I have had a few days with more time to sew so I made another knit dress, this time from a pattern from an old issue of Burda World of Fashion (February 2005), before the magazine became BurdaStyle. The original pattern called for a stripe to be cut on the bias for the skirt panels so there would be a chevron effect. This is what I first planned for this dress: solid black bodice with a gray and black striped skirt. But my striped knit was a bit too sheer and I didn’t want to line it and weight down the dress so I ended up switching to a print. I didn’t need the skirt panels to be on the bias anymore, so I redrew the grainline to the center of the panel. Worked out great. I did slightly raise the v-neck as well.
; I made this dress from Hotpatterns 1138: Metropolitan Verano Dress and Top. I am not yet in love with this dress . . . I am sure I will wear it and maybe I’ll like it better after I’ve spent some time with it … The first strike against the dress is it’s color. I like the print, but it’s a bit more blue than I thought it was when I ordered it. The second strike is that the waist of the dress doesn’t hit me exactly at my waist–it’s a little lower. The pattern piece seemed okay when I held it up to me, but with a stretchy knit, things sometimes stretch out a bit when sewn. I should have basted and adjusted the waist as I sewed the dress. I took in the side seams of the bodice of the dress considerably–inches in fact to make the dress more fitted. It’s supposed to be “a slouchy, semi fitted silhouette” according to the pattern directions, which is what it is now I’ve taken it in. Before the adjustments I would have considered it oversized and nearly unfitted. I am not sure if it was the stretchiness of my fabric or that there was too much ease (for me) in the pattern but it made me look as if I were a child wearing an adult’s dress. It’s much better now. This is a style that a FBA would probably not be necessary for most people.
This skirt is from the Autumn 2011 issue of Ottobre Design. The design is called “Butterfly Wing” and is for older girls (sizes 128-170). The original skirt in the magazine was made from soft mesh tulle, with ribbing for the waistband and batiste for the under portion of the skirt. I used a knit mesh, sometimes called “knit tulle” for the ruffles and a rayon lycra jersey for the under skirt. My girl isn’t into anything ‘girly’ anymore, but she will wear this skirt, usually with solid colored leggings and a Woot shirt, but she must have been feeling more festive the day I took the picture as she had on striped tights, which went surprisingly well with the skirt. I think the muted colors of the skirt appeal to her. I have been giving away all fabrics that seem too juvenile for a girl her age. It’s sad to let some of them go, as I had projects in mind for them, but maybe some other mother will find use for them.
I did raise the neckline considerably, as it was quite plunging and not suitable for my workplace. But the raised square neckline and dark gray of the dress are perfect for vintage dress clips.
I tried out my pair of silver clips:
then my singleton colorful circle clip:
My kids voted for the colors, to counter the plain grayness of the dress.
I also altered the skirt of the dress to be slightly a-line instead of straight, eliminating the need for the slit in back, and making it more functional for my job. It’s a nice dress, with front and back princess seams which provide nice shaping. I used a rayon blend double knit for this project, which was a good choice. A fairly stable knit is required.
A length of ribbon and some elastic makes a simple bento band:
I can’t remember what this piece of rainbow ribbon came with, but it was too short for anything else except a bookmark. Or, a bento band. Quite possibly the fastest sewing project I ever did!
Not too cutesy, but makes me happy to look at it.
Robot Guy is based on this drawing by my preschooler:
The designer approved the color change of Robot Guy’s head, although we had differences of opinion about what Robot Guy should be.
The designer wanted Robot Guy to be a toy. I wanted him to decorate a bento band. Neither side would give in so . . . add a button and a buttonhole
and voila, a toy that can be attached to a bento band! Here he is in bento band mode:
I made this bento band just like a headband. I cut a rectangle of corduroy my desired length, and three inches wide (for a finished width of one inch, with 1/2 ” seam allowances). I folded the rectangle in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sewed the long edge. I trimmed my seam allowances and turned right side out. I pressed so the seam ran up the middle of the back of the band. After determining how big I needed the band, I cut the elastic and tucked the ends into the fabric portion, folding the raw edges of fabric in as well, and stitched. I made a button hole in the middle of the fabric portion.
Robot Guy is entirely made from wool felt and stuffed with wool. He is hand sewn, except for the seam between the head and body, which I machine sewed. I used fabric markers for his face and chest controls, which I heat set with an iron. I then sewed on a clear button to his back.
Part toy, part bento robot! And the designer and I are both happy.