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I have a new found love of peasant dresses. Even if the elastic is a pain in the ass to put in and hurts my still healing, post carpal tunnel repaired wrist. And why does my machine not like to sew elastic together??? Wtf is up with that? It will bunch on the bottom no matter how much I adjust the tension. ONLY when I join the elastic. Seriously, it’s f’ed up.

Anyways…I had this amazing fabric just lying around for years waiting for the right project. I just couldn’t justify cutting it up when I was so uncertain what to do with it. I’m glad I didn’t because when I decided to make a dress I knew it would be perfect. It was and it turned into this….

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I followed this pattern by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. It’s a free tutorial and quite easy to follow. The sizing was a bit off for my little one however. I followed the 12-18m size but for my teeny 16mo girl it still fit like a potato sack.

I don’t know about you but the only time I can get some real alone time with the sewing machine is after the kids have gone to bed. Unfortunately that means anything I need to try on them and adjust has to wait until morning and I’m not the most patient person so I get really excited for the kids to wake up after a night of crafting.
Today was no different.

After trying it on her I knew the elastic would need to be shortened and some sort of belt required to lessen the potato-sackedness help give it more shape.

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I sewed the belt right to the front of the dress so I wouldn’t be able to lose it there would be more contrast along with the sleeves.

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The end result was awesome. And she looks SO FRIGGIN CUTE!

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I’m still debating whether putting a strip of contrast around the bottom is a good idea or a fantastic one.

*my OCD got in the way after putting the belt on too low and immediately I had to rip the seams and move it up. Kudos to anyone that noticed the difference between the picture of it on the bed vs on the girl.

I don’t normally start another project immediately following one because I like to revel in the glory of the awesomeness I created but I couldn’t help myself this time. I’ve got the picture in my mind and the fabric ready to go……stay tuned!

I don’t know about you but every time I go into the fabric store I hit up the remnant bin almost immediately. Seriously, I’ve never gone in there without scoping it out. And I’m always digging everything out to see what possible treasures could be hiding down at the bottom. It’s a great place to get good chunks of white material as that is a staple “colour” and there is never less than 4 white remnants in the bin at any time! unless you’re there after me……

I was pleasantly surprised on my last visit to find the remnant bin was 50% off. You just did a little cha-ching noise in your head didn’t you? It’s okay, I did too. For whatever reason the bin itself wasn’t marked 50% off so when the sales lady told me about it I totally felt like I was getting a secret deal that nobody else was privy to because you know that happens ALL THE TIME. I may have spent more time than normal at the bin that day and when I came upon this pretty blue print marked $1.80 I couldn’t pass it up. I didn’t even care that it was less than half a metre, I liked it! And how do you say no to material for 90 cents?

It was a happy surprise to find it was smocked material because I’ve been wanting to make the girl a dress out of pre-smocked material every time I see the stuff at store, yet I’d pass it by each time. For one reason it’s always adult size which obviously wouldn’t work for a 15mo and the other was the print patterns are not that great. Well some “would do” but nothing ever jumped out at me.

I never actually look at the sizes written on the remnants because measurements mean very little to me. For whatever reason I cannot wrap my head around them feel free to furrow your brow at me now and therefore just “eyeball” things. When I make blankets I use whichever bed in the house that suits my design (crib, single or queen) as measurement. And it’s turning out the same for dresses apparently.

When I unwrapped the remnant I found just a smidge over a quarter metre

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Being designed for women’s fashion I had to chop it up in order to make it work for my teeny girly

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I folded the elastic smocked top in half over itself and cut along the fold, trimmed off the bottom geometric design to use as straps and then folded the bottom flowing part in half over itself and cut along the fold here as well. This gave me 4 sections to reattach to go with the design in my head.

I started by reattaching the loose smocking and linen together to form the back of the dress. I used this stitch __/\__/\__/\__ and just randomly bunched the linen section as I moved along the smock trying desperately not to stretch it as I went. It turned out well.

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I then pinned the sides together and sewed them together using a zigzag stitch on the smocked top sections and switching to a straight stitch for the bottom. My little apprentice was helping at this point.

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I forgot to take pictures of the straps! But I folded them each in half and sewed them right sides together, turned them right side out and attached them front and back. I also turned up the bottom and straight stitched around to give it a nice edge

I think it turned out well but this kid is adorable in everything! AND it cost less than a dollar to make! That might be a personal best.

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*After she wore it I decided I wanted to redo the straps and either add some elastic to them or just shorten them. I haven’t decided which would be a better a better fix.*

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