It has been MONTHS since I've last sewn a garment. Since March, maybe??? I have probably said it a thousand times, but I'll say it again: I do NOT like taking such a long break from sewing, whether on purpose or not. It makes me hesitant to get back into the sewing room, which is just silly. Once I am in there, I want to be a machine, so, it seems silly to be weirded out about pressing the pedal to the metal, so to speak.
But hey - I can now say I HAVE sewn.... and while this post contains three different projects, I managed to squeeze in another today, which I will hopefully blog about tomorrow.
Today's post is about the lovely Child's Prairie Dress and Pinafore 213 by Folkwear Patterns. I traced last week or the week before, and I managed to cut it out at some point - with trials and tribulations along the way, of course. I didn't realize until the day I started sewing that I had cut pieces out of the apron fabric that I needed to have cut out from the main dress fabric.... which then explained why I hadn't had enough fabric for said apron in the first place (which had resulted in two trips BACK to the fabric store, after I purchased the wrong fabric the first time, due to not taking in the original fabric for matching purposes).
I will say this was a labor of love, as it felt like I was sewing forever, though I did managed to sew all three pieces from about noon on Thursday through 9 this morning, which is really less than two full days, aha. The dress was an easy sew, really, and I'm glad I went with the short version for the size 8 dress. As it is, it's pretty long on Camden, and she'll be wearing this to school, so, I hate for it to be more cumbersome than it already is. On the actual dress, the only thing I changed was in using lace, rather than a fabric ruffle on the collar. Ain't nobody got time for fabric ruffles. And I did add interfacing for the buttonholes and buttons, though it doesn't call for that.
The apron/pinafore required more work. First of all, there are a million pleats, which are fine, but it does take time. The directions say to press them all to the left, fronts and back included, which seemed silly to me, as I like mirror images. I pressed the front pleats toward the outside, from the center on out. The backs, I pressed towards the outside, too, I believe. Also, the directions don't call for any finishing on the seams, which I did serge throughout, of course, but in particular, I pressed four different seams (where the side panels meet the front and back pieces) to one side then folded them under and top-stitched. This ensured there would be no unsightliness on the top edges of the front and back pieces. Clearly, these extra steps took up a bit of time, but I'm glad I did this process. And attaching the waistband is option, but I like the look. Sewing it on requires patience - and hopefully, you sew those pleats carefully so that the width is lovely, aha.
The bonnet was an easy sew, though it is definitely a bit of a sun-blocker, aha! You can see in the photos that the brim is long, which means it wouldn't be safe to try and cross any streets without a chaperone, so to speak. Camden does want to wear this bonnet to school, but I told her there are rules about hats on campus, so, she'd likely need to remove it upon entering the building. Lastly, I totally did NOT mean to cut out the pinafore fabric for the ties - my bad. I didn't even think about it until after I was sewing the straps onto the bonnet.
Overall, the directions were good, though I do wish the pattern drawings better matched the directions/pattern pieces, and it would have been nice if terms like "raw edge" were used more, when appropriate, as it would have made things clearer. I did struggle with the front/back markings, as I was over-thinking the directions and noting that the drawings didn't match up, so, I called the company, and someone answered right away and was super friendly and helpful.
Speaking OF the first day of school, it will be Camden's first official day of an official public school. She will attend three days a week this year, so, we shall see how it goes. Clearly, she is not used to an environment where there are a million students (to be fair, she will be at a school essentially meant for homeschooled kids, but it is still definitely larger than the schools she has attended previously). I am interested in seeing how kids perceive her clothing choices. I also hope that, if anyone says anything, Camden is able to stand strong in what she believes is a fun outfit choice for her first day of school. She definitely won't be dressed like everyone else, and a part of me is sad that she'll be exposed to this new world where lots of kids will think everyone needs to be the same.
And a few days in the life of...