Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dress for Sweet Sailing & How to Turn A Sleeve Into Sleeveless

Today I thought I'd share a dress I made for my little lady with the upcoming Independence Day festivities in mind.  I used the pattern for the Mariner Dress from the Summer 3/09 issue of Ottobre Design with a few tweaks of my own.  

I love holiday-style dressing, but the one drawback is the short time-span it can be worn "in-season".  In my mind, when you're taking the time to make something you definitely want it to be put on more than once or twice.  So I thought these coordinating prints were the perfect choice - they've got the festive Fourth of July-style colors, but with a nautical flair that works for a little sailor dress:
I loved the little kerchief collar and how the anchors and stripes look together:
They're from the same Red, White and True Blue collection by Karen Snyder I used for the skirt I shared last week, so mommy & daughter go together, but not too cutesy-matchy.
I already had this dress pattern in my stash from a few years ago, but as I've mentioned before, I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Ottobre Design patterns (more on that here).  Super cute designs, but no visuals on putting things together.  Less than helpful is an understatement.  I'm not exactly a beginner when it comes to sewing, but man did I get frustrated with the instructions (or lack-their-of) for the placket of the dress!  Ultimately I gave up trying to follow them and just fudged my own version together.

The original pattern also called for short sleeves, but with the weather here being in the mid-90s lately, I wanted a sleeveless version.  I also didn't want to wrestle with making a full facing or lining, so I did this quickie solution instead.  Before sewing up the side seams I grabbed some seam binding tape and placed it over the right side of the fabric, lining it up with the raw edge.  Then I sewed them together close to the binding's lower edge:
Then I trimmed down the raw edge to 1/4 inch from the original 1/2 inch and then clipped around the curve and folded the seam binding under against the wrong side of the fabric and pressed into place.
I topstitched 1/4 inch inward from the binding stitching:
Then finished the rest of the steps to complete the dress for a nice, breezy look:
I topped things off with some shiny silver buttons for the front to give it the full seaworthy treatment.  Now my little patriot is ready to both wave her flag and cruise on the water.  From the looks of it, she's definitely "on-board" with it;)
 Have a wonderful holiday everyone!!
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  1. This is absolutely adorable. What perfect 4th of July attire. Jodi @ www.meaningfulmama.com

  2. AWESOME! And very cute,i would love to try something like this for my niece.

  3. So cute!! Perfect for the 4th! =)

  4. What an adorable outfit worn by an adorable cutie!

  5. Such a cutie patootie dress & Little Lady!!! I would SO wear a pair of those shoes if they had them in MY size!!!! Love the way you 'splained the sleeveless part, thanx for that!

  6. What a great summer outfit! And the model is is so cute. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you tomorrow.


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