Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prairie Girl Dresses

This Prairie Girl dress pattern from the Favorite Things pattern company caught my eye recently, and I gave it a try. It's very forties-based, with its little shoulder ruffle, its underbust gathers, and its knee-length skirt. But it looks very farmgirl made up in a fresh cotton print.

First I made it up straight out of the package, using a chocolate-brown polka dot, the ruffle trim at the shoulder, and filling in the neckline with a dicky made of cotton voile trimmed with vintage crocheted lace. The dress is cut with lots and lots of ease to slip over the head with no buttons or zippers (perfect for a beginning seamstress), and ties at the waist to take it in at the back.

Then I drafted much of the ease out of the pattern, shaping the back bodice and skirt with darts, adding a side zipper, and omitting the ties, and using the cap sleeves. I did this one in a cheery French blue with red floral sprigs. I didn't get the bodice shaped as closely as I wanted, and will probably try again with a shaped waist inset piece.

The dicky is a plain voile triangle that snaps out.

Naturlich, I bound the inside seams with red.

It's a nice pattern, and great for beginners. The directions aren't the best (never could figure out how they wanted the sleeveless armhole facing sewn, and just used common sense), but the dress itself is easy to construct and is easy to fit. You timid seamstresses, this is a good place to start!


Tracy said...

I have this pattern and have made it three times now. The first one was WAY too big, and I had to adjust it. I use all French seams with the exception of where the bodice attaches to the skirt, and it's as beautiful inside as it is out. I also lengthened the sleeve by 1 1/2 inches. And personally, I don't like the dickie, but prefer a camisole. I need to try to fit the bodice and use a side zipper. I dislike the back ties, too. Other than that, I love this dress.

Anonymous said...

It's cute, and interesting to see how you altered it. But the name "Prairie Girl" seems strange to me - when I hear that, I think of this: !

Genuine Lustre said...

Very sweet. By the way, I love Belle's new locks. They are perfectly suited to her and her hair texture.

LauraW said...

Well done! Really lovely dress. It's winter in Australia at present so I won't be wearing something like this for a while but I have a mountain of material so I'll save the inspiration till then. Thank you for taking time to write your blog, it has been of great encouragement.

Anonymous said...

This is such a cute dress! I didn't think I could wear polka dots but I recently bought a cute, feminine dress with flouncy ruffled sleeves that was black with tiny aqua blue polka dots. Looks great on me and I thought I might try more. Thanks for sharing the name of the dress and the pattern company. I'm definitely a beginner seamstress :-)

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I have always found polka dots to be flattering(infact, I am sitting here in my black and white polka dots PJ's as I type this). However my seamstress skills will barely stretch to making an apron. Oh how I would love to sew but at present my forte lies in the kitchen.

Tracy said...

I saw Tracy's efforts with this pattern and have seen the pattern on their website before. I'm very very tempted to send for it.

Sabrina said...

Oh how I have enjoyed your blog and all of your interests and talents you possess. I love to sew, but all my sewing comes from my imagination and not from patterns. What would you suggest me to start with to improve my sewing ability? Thanks.

Rhoto said...

Hello Anna!!
I questioned the stitching on your red binding, so asked a sewer friend... "The tension is too loose on the needle thread. She either needs to tighten the needle thread tension or loosen the bobbin tension. Rule of thumb when adjusting tension. Do the needle tension first. It's easier and the bobbin tension was really never meant to be adjusted. But it is." - Donna's Den
Hopes this helps!!
You, your family and your blog are a very special part of every morning.
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal

Unknown said...

Just beautiful

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great dress. I'd love to make one, but just can't get myself to pay that much for a pattern [plus shipping!] when they go on sale for 99 cents at Jo-Ann's.

I like the different materials you used.

teacakebiscuit said...

Oh I love the blue one especially. I love anything 40s, it was such an elegant era. If I could only wear one item forever more it would be a teadress.

Love your blog btw, I will definitely be coming back :)

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