We are still enjoying a little spring weather here in Central Florida. But with temperatures in the mid 80’s, summer clothes are now standard attire.
Laurel loves her new swing dress which twirls nicely to the great satisfaction of this almost 6 year old. Lydia from Bonnie Blue Designs is a delightful pattern, quick and easy, and even includes a view with smocking. This small area for the center front is suitable for a single picture smocking motif or a simple geometric pattern, all in keeping with the ease of construction.
It can be lined and turned, leaving no more than 3″ of handwork. However, given our sub-tropical climate, I prefer to line only the bodice and put in a shirttail hem.
In my opinion, it does seem to run large. Laurel has been wearing size 5 for some time now and most of her newer garments are size 6. This dress is size 5 and I had to move the buttons down 1 1/2″ to keep it from falling off her shoulders. It still gapes at the underarm.
Pink polycotton pinfeather baby cord makes this sturdy little dress low maintenance. It is trimmed with whipstitch piping from Farmhouse Fabrics.
The machine embroidered appliqué ice cream cone is from Dakota Collectibles Appliqué Fun collection. The outline cherries and star flowers were extracted from the design with BuzzEdit2 and arranged into a short border for the lower skirt. The leaves were stitched above the buttonholes.
Because I am always in a hurry and really like to add embellishment to buttonholes, I make most of my buttonholes with my Brother Duetta 4500D embroidery combo machine. It makes fabulous buttonholes on the sewing side, but it is quicker to do the buttonholes and embroidery at the same time.
Embroidery Library, www.emblibrary.com has a very nice Buttonhole Variety pack which includes 20 embellished buttonholes as well as 6 plain buttonholes ranging in size from 3/8″ to 1 1/5″. The six plain ones are for sale for $1 each, so you don’t even have to buy the entire Variety Pack for $15.
Occasionally, I’ve had to slightly reduce or enlarge the buttonhole to accommodate a non-standard button. I have color coded the files on my computer for the original 6 plus my resized buttonholes. A sampler stitchout is keptgbj handy in the sewing room. Then, after my buttons are selected, I simply find the best fitting buttonhole. That modified size is also color coded and added to my sampler.
In my software, I simply select that same color buttonhole, add any embellishments and load the design into my machine.
I’ve mentioned before that I am trying very hard to make a dent in my fabric stash. This pattern is probably my best option for sewing up the most yardage and filling out Laurel’s summer wardrobe.