Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bumblebee Dress Pattern Test, Size 3M

Pattern by Sewing Mama RaeAnna Goss, sewn by Hedy Laverdiere, Little O
Well, here I am. Finally. I have been wanting to start a sewing, crafting, decorating blog for quite some time now. As per my usual, I go full tilt and so, I am doing my very first blog post on a pattern test I did last week. And yes, I really do most of my sewing at midnight :)

First, a little about me. I am a wife to Scott and mom to 3 - Kayla (1994), Jakob (1997), and Olivia (2010). Yes, the dates are correct! Life is full of joyful surprises! I am a technology, reading, and library teacher by day, crafter by night, and creative through and through. It's how I roll. My mom always thought I'd be a writer, lol, so here I am, mom! I have a little shop named after our little muse, our daughter Olivia, Little O, as well. Years ago, when the other two were small, I had another shop, Whimzzz - Fun Coats for Kids. I have been sewing for more than 33 years and designing since I fashioned Barbie dresses from Kleenex and scarves since I was 7. I am Christian, and live in a quaint semi-rural town in Northeast Ohio. I hope you enjoy my first post and come back for many more tutorials! So, let's get this party started . . .

Bumblebee Dress Size 3M Pattern Test by Hedy Laverdiere, Little O
For fun, I signed on to do a pattern test of Sewing Mama RaeAnna's very first pattern. She is a lovely lady, so fun to work with! This pattern is amazingly versatile; the other pattern testers and I took such delight in viewing everyone's creations!

Pattern Cut changes
I laid the pattern out on 1 yard of pre-washed fabric (43/44”) with standard half fold. Fabric is Riley Blake Designs Remember Main Blue and the Navy Polka Medium Dot basic. My test dress used coordinating fabric for both the front bodice ruffle and sleeve ruffle, however, to test the yardage, I laid out all pieces (including hand-traced ruffle pieces per measurements) on the yard.

The sleeve can be cut in one of two ways, either cut on fold from remaining rectangle of fabric or traced out as 1 pattern piece to cut 2.

Sewing Steps
No changes for Steps 1-14 of the original pattern directions. Sewing order of operations process changed from Step 15 forward (follows industrial process I learned when learning to use my serger, and European methods from my experience sewing Burda and Ottobre children’s patterns). Benefits are that sewing is in the flat, easier to sew children’s small arm openings and precisely match seams. A complete front and back will be created, and then put together.

Step 12
Carefully pin the ruffle up to keep away from seam edges. Keeping front sides together of bodice and lining, sew side seams together.
Bodice front and lining

Step 19
Stitch armhole for each sleeve slowly ensuring curve of sleeve is sewn.

View of bodice. Sleeves and bottom will be sewn together later. Carefully pin the bottom edges of sleeve up on each side to avoid catching in the bodice seam. Looking cute!

Step 20
Sew a basting stitch at the top of the skirt for each skirt piece. Gather and the basting stitch to match the bodice front. With right sides together, pin and stich one skirt to the bodice front.
For the back of the dress, overlap one open edge over the other by 1” and pin. With right sides together, pin and stich the other skirt to the bodice back.

Step 21
Almost done! If desired, topstitch the skirt front, then topstitch the skirt back. 
Step 22
Flip the back of the dress over the front of the dress so that right sides are together. Pin the sleeves, armholes, and skirt, carefully matching seams.

Closeup of sleeve

Step 23
Stitch one side together (TIP: if using a serger, start at the skirt bottom to prevent shifting when sewing armhole and sleeve seams; this way, the fabric is nicely moving along under the serger foot). Repeat for the other side.

Step 24  (Optional)
If you stitched with a serger, to hide the serged sleeve edge, add a short line of stitching to the left of the serged seam for each sleeve.

Step 25
Fold the bottom of the hem up ¼” and press. Fold another ¼” and press. Sew close to the fold to hem the bottom of the skirt. Press the finished hem.

View of nearly complete dress 
A closure is needed for the back of the dress.
Now is also a great time to add any extra embellishing the dress is calling you to do: pockets, ric rac, trim or ribbon, decorative buttons. Since a little one starts putting everything in their little mouths, I opted to not go with any buttons on the front.

Step 26
Add a button or snap closure of your choice to the bodice back!
Here, 1” of decorative elastic and a small button. Add as many, or few, as you like! I did just one, to keep it simple for little one's mama!

Fold the elastic wrong sides together and stitch to lining approximately ½” in from edge. Stitch back and forth to secure.

On other side beginning 1” from edge, use buttonhole stitch to secure a button.

View of button closure

The Bumblebee Dress is complete!
And here it is, my version of the Bumblebee Dress modeled by my friend's little girl, just turned 3 months! Isn't she a doll baby!?  The pleated headband tutorial is by Craftiness is not Optional, just darling!
Make sure all your seams and creases are pressed and ironed out nicely! You can customize the skirt to be shorter for a tunic or top over some cute leggings or ruffle pants! Add a monogram to the bodice for stunning look! And maybe play around with contrasting fabrics! I would love to see your creations! Send your pictures or questions to the pattern designer, RaeAnna Goss at raeannag@gmail.com! 
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Come back for more!
Hedy Laverdiere
Little O