Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Apron Knot Dress

After a friend asked me to make one of these dresses for her daughter, I bought this pattern from Little Lizard King.  I thought maybe I could wing the pattern myself, but sizing always makes me nervous.  So I talked myself into buying a pattern.  I liked the look of this finished dress better than some of the other apron knot dress patterns on Etsy but I was a little nervous buying a pattern cold turkey.
But I was pleasantly surprised.  The pattern was very thorough and had lots of pictures illustrating each step. I think traditional pattern companies could take a lesson from these modern PDF pattern makers.
The dress went together really well.  I used French seams throughout. Next time I think I will forgo the French seam to attach the skirt. It's just a little bulky.  I don't like having raw seams visible though, so I would lengthen the bodice lining so I could just iron the raw edge under and hand sew it down to cover and finish that seam.
The only issue I had was with the buttonhole foot on my machine. It kept coming up against the bulk of the skirt seam and getting stuck. I know my sister loves that foot, but dang, I just never seem to get it right. No problem though. In the end I decided to just hand finish the button holes with a bit of embroidery floss I had lying around.  I really like the way it looks and after the frustration with the buttonhole foot it was nice to just slow down a little and do some handwork.

I happened into JoAnn's $1 Simplicity pattern sale this weekend so I picked up a baby dress pattern with bloomers (among other patterns! One dollar is a STEAL!!).  Here is where my frustration really comes in. After using the PDF pattern, the standard pattern was a real downgrade. I am so spoiled by the photo heavy on-line patterns and tutorials. And it seemed like their sizing was WAY off. Twenty-two inches of elastic for the waist of an 18 month pair of bloomers?? Um, no. I cut it down to about 18" but even so the bloomers look large. I guess we will wait and see if they fit and go from there.

This dress is a special order for a friend but I think I be making more.  I'm thinking a Christmas dress for the Bug is in order. Though Little Lizzard has a new pattern coming, The Little Princess Ruffle Dress, that is speaking to me. I can just see all those ruffles in silk duponini some other such luxurious fabric. So we shall see. A girl can never have too many cute dresses, right?




  1. Your Mom and Grandmother thought the same thing (never too many cute dresses). That's why you had so many Polly Flinders dresses when you were little. =D

  2. Oh yes, the horrors of traditional sewing patterns. As a reference, my daughter who will be 4 this week uses 18 inches of elastic around her waist, including seam allowances. I think kids' measurements are always a bit skewed because most patterns don't take into account that they wear their waistbands below their belly bump, not on it.

  3. I think the pattern is leaving room for a diaper. Even still the pattern looks like long bloomers. There has to be something online! Or it not, bloomers shouldn't be too hard to figure out on your own.

  4. i love it. can't wait to get it on ms. ruby. of course i also had to click on the little lizard link and saw that princess ruffle dress. oh my, it is adorable. i may need one of those too, lol!

  5. First, I love your fabric choices! Very, very cute. Second, thank you for such a kind tribute!!

    I will definitely need testers for the ruffle dress. It's going to be a while before the pattern is ready. I'm going to include three versions. Super ruffle, medium ruffle, and a little ruffle.

  6. I too am loving the pdf pattern sellers. Who doesn't want an accompanying 26 full colour photo tute (for example) with their pattern?

    Also, normally I don't link to my own stuff, but I do have a tute for machined buttonholes without a special foot. NOT to say that I don't like your hand stitched one, because I do, and I like that you added how it took you out of the project for a second. But just in case you want to check it out: http://untilwednesdaycalls.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-manual-machine-buttonholes.html

  7. I'm in complete agreement with your statement, "I think traditional pattern companies could take a lesson from these modern PDF pattern makers." I've become very partial to online tutorials and PDF patterns. I'm using a store-bought pattern right now and miss having all the pictures.