Saturday, August 15, 2009
I've finally gotten back to some non-baby projects and just in time with this wave of hot, summer weather! I'd been on the lookout for a loungewear style dress that could double as a nightgown for those initial days after baby arrives (when you may or may not be dressed/showered in the middle of the day, but don't want to look it) and had no real luck finding anything. So I decided to improvise this item using stuff I had on hand. The fabric is a bamboo jersey so it's still stretchy enough for me to put on for the photo. The bias tape & ribbon were from my grandma's stash of fabric stuff. The price tag on the bias tape was $0.25, so it's definitely vintage! I'd thought the fruit ribbon was so cute, but up until now had no idea how to use it.
I made up the design as I went along. For the neckline & sleeve holes I just traced a top that fit well (by folding it in half on each side to make sure it was symmetrical) and then just extended the length to make it into a dress. Just 2 pieces to sew, so way easy! I stitched on the ribbon to make it an empire-waist and then snaked in elastic to gather it so there would be some drape (when there isn't a bowling ball shaped belly in the way anyway). This is my sewing tip for making something look fitted and flattering without having to do much work. The top I used for the neckline had a drawstring, so there was a bit of a gape in the front. My solution was to fold it into an inverted pleat which is held in place with the stitches from the bias tape.
To give it a little added interest I top stitched with purple thread on the shoulders and bottom hem. It's way comfy, so I'm looking forward to wearing it - especially when it isn't stretched to the max by my stomach!
I also finally got around to making a summer tote bag with this fun lemon fabric I bought ages ago. I figured these two fit together with their "fruit theme" and I'd better do it now before summer was over. I just cut some rectangles of the fabric & lining, ironed on some interface to the lemon fabric & then square stitched the bottom corners to give it depth. Cut some strips for the strap and sandwich those in the edges before I folded in the top to top stitch it closed.
I was too lazy to mess around with a zipper or flap closure, so before I put everything together, I just stitched in some velcro when I added in some pockets.
Fun & functional and both projects can be done without patterns and in a short amount of time. Big wins all around!