Hello there. I managed to work out the misprint on the pattern and made a couple of birthday dresses for my Bristol nieces. The ‘girls dress pattern’ from the Series 2 Great British Sewing Bee book Sew Your Own Wardrobe. I made the size 4 for the 4 year old and the size 6 for the 7 year old… I know, dangerous, right? (I cut the pattern a bit longer & a bit wider)

I (almost) put them together in one evening after work. In about three hours. It felt a bit like my own sweatshop but I was enjoying myself… (Too much to take photos…)

I did each step twice…

  1. Cut out all the pieces.
  2. Sew the seam up to the zip mark on back & back-lining pieces.
  3. Press the upper seam allowances open & insert the zip. (Pin in place & sew down, along the bottom & back up the other side)
  4. Sew the front to the front skirt & the back to the back skirt. Press the seams up toward the bodice.
  5. Press down the seam allowances of the front bodice & front-lining…
  6. Sew, right-sides-together along the neckline and from armpits to shoulders. Clip, turn & press.
  7. Sew the bodice back & back-lining together, without turning the shoulder seams, but narrowing by a few mm to make it slightly smaller within the seam allowance. Clip, turn & press.
  8. Fold the seam allowance of the linings to cover the stitching, press & stitch in the ditch from the right side, catching the lining underneath.
  9. Poke the back shoulder into the front shoulder & edgestitch down through all layers.
  10. French seam the sides, sew 1st: wrong-sides-together at 5mm, turn & press. Sew again at 10mm.

I had some pink ribbon with gold edges (MrA collects (among (many) other things) ribbons), so I put my metallic thread up top & stitched some around the waist of the bigger dress. I also made a little bow to jazz up the front.

Then I went to bed.

I hemmed them the following night after work, before getting on the train & I hand sewed the linings to the zip before going to bed at the In-Laws’ in Bristol. Phew.

Oh, and (at MrA’s request) I put a bow on the little one as well…

The girls & the In-Laws loved them. They fit & looked lovely. I was later told discreetly there was a bit of a wriggle getting out of them, so I’m pretty sure if I make this pattern again I’ll extend the zip by putting it up the side seam (thanks for the tip Lainey, sounds like much more fun than adding a seam up the back 👍).

Now, where did that lovely fabric come from…?

It was my birthday last week and I was gifted another incredible donation to the never-ending-stash-from-LadyP. (The couple at the top of the pile were fantastic finds from a whitstable boot-sale)

Plans… Top to bottom…

  • florals, dress- shirt- dress
  • Pink embroidered- short boxy ladies jacket?
  • Pink checks- PJ’s for MrA.
  • Black cotton- work shirts.
  • Beige drill- ‘chinos’ for me.
  • Black lace… Halloween…?
  • Pale striped shirting.
  • Navy cotton with white flower- shirts.
  • Red checks- shirt for dad?
  • Florals- dresses.
  • Fine red/ white stripe shirting.
  • 2x floral – dresses.
  • Lightweight small gingham.
  • Man made silk in dusty grey/ blue- very drapey, something for the ladies…
  • Blue chambray with white stars- possibly shorts?
  • More floral.
  • Black silk taffeta – got to be a sexy gown…

…So I’ve got some sewing to do… I’ve no idea how much will get made before the next distraction comes along, but I’m going to have fun finding out.

Happy sewing!

Notes to self: 

  • Adapt pattern for side zip. 
  • Order more tracing paper. 
  • Get sewing!