The Hobbit has been growing again and her dresses from last year have been looking rather short. I found a couple of knit dresses second hand recently which have worked well for her to went looking for a knit fabric pattern for her. I found the Uptown Downtown Dress from Sew Straight and Gather which looked just the right shape and as a bonus from size 2 to size 10 so should be useful for a while yet. The pattern is a PDF and has the ability to only print the size that you want so I have cut out the pattern pieces straight from the print out. Obviously I will have to print a new set for the next size up but as I tend to make the same pattern more than once the added durability is worth it to me.
The dress has a lined bodice and a flared skirt. The front and back are single pieces and there are options for 3 different sleeves in the main pattern as well as some notes on modifications. Also included is an expansion pack with pattern pieces and instructions to modify the pattern in other ways (length, colour blocking, neckline, sleeves etc). I have made two dresses from the cap sleeve version.
Pictured here are pictures of the ‘rainbow’ dress. I used purple fabric for the lining of the sleeves on this one, the other dress is entirely that purple (and not pictured here). I have to admit that I basically didn’t follow the directions. I was planning to but the way the dress is put together leaves exposed seams at the armholes even with the lining. I assume this is a) easier to sew and write about and b) keeps the lining in place. I have sewn my dresses so that the seams are all enclosed between the lining and main dress. This involved fiddling a bit with pinned pattern pieces to make sure things would still turn right side out but once I’d done it once it was easy enough. I stitched shoulder seams, attached sleeves to each armhole (2 lining, 2 main), sewed the lining and main together at the neckline, turned the dress right side out and then twisted things around to sew the sleeve ends together. After that was all accomplished there are two long side seams – lining together, underarm lining, underarm main and then the long main side seam. I used a twin needle to stitch the hems.
The third dress I’ve made has been seen here several times before. It is a navy corduroy version of New Look 6016. This is the largest size of the pattern so will probably be the last version I make for the Hobbit. The photos aren’t very good as the lighting was rather bad plus the fabric very dark. I’m pleased with the bias binding I picked for the armholes and it matches quite well with the buttons Hobbit picked from the button jar. I have to add that I’m quite enjoying the ease of making buttonholes with the automatic buttonholer on my new sewing machine. So much easier than fighting with my old on. There are more buttonholes in my future I think.