Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Flip Flop Dress! Dresses

I got a chance to pattern test a little girl dress for Deborah Moebes of Whipstitch and of course I was like, yes, totally! And I just happen to have a little girl who likes dresses handy.

I also have a large stash of fabric, much of it bought with the vague thought that one day it should become a dress.

This is the Flip Flop Dress. It is a classic dress in a chose your own adventure style, with two styles of sleeves (or you can go sleeveless), two styles of collar (or you can go collarless) and a choice between putting the buttons on the front or the back of the bodice. And for someone who tries to keep the kid covered up in the summer (fair skin + lots of time outside = sunburn... if we're not careful) it's awesome. (But I will leave my rant against the impractical clothing the stores are trying to sell us for another time...)

My first one had several bells and whistles, Peter Pan collar and cap sleeves. I also added pockets a la Made by Rae's Made to Measure skirt (not available as a pattern, but as a class.)

I really enjoyed making this dress, and the way it turned out, and then I made some more. Employing some Japanese kitten fabric I was (am) obsessed with, called Kitten Doll Baby. Because what I really like about this pattern is the larger bodice (compared with, say, the Geranium) really allows you to feature some larger prints.

This is the cutest dress in the world, and I matched the pink stripe with a pink stripe in my stash. This border print made a fun bodice, while the other side became some rectangular pockets. The contrast stripe on the bottom I made using the burrito method (as for pillowcases), -I used a 6" piece of fabric for a 2.5" contrast stripe- and it worked fine, though there were moments turning it right side out where I questioned my sanity. The back of the bodice is the center of the border print.

For the last (so far, though there is another panel print from this line that I just adore) I used three prints in one colorway, the panel, the toss in the dark blue, and corresponding border print. (And leftover tossed kittens from the other dress to line the bodice.) I spent a long time trying to decide how best to feature 3 fabrics, and this was my solution. (I did consider a collar, but I decided that the pattern on the fabric was too big and busy, and that simpler would be better.)

For this one, I sewed the two border prints together, because I only had a half yard of the border print (18" and I needed about 30" for the skirt), and sewed that to the toss to make up the length of the skirt. I didn't match up the kittens as well as I'd hoped, they are not exactly the same side to side, I discovered! Also, I didn't want to lose anyone, so we compromised. I did run another row of stitching at the horizontal join; I've made a dress with a contrast band before and it was a frequent visitor to the mending pile, until I wised up and reinforced it.

The back of the skirt is just blue tossed kittens. Also I added pockets (these are from the Geranium dress pattern, speaking of Geranium) which use the calico from the border print. And the buttons are vintage ones I got in a lot off of Ebay in frustration that I had no matching buttons in my stash. (the pink dress has buttons that are the same size and color as each other, but not matching... embarrassing but true!)

Will I be making more Flip Flop dresses? Absolutely. I may even try the buttons in the front one day.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, these dresses are amazing! I found your blog while searching for images of the flip flop dress, as I'm attempting one myself, and yours are the best out there! Please post more pics!