The story of ‘the dress that goes all the way down’

This dress was commissioned by my daughter, all of three years and 8 months, for a wedding we were due to attend. She wanted a dress that goes ‘all the way down’ ( to the floor ).  I looked at a few dresses on my Pinterest inspiration page  and eventually settled for a simple bodice dress with a long lace skirt. For the bodice I used a small piece of a brocade type fabric that a friend had donated a while ago, added some woven trim in front, and rickrack on neck and armholes for a Indo-Western fusion kind of look.  The lace was also from my fabric collection, originally bought to make myself a kurta. I have since realised that it was probably never going to happen ( the making of the kurta, that is).

I used the size 3 bodice from New Look 6767 for this dress, a pattern which I have in sizes ½ to 4 years. I altered the bodice creating a v-neck , and narrower shoulders by taking off about 3 cms  from the armhole edge of the shoulders. This gives it a more formal look, suitable for a special occasion. The skirt was two pieces of fabric each 60 cms long , hemmed to length after trying the dress on. I also put some matching flower buttons on the back just for that extra touch.(The back closure is a hook and loop one).

I am still marvelling over the fact was that my three-year-old daughter actually requested a particular style for the first time, probably something she observed at the last wedding we attended ( a month ago ) where a lot of young girls were wearing similarly styled dresses.  She’s started following fashion trends! A thought both amusing and mildly alarming at the same time.

The photo bombing attempt by big brother obviously has no effect on her composure!


Pattern review : McCall’s M5966

This dress was made when she was not yet three, and unused for a while because it was too big for her . It’s still too big , falling off her shoulders almost, but getting shorter at the hem, so it has been put into her regular wardrobe.From this experience and others, I have found that McCall’s patterns seem to run large in sizing, but I’ll come to that later.

The pattern features a gathered skirt, crossover bodice with three sleeve options, and a back zipper opening. I changed it up a bit inspired by the Library Dress from O & S.


I made a size 2, redrafting the bodice with a front waistband cut separately and attached with flat piping and lined on the inside for a smooth finish. I didn’t realise the bodice was going to be so wide, or I would definitely have redrafted the shoulders as well. My favourite part of the pattern, the very unusual tulip-shaped puffed sleeves , don’t show as well as they should have,  because of the wide shoulders.


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Coming to my little rant about McCall’s patterns – I am most certainly not the first person to discover this, but it is rather disappointing when a pattern has to be altered drastically to fit the child, despite her conforming to  the correct size measurements on the pattern envelope. This pattern for example, M 5966: The size 2  is obviously too wide , at least 1.5 inches off, on my three year old who fits perfectly into size 3 clothing otherwise. Oh, well. I like the crossover front and sleeve options on the pattern, and the next time I think I will use a basic bodice from my favourite New Look 6767 to achieve a better fit.

2016 sewing

imageSo I neglected my blog for more than a year, and then my teenager revamped it for me, so I am back to blogging. I never stopped sewing though. Most of my sewing is documented in my Flickr album, though there are garments that never made it there either. Generally because they were worn as soon as they left the sewing machine, never photographed while being worn, and then unfit to be photographed because they were in the laundry basket! And too wrinkly after they came out of the laundry , ha ha.

I think I may have to do another post about 2015 sewing.

My favourite project so far in 2016 is my modification of an Oliver and S pattern, the swing set top. I had seen dresses in the Flickr group which were created by lengthening the top to dress length. I wanted a tiered look instead, inspired by this dress on Pinterest.

I started with the size 2 bodice, and shortened the flounce part of the original top by 50%. I then cut two long rectangular fabric pieces  the same height as the shortened top tier ( original flounce pattern piece). Widths were calculated as 1.5 times the width of the previous tier, to allow for moderate gathers. I didn’t want too much fullness in the skirt. I cut the shoulder straps longer in an effort to make the armholes more roomy, this may or may not have been a mistake, as they keep slipping off occasionally when she wears the dress. Finally added some delicate white lace trim at the bottom hem for a overall ‘boho chic’ look.  We love it!