Monday, January 19, 2009


I'm finally posting pictures of some of the gifts I gave out at Christmas. I admire folks who can think of something to sew for every member of the family, but I only sewed things for my sisters this year. (Have you ever noticed that boys are harder to sew for?)

My gift to Tiffany was a dress: (Edited to add: My apologizes to those of you who couldn't view these the first time around! Thanks to my Dad, I think the problem has been fixed. Please let me know if there's still a problem.)

Don't I have a purty sis?

The dress was a bit difficult to make, simply because it was made in secret, and I didn't use a pattern. Everything was guesswork!

The skirt was not hard; all I needed was a waist measurement, and I could draft a simple a-line skirt. (It is fuller than it looks in the pictures.)

The bodice was more difficult.

I traced a sweater that I knew fit Tiffany, to get an idea of her size. Thinking back, I wish I had used a blouse or something non-stretchy, instead of a knitted sweater, but at the time it was the first thing I saw, so I grabbed it. When you're snooping around in a sister's bedroom, you don't waste time!

I decided to design the bodice in six pieces; an upper and lower front, and two upper and two lower back pieces. All bodice pieces are lined with muslin. An invisible zipper closes the back. The sleeves are each made of two pieces, with interfacing stiffening the cuffs. A burgundy waistband, also reinforced with interfacing, finishes the bodice. All places where the burgundy and plaid meet are decorated with top stitching.

As it turned out, everything fit nicely (even the sleeves - yeah!) ...except for the neck area. I had made the shoulders too wide, and the neckline therefore was too wide, and a little too deep as well. Thankfully, it wasn't hard to fix after Tiffy tried the dress on Christmas day and I saw the problem. I just added plaid fabric above the burgundy fabric. (See photos)

The dress is made from 100% cotton plaid, and solid burgundy cotton fabric. I pre-washed both fabrics, and they wrinkle less than I thought they would. I chose the plaid because Tiffany has a special liking for plaid, checked, or otherwise "old-fashioned looking" cloth.

She seemed to be very pleased with her gift, and I am pleased with the way she looks in it. She's so much fun to sew for!


Ruth Ann said...

hmmm - weird. The pictures aren't loading for me. I'm sure the dress is lovely though, and can't wait to see it! It is fun to sew clothes for my sisters. :)

Amber said...

I'm so sorry, Ruth Ann! I'm not sure what the problem is. I'll try re-loading them.

Please, if any of the rest of you are having problems viewing the photos, please let me know.

Charlotte (from the S&S Board) said...

I can't see them either. :(

Alethea Jordan said...

I'm afraid I can't see the photos either. =(

Julia said...

I couldn't load the pictures either! I hope you get it figured out! :o)
Julia in OK

Alethea Jordan said...

Her hair is getting sooo long! =)

Sandra said...

I see the pictures just fine :)

Wow Amber, you did a great job on the dress! It looks great. Very modest and pretty, just how I like my clothes.

Ruth Ann said...

it looks great! :) And considering the circumstances, you really did an awesome job!

Jenny P. said...

That is a lovely dress! I'm impressed that you drafted that entire dress without even a pattern to jump off of. She looks so pretty in it.