I sorted out a load of clothes from Miss M wardrobe recently, moving loads into Miss C wardrobe (benefits of having 2 girls!) which left great gaping holes in her wardrobe. I bought some t-shirts as she was seriously lacking in that department and looked around the blogosphere looking for some patterns and tutorials for dresses and tops. Unfortunately there don't seem to be many tutorials for Miss M age range (age 7-8), there are loads for toddler girls and pre-schoolers but get to school age and there are thin pickings! I've always been a bit reluctant to buy patterns for the girls as they grow so quickly and they aren't very cheap at least in the UK. I've been working through my Design It Yourself book so I don't buy patterns for myself either but I'm nowhere near confident to start drafting for children!
Anyway I decided I would have to bite the bullet and off we popped to the fabric shop and I found this New Look pattern which had a number of basic shapes that you could mix and match. This is what appealed to me the most as I thought it would be very versatile and it cost £5.25 (I think) so it wasn't too expensive. Miss M measured as size 7 on the chart which meant there was one extra size to go and Miss C would fit into the range quite happily but as I mentioned she has so many clothes it’s ridiculous. I traced off size 7 rather than cut it, something I've never done before but I wanted to preserve the pattern for other sizes. It all worked very well, I decided to use bodice B with Skirt F adding on bows to the shoulder straps which is an option on bodice B. I'm really pleased with the way it came out, the size is great, generous in fact as you are never quite sure if it’s gonna be ok until it’s made! Miss M thinks it’s great and wanted to wear it straight away!
I did a blind hem and also used a french seam on the side seams to make it neater, I love french seams!
Look how well the bodice front, back and skirt front and back matched up! Really chuffed with my sewing skills on this one!
Love the bows for extra detail
The front and back have 6 1/4" tucks to take in the fullness, worked well at skimming over Miss Ms pot belly!
I put in an invisible zip as I feel they are a lot neater and not as difficult as you might think!
I also made some labels! Using this tutorial involving iron-on transfer paper I made twill labels. They are 1/2" wide and look pretty cool. Unfortunately I made them after the dress so I had to sew them in by hand which I won't show you as my hand stitching is dreadful! I'll show you the next one that gets machined stitched in!
So what do you think? Pretty good I think. I've already decided on a halterneck dress and a frilled sleeve tunic as next on the list. I've been really impressed with this pattern so I might try some more especially if I get more mix and match patterns so I can make different clothes rather than churning out the same dress in different fabrics!