this weekend.

I am woman, hear me roar.

Ok, it was a knockoff of this Pin:

Ivy Cottage Blog
I only  made half though (2 bookcases and 1 door).  My costs were pretty close to hers.  No pictures of that yet, I'll snap some this week though so you can see.  It's huge!

This weekend I made my first five Little Dresses for Africa.

Aren't they sweet all color-coordinated?  That was sort of intentional.  When I started digging into the stash, I discovered I had many small pieces of fabric left over from when my Lu was a baby.  Two of these dresses are from those fabrics, the two that are identical I had a bit more yardage of (and is a newer print), and the pink dress is a sweet 30's reproduction print I only had 1 yard of.

Here they are individually:

gingham ribbonties

bias binding ties

grosgrain ribbon ties

twill ribbon ties (from an old drawstring)

fabric ties

I'm trying to streamline the production process, so I don't get too bored with the process of sewing the same thing over and over.  Although, boredom is expected.   That's part of the challenge for me: remembering there are much worse things in the world than to suffer boredom while doing service for others.

Here are a few discoveries I have made so far:
1.  It's easier to cut a bunch of bias for armholes all at once, from scraps.  (I added these to a basket and then just grabbed two whenever I needed to bind an armhole.

armhole binding
 2.  Ripping the fabric is soooo much faster than cutting.

3.  Use a tailor's chalk or fabric marker to trace the armhole pattern onto one side seam, match side seams and cut along chalk line.  Voila 2 armholes. (and no pinning!)

4.  If you're serging (saves a ton of time!) then serge all necklines and hems at one time.  I did it in 2 trips (all hems, then back for all necklines), which was just a waste of a few precious minutes.

5.  Ribbon ties are my favorite. I'm out of ribbon now though (I don't keep a lot now that Lu is a teenager).  I'll have to stock up on cute 3/8-1/2" grosgrain in a variety of colors.  After that, the premade bias binding is my favorite, except you still have to stitch it together (ribbon is just super fast and easy, cut and insert).

For hems, I did a simple turned up hem.

Maybe I'll get fancier as I go (ruffles, bows, pockets, etc.) but for now I'm concentrating on cute fabrics and gaining momentum.

995 to go!

On that note I'd like to thank you for the encouragement on my last post.  I don't know what I expected, but I was really touched by your kindness and thoughtfulness.  I know it really does seem like an impossible, unreachable goal.  Don't worry, I feel that way too.  Panic attack city after that post went live.  And then I saw a wonderful quote this morning on my Twitter feed:

Which is a completely fitting sentiment.

I've also tickled myself numerous times this weekend by humming, singing, and ultimately downloading Andy Williams (which I share with you in the form of my all-time favorite commercial.  ALL. TIME. people):

But really...thank you!

ps:   I will still be sewing for me and doing my normal assortment of randomness (in case you were wondering).  The 1000 dresses project is a side venture; I really need something to ground me and give me purpose.  I'll probably keep the dress posts to a show & tell format or even just direct you over to the Flickr album.  (Which you can find here!)


  1. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Would you like a donation of fabric or ribbons?

  2. Anonymous7:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Wow ...I love to be inspired to be fashionable but spend less!

  4. I'm impressed that you made a craft table. Really. I can barely change a lightbulb! The dresses are a "from your heart" project. They will be so appreciated.

  5. Ok, one wonderful commercial and one darn inspiring project. Bravo to you. Can't wait to see your craft table version.

  6. I totally believe you can make 1000 dresses! I don't LIKE it (because it makes me look bad) but I believe it. Heh.

    And not only are you making 1000 dresses, but they're CUTER than mine.

    Why do I talk to you anyway?

  7. Anonymous11:48 PM

    You MADE a table? AND 5 dresses? You rock!

  8. Those little girls are going to LOVE these! I like that qoute!


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