Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sundress #2.

I liked my first version of Maggie's birthday dress, sewn from the adorable and classic 1970s Simplicity 5593, so much that I cut out a second dress immediately after I finished the first! This time in a gray seersucker with emerald green piping and bias ties for a more minimalist take on this sweet little sundress.

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


I forget why, but Maggie had been crying right before this photo shoot and still had wet eyelashes and a tear poised on her right cheek. She may not be two quite yet, but I must say, she sure acts like a two year old! Heaven forbid you should tell her not to climb the refrigerator shelves in search of berries or to poke people with a screwdriver! You will feel Maggie's wrath! Luckily she gets over it pretty quickly and is back to her usual happy self - that's the upside of the "terrible twos." Two-year-olds get upset often, but it usually doesn't last. (Whereas, three-year-olds ... shudder ... I am not looking forward to that!)

And they sure are cute! Chubby arms and necks and cheeks and winning smiles and puppy dog eyes. Nom nom nom.

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker

Once again, my only changes to this pattern were to lengthen the skirt piece and sew the shoulder ties entirely by machine. I also added piping to the neckline, bodice, and ruffle.

I seem to be going through an intense "pipe all the things" phase right now (well, okay, it's a long phase which started about two years ago and doesn't appear to be letting up!). This dress in particular really screams for piping in my opinion. The simple seersucker really lets it shine in this version, and as an added bonus, the piping helps to hide the fact that seersucker does not like to press crisply. No topstitching required to keep that neckline flat! Adding piping is a little bit of extra work, to be sure, but I really love the way it finishes up edges, preventing the lining or facing from peeking out at necklines and armholes.

I wonder if this was the primary reason the use of piping was adopted in the first place. Do you wonder why different sewing techniques were adopted during historic times? I often do. Many "decorative" details serve some function as well, I reckon.

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


The cording in the piping also adds a little extra stability and body to curved seams like the neckline and the bias edge is unlikely to fray over time (much like a bias binding on a quilt), which probably prolongs the life of the garment a little bit. (ETA: I did find some corroboration for this here and here.)


1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


On a totally different topic, I am pretty sure there is some rule that says your best photo of a child's outfit will be in front of a really ugly background. By the way, I am aware that Diet Coke is nothing but carbonated chemicals, but I love it so!

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


Here you can see the piped ruffle more closely. That ruffle requires gathering a piece that starts out about six feet long! Such a pain. You will have lots of time to ponder the historic uses of piping in garments. But it looks so good when you're done!


1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


I know I said I would make another one of these as a top, but I think I'm going to need a break and a palette cleanser before tackling version #3! Plus, I haven't found the fabric that inspires me yet. My main complaint about these old patterns is that they only came in one size! So I feel all of this pressure to make ten versions of the pattern now, while it fits. It's too much! Haha. Someone needs to put out this pattern with a larger size range (actually, the Oliver + s Swingset Tunic is pretty close and just needs tie straps and a ruffle on the hem! hrrmmm).

1970s Simplicity pattern in seersucker


Maggie is utterly lovely even with a broom in the background. :-) I just want to kiss that little tear away.

5 comments:

  1. Super cute. I want one!!! I think i may actually have a few yards of that seersucker from Stone Mountain, now i just need to finding some piping and time.

    Beautiful work and adorable kid

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  2. Oh my goodness! The tear! Those cheeks! (I want to kiss them from here!) Her lashes! That little curly ponytail! And the dress! I know that's a lot of exclamation points, but I can't help myself. She is so cute and that dress is amazing. I love it. I *love* the piping! And the shade of green is perfect!

    I think we may have had this conversation, but I personally have found the 3s to be much easier than the 2s. Maybe that will be true for you this time, too!

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  3. ooooo i love this version!!! So so cute! perfectly summery!

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  4. Om nom nom indeed -- this is a gorgeous version of the dress, as was your last!

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  5. So sweet! I just love these sundresses, and Maggie is so precious :) You inspire me to put more piping into my sewing; yours always looks so great!

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