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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Summer Dress for Our Little Lamb


There is something about having a granddaughter that warms my heart and gets my creative juices flowing, and this summer, I've been busy making Reagan some summer outfits.


Just look at those big blue eyes and button nose!  And the dimples in her elbows and knuckles make my heart melt. 



So, I got busy making Reagan this adorable outfit for summer using McCalls pattern M4424 by Laura Ashley.  


I enjoy detailing my work by using decorative stitches and embroidery.  I put this cross-stitch pattern around the base of the bodice and thought it looked really nice.


I also tacked down the bows so that they wouldn't come off.  They look so cute on the back of the dress.


I was happy with the way the lap in the back turned out too.  They can be a bit of a problem - putting in a lap in garments, but the instructions in this pattern made it especially easy and it came out perfect.


I had my daughter take Reagan's measurements for these little panties.  Whenever you make clothes for children that require elastic around the waist or thighs, it is a good idea to take accurate measurements so that the elastic won't be too tight.  In fact, I prefer to make the elastic just a little loose.  In this case, I made the leg and waist elastic about 1" longer than her actual measurements so that she had room to grow.



I also put this decorative loopy stitch around the bias binding I made for the elastic casing around the thighs and waist.  I thought it added a nice touch, don't you?!


It is the same loopy stitch I put around the hem border as well.


I also added this machine embroidered fluffy little lamb to the front of the bodice.  Isn't she cute?  I love having a sewing machine that does embroidery too.  It is a lot of fun and there are a lot of places online where you can find embroidery for your embroidery machine. I have the Pfaff 2124 and the 4D Embroidery Software.  My favorite place on the web for finding embroidery is called The Embroidery Library.  If you have an embroidery machine, you'll have to check them out.  


That is where I found this cute little lamb!  I purchased the embroidery design, downloaded it to my 4D Embroidery software program, opened it in 4D, resized it to fit on her dress, optimized the stitches, and uploaded the saved design to the card reader that goes in my machine.  Complicated?  Yes.  It took me 3 years to get up the nerve to learn how to use this machine and I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying the embroidery journey.


I was not, however, able to make a decent embroidered label with the machine.  For some reason, there were too many stitches in the letters and that made it difficult to read.  So, I pulled out an old wood hoop with some white muslin fabric and made my own label with embroidery thread, a needle, and 30 minutes of my time.  Then, I whip-stitched it to the inside of Reagan's dress.


The most challenging part about making the hat was the 3" elastic I had to put in the back.  Getting that small piece of elastic in the casing was challenging to say the least, and I stitched over that thing a dozen times, praying it wouldn't pop out some day.  I think it's in there like concrete and it stretches nicely too to fit her comfortably.  I also made a bow out of the contrasting fabric for the back of the hat too.  


I thought it was so cute when I finished.


Here is the completed outfit.  I enjoyed this pattern!  If you have a baby girl you can sew for, you should try this pattern.  


And then make sure you get lots of pictures of her wearing it with great big smiles and dimples too!!




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