There’s a great year-long sewing event going on right now right here. Each month, a new sewing pattern is “flipped”. There are three or four contestants on the blog but the rest of us get to participate too if we want.
And this month’s pattern inspired me. The Tinny dress is adorable! Good value too since there are fours collar options, three skirt options, and two cuff options. When I looked at the 12 chosen patterns for this event, Tinny was my favorite. But I had an issue. It’s really perfect as it is. With all those options available, I couldn’t think of a thing to change. Still, this pattern was haunting me. I really really wanted to do something with it. I must have thought about it for weeks. Grocery shopping, changing diapers, cooking, waiting at karate class, falling asleep. Especially falling asleep.
Eventually, it dawned on me. The open collar option felt like it needed something. Some interest down the front that would be framed by the collar. Pleats. A pretty box pleat. But that box pleat just had to go down through the skirt too. There was my flip.
Picking the fabric was easy. I had some blue gingham in my stash (still have it actually; there was a lot). Classic gingham for a classic pattern. I bought navy blue Kona cotton for the collar and cuffs. I think that’s when I decided to add a contrast stripe at the bottom of the skirt.
But why Tinny to Alice? Well, look.
Doesn’t she look like Alice in Wonderland? Don’t say I’m imagining things. Don’t. I used to think so too. Souricette 1 has another blue gingham dress and I thought I was crazy for thinking she looked like Alice. But we went to Belgium and she wore it when we visited the Magritte museum. I overheard a saleslady exclaiming to her coworker, “Mais, c’est Alice!” So I know I’m not crazy.
See my Alice again…
In case you’re interested, here’s what I did. Bodice first: I measured where the collar would end and drew a line 3/8″ from there. I cut the line all the way through and separated the pattern pieces 3/4″ (the size of my pleat).
I traced the resulting pattern and marked the pleat lines on it. But I didn’t cut it out right away. I folded the paper along the pattern fold line and then cut. So I got this.
Then, I made a new skirt pattern. I added pleats to continue the bodice pleats and reduced the two other pleats accordingly. So I had to remove 3/8″ from the two other pleats. I also removed some length. I wanted 2″ of the navy blue at the bottom. I had to make sure to remove the hem allowance but leave the seam allowance. I could have kept the pattern piece that I cut up and marked up but I wanted a new one that I wouldn’t have to cut on the fold.
There we go. I had to move the pleats a little because I thought they might touch each other. In the end, I think I was wrong but eh. It doesn’t harm the dress at all.
Finally, I actually made a pattern piece for my contrast strip at the bottom. 2″ + seam allowance, twice for the width. So 4 3/4″ wide x skirt width long.
My cutting layout was very different from the instructions. I cut everything out flat in order to line up the gingham properly.
The dress went together according to the instruction. I just had some extra pleats to make. The contrast band at the bottom went in last. I pressed the two bands in half, wrong sides together and then opened them up. I sewed the short edges together to get one long loop. Then, I sewed one side of the loop to the bottom of the skirt, right sides together, matching side seams. I pressed the contrast band to the inside along the line I created earlier. I folded that side’s raw edge over and slip stitched it in place. And I added buttons to the front of the dress.
Look! There are spots on the seams where the gingham doesn’t match as well as I’d hoped but the most important part, the center front pleat, matches perfectly. Perfectly! And isn’t that clock button cute? I chose it because it reminded me of the white rabbit being late. If I’d had the talent of those ladies that started all of this, I might have embroidered a bunny. But I don’t so…
I’ll just tell myself a white rabbit would have been too obvious…
I think she likes it despite the face. She’s just protecting her toys from souricette 2.
Speaking of souricette 2, I think she deserves her own Tinny flip. Tinny lobster romper maybe? I’ll try to get it done in time…