Tuesday, January 31, 2017

French Terry Shirt and Dress

  Before our Thanksgiving plans last year were cancelled by an untimely virus, I made some clothes for my older two daughters to wear that day. To start with, I made Booper an Uptown Downtown dress in French terry from Sincerely Rylee.

  Although I've sewn the Uptown Downtown dress before (here and here), this was my first time using it since it's been updated.

  I had high hopes for the update, but it looks like the main change was making the instructions include all of the different options that can be made from the add-on pack. Unfortunately, while the pattern itself was changed some, there are odd things going on like the shoulder seam sitting well behind the top of the shoulder, and the seams still aren't completely trued. I did think the layout of the instructions was interesting, and a little easier to use than the long-form of the original version. The new version has tabs for the different sections, such as pockets and the different neckline finishes. The instructions still use photos in some areas and illustrations in others.

  The main thing that bothered me, however, was the trimless pages. If your printer is like mine and prints in a slightly different spot on each page (the actual printed area is exactly the same size, just the margins change) it leads to a lot of inaccuracies and frustrations when assembling the pattern. I'd much rather spend the time cutting the edges off of the pages!

  I made the cowl-neck, long sleeved version this time, and included the pockets! I also did a twin-needle hem for the sleeves and skirt, for a change. =)

  Since I was using a French terry without much stretch, I went up a size from what Booper's measurements put her in. I'm glad I did, as it would have been too tight otherwise, particularly in the sleeves. I also lengthened the dress to below Booper's knees.

  I used a thinner, stretchier rayon-blend French terry for the cowl, and I love the way it drapes! It also hasn't pilled up quite as much as the polyester blend the rest of the dress is made of.

  Even if I wasn't enamored with the pattern update, Booper loves this dress... it currently receives the most frequent wearing of any item she owns!

  To make full use of the pattern once I'd gone through the rigmarole of assembly, I cropped it to hip-length and made a shirt for Gaiw, a size up from her measurements:

  I probably would have made her a dress too, but that French terry was on the pricier side, so I didn't buy much of it!

  Gaiw's shirt also has a cowl-neck, and twin-needled hems.

  She absolutely loves matching with Booper, so she was pretty happy with this shirt!

  However, the skirts she has that work with this shirt are either too big, like the one in these photos, or really, really worn out. (See that white blob to the right of Gaiw in the background of this picture? We have feral bunnies living in our yard.)

  So, this past week I made Gaiw a tiered skirt from some linen-blend fabric (this, but in the color 'moss') that I bought in Imagine Gnat's Black Friday sale.

  Being a linen blend, it does wrinkle up a lot (I gave the skirt a very thorough pressing only about fifteen minutes prior to taking these photos) but it seems like it doesn't wrinkle quite as much as a 100% linen fabric would.

  I've made tiered skirts using a ruffler foot before, but mine hasn't been cooperating lately, so I just used basting threads for the gathering. I went for a ratio of 1.75:1 for the tiers this time... I usually use at least 2:1 or higher, but I didn't want this one to be so full.

  I was in a bit of a hurry, and somehow I managed to complete the entire skirt, including measurements, calculations, and cutting, in a single morning. I clipped the final threads and was a little surprised to be finished!

  I considered making a flat-front waistband, but as I mentioned, I was in a rush, and Gaiw refuses to tuck her shirts in anyway, so I just made it elastic all around.

  The insides are all serged, and the hem is a simple double-fold.

  I suspect this skirt will get a lot of wear... it's not as colorful and bright as this little girl likes, but it certainly has enough twirl!

  I'll be back at some point with some shirts I made for myself last year! =)

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. These all turned out very nice! I love that french terry fabric!!! I think the top looked nice with the denim skirt, too, but it is mostly the boots that really pull that outfit together.
    I do like the tabs on the pattern update, but it takes me forever to assemble that pattern when it is printed. I like to only print the pages I need and they are in a very bizarre order and do not match the diagram.

    1. Thank you! I like that French terry too! The print was a lot bigger than I expected, but it totally worked for these. =)
      I actually preferred the denim skirt with the top, but that skirt was so big on Gaiw that it kept sliding off! ;-) I suppose I could have taken it in, but it doesn't suit her personality as well as the other either.
      I printed the whole thing, but I didn't realize the pages were in an odd order, since my kids usually mix them around before I get a chance to assemble them anyway. ;-) I can see how the trimless pages would be fantastic if your printer prints them the same way as the pattern-makers does, but otherwise they aren't fun.

  2. Boy, does Booper have your face or what?! And that last photo--such a purposeful strut! Love it!

    1. Haha, there's definitely some familial resemblance going on there. ;-) Gaiw always brings the drama. =)

  3. These are just straight up pretty! I love the fabric choices.

    1. Thank you! The girls love how cozy and soft the French terry is!