Friday, August 5, 2011

Draft me some flowers and pindots

This week I thought I'd make a bodice sloper for Sara. I don't know why I did this since I'm feeling the crunch of end-of-summer activities and I really just wanted a simple dress pattern. But then - believe it or not - I do not have a peasant dress pattern, so there you go. I had to make one.

I've made several bodice slopers for myself - two from the Japanese magazine Mrs. Stylebook, and a couple of variations from Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear. I based Sara's sloper here on directions from Metric Pattern Cutting for Children's Wear but used How to Make Your Own Dress Patterns for its clearly illustrated raglan sleeve method.

I liked the raglan sleeve method - it seemed simple to do. But it's not an exact science and there's some freehanding involved. So, while the front sleeve-to-bodice seams matched up fine the back seams required a little easing.

The designs for these two dresses really evolved even as I was stitching and finishing them. For a second while I was stitching #1 (the flowered version) I paused to check the pattern line drawing for its topstitching recommendation. Oops. My scrawled idea sketch didn't indicate any topstitching.

Both versions pull nicely over the head, but the floral version gapes a little at the neck without the elastic to pull it in. I used 1/4" elastic to pull in the empire waist.

I shirred the blue version, but I think the shirring it a little too high in the back.

Sara picked out both fabrics and insisted there be no elastic in the armholes. So uncomfortable!

I was feeling the late 1970s or maybe early 80s with the blue, pindots and peasant style, so I had to complete the effect with some nice red rick rack. This is something I would have worn at her age.

I also whipped out some white bike shorts to wear under her new dresses. Of course I forgot I already made her a white pair about two months ago.

Floral broadcloth: Chez Ami
Blue pindot cotton:
White jersey


  1. I just love polka dots and ric rac! You can't go wrong there. I just purchased a peasant top pattern really like that style. Sara looks cute showing her new dress. :O). I think if I start to wear dresses which I am thinking about it LOL, I will need shorts to go under mine LOL. Still a tomboy at my age :O).

  2. Very cute!! I really love the shirred, polka dot version. I'd have loved that at her age, too.

  3. well they're just CUTE! Love both of them.

    (And you can never have too many pairs of white bike shorts, apparently... I had to make ANOTHER pair last month and I'd already done at least three... and extra pair or two on hand is always practical. You're such a good mom!)

  4. Very pretty dresses on your precious model!

  5. I am so impressed by the huge amount you make- and such cute dresses. I think it's great that you make for your son too- beyond a certain age I gave up but never would have ventured into cargo trousers & fleeces. Your skills are amazing!

  6. Two extremely cute dresses, on an extremely cute model! You probably hear this all the time but I have to say it, your daughters look just like you!

  7. Adorable! I've no idea how raglan sleeves are drafted; I am quite impressed. Shirring is such a great trick.


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