Friday, July 17, 2015

Uptown Downtown dresses

When I was little, my mom was always sewing my sister and I matching dresses. We are only 18 months apart so of course it was adorable to put us in the same dress, or the same dress pattern but different colors. She kept it up awhile after my younger sister came along too. Looking back, I have no idea where she found the time to make us those adorable creations with 4 little kids running around. I'll have to dig up some pictures one of these days. I'm also not sure when I stopped being a dress girl but I'm trying to get back to that a little bit these days.

Anyway. Now that I have a serger, I've started sewing some little dresses for my niece as well. I've made her a few dresses over the past year that she loves (this woven one and this knit/woven combo) and so I thought I'd whip up a few more for her 4th birthday. I mean, is there anything cuter than a small child wearing a dress you made for her and her bragging to you that YOU made it for her? This kid has a great memory!

I've been collecting some cute knit prints lately (I may or may not have been on a knit-buying binge... oops) and a few were just perfect for tiny dresses. I broke out the Uptown Downtown Dress pattern by Sew Straight and Gather to once again sew up. It's the same pattern I used for her rainbow fishy dress and I seriously love this pattern. My little niece is tall for her age so I added 2 inches to each of these and of course had to include the pockets this time. I even remembered to put a little ribbon tag in one of them to mark the back.

When she opened these up on her birthday I knew she liked them. I was so excited to get pictures of her wearing one a few days later -  so cute! Apparently she also told everyone that her auntie made her that. Awww! I wonder if she told them I had made myself a matching dress? Because I did. More on that later.

Now that they are done and gifted, I realize I should have taken some construction pictures but alas, I did not. You'll just have to take my word for it that these are finished with 2 different methods, both found in this amazing Colette guide. The white dress was finished with bands and the black one used the seam covering binding. In both cases I was silly enough to close up the underarm seam before finishing, leaving me with tiny arm holes to wrestle through a giant serger foot. I won't make that mistake again!

After attaching the bands and binding, I secured them with my trusty twin needle and maxilock stretch on the bottom. I use the stretch thread in the loopers of my serger to make the seams a little softer but I've also discovered it's wonderful in the bobbin for twin needle sewing. Woolly nylon is also great for these uses but is a little more expensive.

I have a Pinterest board I've started with great tips and tutorials like the one above if you'd like to follow along on Sew: Apparel and Sewing Tips.

 Have a great weekend!


  1. Very sweet! I love that she loves them!

  2. These dresses are the best! All four are in the hamper at all times after being worn through art projects, park trips, and messy summer picnics. Thanks, Auntie Alsie! Lucy loves them so much.


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