I promise! Pictures of cute girls in adorable homemade Easter dresses are coming soon! Today I’m going to talk about momma’s Easter dress. The one that I decided I needed to make less than a week ago!
And oh my goodness I am thrilled I took the plunge.
It all started when I saw By Gum, By Golly’s review of the book Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. A whole book about making dresses? Yes please. But ugh. I’ve been having so much trouble getting a good fit lately. Did I really need another book. Well, Tasha’s review mentioned how well the neckline fit using Gertie’s patterns so I decided to give it a try, but not before going to our local book store to give it a quick look first. What I found was a book filled with exactly the style of dresses I love most!
Lots of different styles of bodices and different kinds of skirts (non of them dirndl, thank goodness).
I was immediately smitten with the dress in the upper right corner. It features a v-neck, puff sleeve, and pleated skirt. I took a quick dive into my stashed and pulled out the dress quantity of Tiger Lily lawn I’d stashed several months back. Originally I’d planned to make another Washi for the winter, but I’ve been excited to make non-elastic waist clothes lately. Plus butterflies are totally Easter appropriate!
This pattern did end up needing some significant alteration. Like, I had to make the front darts smaller and the back darts larger. I also had to make the same alterations to the skirt. That wasn’t such a big deal. Normal for me. The hardest alteration to figure out was the sleeves. Those are always always always too tight on me. But this time I was determined to get the fit right.
There was a lot of swearing and seam ripping in my house last weekend as I tried and tried again to get the sleeves to fit. Then I had a light bulb moment and pulled out my sleeve sloper. My sloper is a little old, but I figured my shoulder shape hasn’t changed that much. Worth a try.
Oh yeah, that is a big difference! My sloper shows I needed a much taller sleeve cap! Once I made that discovery the whole pattern alteration process went smoothly.
The sewing process wasn’t without its bumps though.
I’d really wanted to use white piping in the neckline like the rickrack in Gertie’s. I even had white piping on hand. But ugh! I just could not get it sewn in correctly no matter how I tried. Of course 2 days later I realized I’d been trying to sew piping with a zipper foot. Whoops! No sense in ripping it out by that point. I’ll save that plan for next time.
I also tried sewing in my zipper 4 or 5 times. Every gosh darn time the fabric puckered at least a little bit. I eventually settled for matching facings and waist seams figuring that after taking a seam ripper to lawn 3 or 4 times it wouldn’t survive a 4th or 5th attempt. Moving on.
And really that is a minor complaint in a dress that looks really great and is so light and comfortable I’ll be able to wear it to work all summer long.
Lastly, this is what happens when you ask a 4 year old for modeling ideas. Ha!