Thursday, February 7, 2008

Twirl-Construction Notes

Wow. I can't believe how many comments and emails this Little Dress has generated. Thanks, all!

I see that there is a contest going on over at Pattern Review for a knock off design, and since the prize is $200, I'm thinking about it.....what do yall think? That sure would make a lot more Little Dresses if I won, wouldn't it?

Who am I kidding? The Little Dresses will continue anyway. I just can't help myself.

Would it surprise you to know that I currently have 16 more designs sketched out, based on the basic Twirl pattern?

Or that I've squeezed 10 additional designs and suggestions so far out of the Male Inhabitants in this house? These guys are really creative, if I can just get them off the X-Box and the Internet and basketball.....

It's kind of surprising, actually, since I live in the House of Testosterone, that I get such great input from these guys. Maybe they just humor me to get me to shut up and go away, but they are quick to say Yes, that's good! or Good grief, Woman, get a grip on yourself.

I get that last one a lot.

On to the Construction Notes:

In an effort to remember/not lose/keep track of/organize myself, I now keep a legal pad on the sewing table. And a pencil with an eraser. This way I can jot down little notes as I sew about sewing order, seam allowances, interfacing, and machine settings. In the long run this will be a huge time saver, since those Little Twin Girls are cooking right along.....She Who Is Pregnant With Twins is at 26 weeks and growing.

For the skirt ruffles, which we will refer to as Ruffles A, I used 20 strips. For the hem ruffles (Ruffles B), I used 9 strips. This dress is a fabric hog.

I used fusible knit interfacing, cut into 1 1/2" strips, to interface the back bodices.

While roll hemming with the serger, I once more ran out of thread. This time it was on the left needle, and I discovered that you get an even thinner roll hem if you thread the right needle only. I really like it better that way. And I love the look of machine embroidery thread in the upper and lower loopers on the roll hem.

For the elastic in the back, I measured the length of the back bodice/skirt seamline and cut a piece of baby elastic 2 inches shorter than the measured seam. After sewing and serging the skirt to the bodice, I zigzagged the center of the elastic to the seamline. No casing was needed, and I got nice soft gathering for a better fit, just like I wanted.

I made the underskirt from a skirt circle and added the ruffle at the bottom.

I plan to make a more permanent copy of my original pattern. I will draw it with 1/4" seam allowances on the neck and armholes, and 3/8" everywhere else. It is more efficient, time-wise, to start out with 1/4" allowances on the neck and armholes, since I have to trim off the excess anyway. I will still need to clip the seam allowances. I have found that it is much easier and more accurate to sew curves with a small seam allowance.

Total Cost of this Little Dress:

5 1/2 yards fabric (Poly/cotton from Joann's)


3 buttons


Sewing thread


Machine embroidery thread




Total Cost


Since the original dress was priced at $195.00, I saved $172.67. I can make more dresses!

No, my Little Dress is not silk.

No, my Little Dress is not dry clean only.

Yes, I love this Little Dress.

Now that I have the pattern perfected, the cutting figured out, the sewing order established, and the serger submitted to my will, I figure I could make one of these Little Dresses from start to finish in 4 hours flat.

I just might try it. Am I nuts, or what? I'm thinking bright blue with a lime green ruffle at the bottom.....need fabric, need more fabric, gotta have me some fabric........
While I try to decide, I'm trying to work out this little number, based on Twirl:

One of the Random Teenagers has named this one Doritos. I may have to cut one of these out real soon.


patsijean said...

By all means, enter Twirl in the contest. I am looking forward to Doritos.

designdreamer said...

Did you decide to skip the buttons on the front?

Rebecca said...

WOW! You have to get well so I can see Grace in that dress! It is beyond beautiful. I also miss you and your cooking! Doritos....yum!