Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FO: Dress for a Teenager

(Click on pics for close-up view!) As planned, I made my daughter a dress at the weekend. I haven’t made her many clothes for many years. Once she developed her own opinions, it became too precarious! But every detail of this dress was negotiated as I went along: the pattern, the fabric, the buttons, the length – everything!

There was a scary moment when she came to try it on and I thought it was too small, but luckily it fits really well. She tried it on before I sewed in the sleeves and we decided it looked fine without them, so I added some bias binding round the armholes instead. 1970’s puff-shoulders were never going to be within my daughter’s comfort zone!

I had to reduce the bodice by two inches all over, length as well as width, and I know I should have got her to try it on earlier as it could so easily not have fitted. The instructions for the front bands were very confusing and I ended up just following my instincts. Because of the adjustments to the top, the skirt had to lose a few inches of width to be in proportion. It’s still a really good swooping half-circle.

I don’t know how often she will wear it as she is not a dressy girl – it is definitely for layering over jeans and a camisole as the ladderwork fabric is quite sheer. She dug out a long white cotton petticoat from way-back-when which looks pretty funky under it too.

Verdict? A success! Phew! A landmark in many ways, as I think she will trust me to make her more clothes in the future… and I do think that every girl needs at least one dress in her wardrobe.

13 on Saturday 13th – eek!

Stats: Vintage 1970's Butterick "Betsey Johnson Young Designer" pattern 6978, in age 13-14, reduced by two inches in bodice width and length and the skirt shortened another six! The material is pure cotton from Favourite Fabrics at Ebay and was £3.99 a metre. It has alternating stripes of ladderwork and dotted swiss embroidery. Simple black buttons from John Lewis. Evil black Vilene 180 interfacing which melts within three feet of an iron - grrr!


tea and cake said...

This looks absolutely perfect on your daughter - well done, you!
All I've been allowed to do for my grand-daughter, who is just aged 12, is a shirred top dress - and that was only just!

RooKnits said...

It's fabulous Roo - it looks great over skinny jeans. Just the kind of thing I wanted when I was 13 to go with my DMs and leggings :o)

Segwyne said...

That is a really pretty dress. You did a great job. My daughter turns 13 next month on the 10th, so I know what you mean about not being trusted to make clothes. I offered to make her a dress for her semi-formal dance at the end of this month, and I thought she was excited about being able to help design it, but then she had her dad get her a dress from the department store. Not that it isn't a pretty dress, but since she doesn't live with me, I had hoped to be able to do a little bonding over the dress.