Sunday, March 24, 2013

Penny Pinching Peasant

I found this nifty peasant dress tutorial on Pinterest and decided to try it out myself, with a few modifications.

I don't like putting elastic in my Ren items for these reasons:

  1. It can be very uncomfortable for long wear
  2. It limits sizing a bit once it's put in
  3. It's very much not a period thing (for those who are concerned with that)
For these reasons (and the simple fact that elastic isn't always the easiest thing to work with) I chose to use draw strings for this project. This will also allow the wearer to tighten or loosen the neck line to the desired fall point. 

I also did this to the sleeves to add in a flounce and make the sleeves able to be tightened to a higher point on the arm. 

Now this tutorial did a really nice job explaining the construction, so I'm going to mainly talk about my modifiers.

My dummy is a 6 month old size, so I decided to make my peasant dress sized for an 18 month old. For this I cut two rectangles 14" x 16.5" for the body and two rectangles 14.5" x 15".  Once the rectangles are cut, the tutorial says to cut a "j" shape on the top corners of each rectangle to make room for the arms. You could use a french curve if you have one, but I simply took one of my favorite patterns and used the curve in the arm hole from that. I also had stacked all four pieces on top of each other to make sure that I had the curve the same in all of them. After I cut that curve, I saved the cut off pieces and traced it onto heavy "Kraft" Paper forming a template that I can use later.

After cutting all of my pieces out, I surged all of the edges. 

 This is the sleeve, and this is the first spot where I drifted from the tutorial. Now she put in elastic about an inch above the hem of the sleeve, I like draw strings. There are two ways to put this in (and I'm sure even more than that!). You can wait until the garment is finished, but I like to do it while it is flat, and that's the way I'm going to show you now.

First, we press up the hem. 

 After I have pressed the hem in (starching the bee-jee-beeies out of it!) I measured up to where I wanted the draw string to go.

I decided on 3". So fold up the fabric, from the hem, 3" and press. 

To form the casing, I measured half an inch from the fold and pressed that bit down. 

Now unfold the hem, and and press flat so that you have a little flap of folded fabric about 3" above the hem. 

 This is when I put in a button hole. I found the center, and sewed the button hole right on that little folded flap, on the right side of the sleeve.  Then sew the hem and the casing down.

Now sew those arms together. I like to sew these in a circle, sleeve to body-> body to sleeve-> sleeve to body, and then join the circle to make sure that I'm sewing the pieces in the right spot. 

Now I string through the cord. Since the width of the sleeve is 14.5", I cut the cord 17" long. This is long enough to thread through and leave a bit. 

Rip out the button hole and fish out the cord.

Pull the cord through the button hole. Match the cord to the edges of the casing on each side leaving the extra 2.5" inside of the casing. I usually leave about 1/4" on each end just to make sure I catch the cord when sewing the seams.

With right sides together, sew from the hem of the sleeve down to the end of the dress making sure to catch the cord in the seem. This will give you a drawstring at the wrists that will never be pulled out!

 To finish the neckline, I took a length of  1" bias strips and sewed it in the top. I started by folding the end in on the bias strip

and then matching the long ends together.

Matching raw ends together I sewed the bias to the neckline. I did this first with the bias on the outside of the dress. This makes the tie end up on the inside. The second time I did it with the bias starting on the inside so the tie ended up on the outside. Either way works, but I prefer it on the inside myself.

Now, when you have worked your way back around to the beginning of the bias, cut the strip just long enough to meet the folded edge of the starting point, plus 1/4"-1/2" to fold over the end and continue.

Next step is to fold the bias over to the other side (covering the seem), press, and stitch the casing down.

This should leave a tube at the neckline, and because of the folds, we don't have to make a buttonhole opening. Just thread the cord through and hem up the bottom and you're done.

It was at this point that I realized I had used the measurements for the shirt sized 18 months not the dress. But I put a doubled 1.5" hem in and, as you can see, the length is still good for this to be a dress at this age.

These are not listed in the Etsy shop yet, but you can check out the shop here and message me that you are interested in one of these.  Or find us on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment