That said, someone has suggested to me that perhaps I should keep an eye out for a working hand crank machine, plenty of these vintage beauties about and still sewing, because they have so much less to go wrong. And can be picked up cheap. Who knows, I may do yet. I haven't so far. However, I was watching the Great British Sewing Bee on the beeb and every time children's wear came up I would sigh and wish I could do that. Because I love my little miss in darling little cotton frocks. In fact I have bought rather a lot for her. Especially now she is toddling.
So one day I was having a discussion on twitter with a couple of friends, and saying I can hand sew but not machine sew, when Clare from Little Pink Teacup asked me if I had seen pillowcase dresses before. I said no and promptly did a Google search. Lo and behold I found instructions, and yes, this was within my capability to hand sew. So the idea was born. Its all her fault. So I hunted high and low for pillowcases in a fabric I liked, and came across a pair of these:
So following the instructions, I cut the closed top end off the to correct length for my miss (measured from one of her dresses), cut some arm scyes, and a couple of straps from the closed top end. The instructions were actually for tied bias binding straps, but I opted for proper straps, just personal choice. Then, as instructed, I created channels front and back for the elastic, opting for a back stitch for a strong seam, and installed said elastic. Leaving me with this:
Then it was a case of installing straps, adding bias binding round the armholes (unfortunately stretching them a little, but this is my first attempt so I will let myself off) and added a trim down the hem to catch the turned back opening for a pillow, so she can't get her feet stuck in it. And there we had it, a finished dress!
Despite the stretched armholes, its very wearable and she looks adorable in it (in my humble opinion!). I actually love how it hangs and billows around her, and its very comfy for the summer. Very pleased with my first foray into sewing! And I have another of the same pillowcase and enough trim to make her a bigger one when she grows out of it! And more experience too. Over all, I'm a happy mum, pleased to dress her in something I've made. And her dad loves it on her too! I am just not telling him it used to be a pillowcase!
Till next time!