Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I made this little top for Violet's 2nd birthday, which is next week! Gosh, I can't believe she's going to be 2 already. I wanted her to have a special outfit for the big day, so I made up this top. It only took me one evening of sewing, which I love; I am an instant gratification type of girl.
I purchased a .pdf pattern and instructions from Frog Legs and Ponytails on Etsy...gosh I love Etsy, what did people ever do before Etsy...the Carson Ruffle shirt.
Description from the pattern - Simple instructions and lovely color photos. Make it sweet or sassy! This little ruffled number is sure to turn heads! 8 sizes included(12-24 Months, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8)
Fabrics - I made size 3T, and the pattern called for 1 yard of fabric #1, 1/4 yard of fabric #2 (the center ruffle), and 1/2 yard of fabric #3 (the bottom ruffle). I had some extra of fabrics #2 and #3, which can be expected, but for fabric #1, I only used 1/2 yard since I had the store-bought bias tape. The fabrics I used were 1) Robert Kaufman Tossed Cupcakes in pink 2) Alexander Henry Kleo in sage 3) Robert Kaufman Strawberry Metro Market. The back of the top is just the cupcakes fabric, with the strawberry fabric ruffle at the bottom.
Illustrations - There was about 1 photo for each step, which was sufficient, because this pattern is pretty straight-forward. I appreciated all the action photos at the end.
Pattern Pieces - I love .pdf patterns because I get a kick out of printing the pattern pieces and knowing that I can print them as many times as I need to, for example, if I am going to be making this again in the future in a bigger size. There were only 3 pattern pieces (one of them was assembled from 4 printed pages taped together), and the ruffles were all cut from rectangular measurements. Score!
The pattern called for either store-bought bias tape or homemade bias tape, and even though I do think it would look better with a homemade bias tape in a coordinating fabric, tough, because I just don't have the patience for that (although, this project did cause me to look at the snazzy bias tape maker made by Simplicity, but would I really make $60 worth of bias tape on it in my lifetime? Doubtful.). I really enjoyed the bias tape along the top and for the straps, it makes the shirt look really polished and pretty.
Maybe this pattern looks a little complicated for a beginner, but it was super-easy. Practically all the seams are straight, and I just used a zig-zag stitch to finish the seams. If you can sew a basting stitch and pull a thread with your fingers, then you can make the ruffles. The hardest part for me was matching up which fabric was supposed to be which piece/ruffle, but once I wrapped my head around that I was good to go.
The top looked just beautiful sitting on my ironing board, but the real test was trying it on my little subject. As the terrible two's are setting in, Violet has become extremely choosy with her clothing. If she doesn't like it, she sends you away like the princess she is. I did manage to mind-control her into putting it on one time, and there is way too much fabric around the body (it sort of seems like she is wearing a smooshed hula hoop around the bottom), so I did a little tweek and took it in on the sides. I still have to try it on her again tomorrow, but I figure I am more likely to be able to convince her older brother to help me out, so I'm probably going to do that (after Daddy goes to work, so he doesn't have to see his son wearing such finery).
Conclusion - Difficulty level advanced beginner. Would I make this top again? I wouldn't make it for Violet to wear as an every-day item, but it is terribly cute, for say, a birthday party.