When I saw the Pretty Roses collection, I knew right away that I wanted to try sewing a dress for my granddaughter. I don’t do a lot of clothes sewing but I’ve done a couple of things for her in the past so thought I should be able to do this. I picked a pattern by Lilac Lane called Lollipops and Gumdrops (available here) and chose to make the View 2 dress in size 4T.
The first hint I can offer when printing out the pattern is that the last page of instructions—page 18—switches to landscape orientation, as are all the pattern pages that follow. I found the grids very helpful in aligning all my pieces to tape together. It did take some time but it wasn’t too difficult. I also highlight the cutting line I’ll be using to help me stay on track as I’m cutting.
I chose to use the focal print 8806 for the body of the dress and the Sketched Lines-white on white 8823 for the collar and ruffle.
Once I got it home I realized the focal was directional and I wanted the blue lines in the background to run up and down so I had to adjust how I laid out the pattern. The pattern has the pieces laid out against the fold opposite the selvage but I opened up my fabric and brought the cut ends to the center and laid the pattern pieces on those folds. There was plenty of fabric to do this.
The next thing I had to modify was the ruffle that goes around the bottom of the dress. The instructions call for you to run a gathering stitch along the top hem but I found that my thread kept breaking while trying to gather through that many thicknesses of fabric. Instead, I stitched the hem normally and ran my gathering thread just underneath but through only one layer. I also started and stopped at each hem so I could gather each half of the ruffle from two directions. I used a water soluble marker to mark where the bottom of the ruffle would be on the dress.
The armholes and keyhole in the back of the dress are enclosed with bias tape. I didn’t want them to stand out as they would if I used purchased bias tape. I thought it must be just like bias binding on a quilt so I improvised and cut my own out of the leftover fabric from the dress pieces. I cut 2 ¼” strips at a 45 degree angle.
I ironed over a ½” along one side (the hot ruler was great for this!) and sewed it on using a scant ½” seam allowance along the other side.
It worked perfectly…until I got to the keyhole opening. That gave me fits! I kept ending up with a bunch of gathers as I tried to make the turn.
I ripped it out several times and was afraid I would be weakening the fabric so I resorted to emailing a good friend for help. She suggested putting just a bit of lightweight fusible interfacing right at the end of the cut and clipping the bias tape where it would make the turn. Both of those things helped, and while not perfect, it looks pretty good. If I ever sew this again I think I would try to use narrower bias tape around the keyhole.
For the collar I did use purchased bias tape. When pinning the collar on make sure the bias is open and out of the way so you don’t catch it in your basting stitches (yes, I had to rip it out and redo it!) .
Everything else went together pretty easily. The only other thing I would do differently is center the elastic loop in the opening rather than have it pushed up against the top.
I let my granddaughter pick out the button.
The pattern itself was fairly easy to follow and the step-by-step illustrations were very helpful. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.
And here is my granddaughter modeling her new dress on Easter day (it was too cold to be out for long but we ran out between rain showers to get these pictures).