It’s been my goal for an EON to practice making clothes and I’ve finally started. Enter my daughter’s ladybug dress/tunic.
The pattern is an old one I inherited from my grandmother’s pattern stash, with a number of modifications. It’s Butterick 6454 for children, a Fast & Easy pattern from probably the eighties. I made the dress on the left in size 6-6x.
The dress has a back button-loop at the neck, an elasticized waist and above-knee length. It says it can be made in both lightweight wovens and stable jerseys. The fabric I chose is a lightweight cotton woven, almost a madras-feel fabric, with a ladybug print. I even had matching ladybug buttons!
For this project I also decided to finally learn how to use my serger (which I got a year and a half ago!) , in this case to finish the interior seams. I did successfully manage to thread the thing five times, and even figured out how to cope with some stitch and tension changes.
Due to Learning to Serge, Lack of Interfacing Delays, Button Closure Problems and Sizing Issues, this make was definitely NOT fast & easy but it was a good learning experience that resulted in a wearable – even cute! – muslin.
Even the button closure (which I will never again use in a child’s clothing project because they don’t like it) turned out ok. I used elastic for the loop.
The initial “finished” version was way too big! I mean, it was okay for a sack, but I realized that I should have made an entire size smaller. I assumed the 6-6x but was wrong! The neck was really the only thing that fit okay.
I considered just giving up and waiting until she grows into it (probably next year), but delayed gratification and the whole sack-like styling of it just bothered me. I ended up taking 1.5 inches off each side and 3 inches off the hem. The sleeves were easy to trim down too as it’s a cut-on cap sleeve. I trimmed and sewed the new sides with my serger.
My revised version also only had an elasticized back waist, which looks much better on a child’s body, in my opinion. The dress now looks like it has shape and style! It’s fitted but in a comfortable way due to the elastic. Trimming the hem also made it into a comfy tunic length, which is good for kids. Add red rights and it’s good to go!
I enjoyed making this and all the learning and I’m so pleased it came out well!