Thursday, December 13, 2012

One Piece At A Time dresses!

Both hanging together with matching hairbows, including Nikki's "bow hat"

Well, they're done.  I thought I'd post the lyrics from the song from which these dresses are named!  Because they really are completely frankenpatterned.  The only patterns that matched were the late 60s-early 70s patterns that the sleeves came from.  The dress shells are from two different 50s patterns, Nikki's pinafore is modified from  40s pinafore dress pattern, and Gracie's is from a 30s Hollywood pattern.  The collars and cuffs are finished with Victorian faggoting stitching.

 The red and white ribbon is hand dyed, bias cut silk ribbon and a sort of a nod to candy canes. :) I wanted a bit of longevity, so I avoided things like Santa, Christmas trees, and the like.  Yeah. it's red, and it's covered with stars, but...  :)  Remind me to never do entredeux with a lined bodice again!
That was a biiiig mess and I ended up redoing the finishing on the inside of the pinafores.  Grace actually helped design the dresses--she wanted a dress with a big skirt (I have crinolines from last year to go underneath, and the hems are done with CRIN again because it helps them stand out.), no puffed sleeves, and an apron with ruffles and no itchy collars and cuffs.   I learned something about working with CRIN--use a 70 needle because the 80s and 90s are too big to sew through the mesh easily.
 ;) There went my half formed plans for using up some of the lace collars in my stash!  She did, however, consent to lace on the bodice, and the lace on the skirt conceals the fact that I, um, cut the skirts a titch too short.  More than a titch on Nikki's, actually!  I didn't have the fabric to recut the skirts, so I just used more lace and silk ribbon to cover the join.
 Grace informed me that she wants to wear Nikki's dress, because it's cuter.  And here I thought I'd made them match!  The collar looks a bit crooked here, but I swear it's not.  :)

 The sash is necessary, especially on Nikki's, because she's still a tiny bit smaller than a size 1/2 (like 1/8"), but on her way out of infant patterns.
 The lengthening was considerably more on this one!  I went for tea length on both simply because they'll last the winter that way.  I like knowing that if  they grow an inch or two, they won't be too short.  Surprisingly, in Nikki's case, with a ten minute alteration, her crinoline still fits and Gracie's does, too.  At the last minute, I added an extra line of lace on Nikki's bodice because it just needed it to my eyes.  Tomorrow, after school, we're going to the Sears portrait studio to take pictures.

White tights, the dresses, shiny black shoes, crinolines, and coordinating bows are the order of the day. 

 And speaking of bows...  Nikki has a "bow hat".  It's really just a bow attached to a stretchy headband because she doesn't have enough hair in front to hold one.  Predictably, Grace wants one, too, but I've only got one headband right now!  More silk ribbon here, with the red and white in the centers.  (I wouldn't really recommend doing silk ribbon bows.  They're just too limp.)  

We've tried things on, and they fit, so I'll iron them tonight and I'll post pictures when we get them back! 


  1. Beautiful outfits! I LOVE fancy pinafores on sweet little girls and these are so lovely. Your nieces are lucky to have you to sew for them.

    1. Thanks! I'm thankful that my mom and grandmother took the time to start teaching me... :)

  2. Hello, new follower here and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

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    The Chicken Chick