In our church bulletin a few weeks ago there was an update on our Dresses for Missions group. Apparently so far we have managed to send 1500 dresses to Haiti! That is a lot in just over a year. Keep in mind, though, that most of those are not dressed up and decorated like the dresses that I make. In order to clothe more little girls the rest of the ladies get together and sew a whole bunch at one time. Once they have sewn the binding on, hemmed it and added ties a dress is considered finished. When I’m making one, a dress at that stage is considered a blank slate!
The first thing that I do is sit in front of my shelf and decide which fabric I want to use. Which one is calling to me? Which fabric do I already know that I want to use with a particular trim?
There are times when I know what fabric I want to use, but I have no idea how I want to trim the dress. So I lay out the fabric and play with the laces and ribbon.
I automatically know that I’m going to make a ruffle to put at the bottom of the dress. Typically I cut the fabric to a 6″ width so that once I’ve hemmed it and attached the ruffle to the dress there is actually about a 5″ ruffle at the bottom.
So I look to see what lace do I want to add to the bottom. What ribbon would look good to cover up the seam where the ruffle is attached to the dress? How about a pretty piece of lace to dress up the top. And then I have to figure out what color binding I want to use for the arm holes and ties.
Honestly, it all depends upon my mood for the day and what is calling to me. You might remember this fabric from a dress that I posted a few weeks ago. It works for this post, though so that I can show you how I love to use the same fabric, but get sort of two different looks out of it.
This is what resulted from the session up above. It’s slightly more girly and soft, even though you have the punch of bright green lace at the top. It dresses it up a bit more and says, “I may be demure and lady-like… but I’m fun!”
It’s not a drastic difference, but your eye is drawn to different things. The top one you pick up a lot more of the orange in the fabric because of the orange ribbon. Whereas in the bottom one you see more of the light pink that runs throughout it.
Hopefully you found it interesting to see how many different combinations of things you can come up with just using one piece of fabric and a bunch of trim.