25 December 2011

Adventures in Gift Making

The 6 year old girl child asked only for Rapunzel-based gifts this year. She received many other things, but she really, really wanted a dress like Rapunzel's. "It doesn't even have to be exact, Mama, so long as it's purple." For you non-Tangled viewers, here's Disney's Rapunzel, in costume:
Such a dress can be purchased, of course, but without special ordering, most stop at size 6x. My 6 year old girl child is in the 90+percentile for both height and weight in her age category, so she has long since outgrown such a thing. Besides, store bought Disney dresses are always made from cheap, crappy satin that runs/deteriorates faster than the child learns to fasten the velcro. So I went to the fabric store and bought 2 yards of lavender knit. "Use a pattern, Jenny!" my mother implored. But why would I listen to her?
 Lace from my immense fabric stash, sewn on the hem of the dress. (I actually attached the lace, then flipped it and topstitched it to make the hem. Because sometimes in sewing, lazy=professional looking).
My sewing machine would like to recieve full credit for this project.
 For the bodice, I chose a dark purple velour from my stash. I would've made the whole dress out of this if I'd had enough. Rapunzel's sleeves have contrasting ribbon sewn on, so I sewed on contrasting ribbon.
 Above, hemming the sleeve (with a gap to insert elastic, which will help the sleeve be appropriately poufy).
 Rapunzel's corset caused me a bit of a headache. 6 year olds don't really need sweetheart necklines, and I'm not crazy about a lacing that can get caught on stuff while she plays/swings/runs around like a crazy princess. My research led to lots of good places (that one there has photos of how the store-bought dresses wear out, along with a thorough how-to) and one of them (I can't find it, but this shows the same concept) showed the ribbons as just stitched down. I went with that. No grommets (which are fun, of course), no fuss. Well, some fuss. I made the top based on a Simplicity top I've made her a half dozen times. Then I sewed on the skirt, made from a rectangle sewn into a loop, pinning a lot.
 I should take one of it on a hanger, but here she is, all dressed up (with a scarf for Rapunzel's hair) in a dress 3 sizes too big. I'll take it in a few inches at the waist, shortening the skirt and the top, as soon as she lets me take it to the basement for a few minutes.
She's wearing it to Grandma's tonight. It was worth staying up past my bedtime for my dear little Rapunzel. Now I need to make a Flynn Rider and Mother Goethel costume for Shaun and me. Yee-haw.


Charlotte said...

WOW, Jen!! Really great job. It looks beautiful.

Emily, Scott, and August said...

NICE! Just stitch a ribbon to each side and tie it in the back...voila! Shortened and taken in!