Friday, November 7, 2008

Little Girl Dresses, Part 1

Sewing something for yourself or another grown person can be daunting when you're starting out in the world of stitches. Making LITTLE dresses offers a great way to build your confidence whilst having a pile of fun!

Pretty fabrics and trims, cute patterns, adorable little girls to wear them, and all in a small size that doesn't require a huge space for cutting out fabric or take a lot of time to stitch. You get a finished product sooner and feel victorious in your achievement more often.

As an encouragement to your creative juices, over the next little while I'm going to be introducing you to several young ladies who make charming little dresses for gifts or financial gain. If you know someone who does likewise, we'd love to hear from you.

Laura Demick: Quietude

Twenty-four year old Laura has created a lovely blog covering various delicious and feminine topics, including samples of her sewing prowess. This is a baby dress she made for her Cedar Chest.

The soft cotton lining is edged with broderie anglaise lace.

Lauren Ashley: Delicate Details

Twenty-year-old Lauren runs a blog and Etsy shop where she advertises and sells garments and digitally altered images. She explains how she became a seamstress.

"It all started with a ball gown.

"I started sewing at an early age because my Mother and Grandmother sewed. They coached me through difficulties until I could wing it on my own. But the reason I wanted to sew in the first place was because of a ball.

"Not a toy ball, but a grand affair with dancing and music; and what girl can go to a ball without a ball gown? So I determined to sew myself a beautiful ball gown – with swishing hoopskirts and all the trappings. My Grandmother helped me, and the truth be told, she did most of the sewing. Without her the project wouldn't have happened (I was only thirteen at the time and just beginning with the basics). The dress turned out beautifully, but more importantly, I had kindled a passion for sewing.

"Since then five years have slipped by and I have sewed clothing for myself, siblings, and friends. Sewing can be dangerously addictive once you've started! I wouldn't recommend starting your sewing adventure with a ball gown, unless you have an experienced seamstress to guide you.

Lauren's Shirley Temple Dress.

"Start with something small at first; then as your confidence and experience grow take on harder projects. Children's clothing is an excellent place to start. Not only is there less material to deal with, but the length of the project is generally shorter.

"One of the important things to keep in mind when beginning is not to bite off more than you can chew. Doing so only brings frustration. Don't let yourself become overwhelmed. Sewing should be a fun process, not a nightmare!

Closer detail of the Shirley Temple Dress

"Once you've mastered some basic skills, you may want to consider starting a home business. Sewing is a job which can be done from home whether you are single or married, and it is regrettably a skill which many modern young women do not have. I recently opened up a shop on Etsy, a place for selling handmade things. Since I am new to the business world I cannot give very much advice on how to start. What I have learned it to trust God, to honor Him with your business, to be open and courteous with your customers, and to keep praying for new opportunities! There are so many ways the Lord can bless a willing heart and diligent hands."

Shannon runs a blog and Etsy Shop. This ruffled baby dress featured on her blog in April. Follow the link to see details of how she made the outfit and alternate ways of wearing it.

Ric-rac (zig-zag braid) is an easy way to add class and cuteness to a garment. When used on the sleeve and collar edges as here, it looks like lace.

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