Sewing Projects: Dress with Quilted Bodice

August 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

This next photo you might recognize from my fb page. Bilingual baby is wearing her new dress, a beautiful design by Junko Okawa from her book Carefree Clothes for Girls. She does a lot with vintage doilies and raw edges.

It took me a whole day to make this dress. Of course, with the usual distractions and interruptions. I did need these pauses in my sewing because I was trying really hard to follow Okawa’s directions. I’m so visual, so these written directions (with few pictures) took some time for me to figure out. It was like the word problems in my math classes through the years were haunting me again, laughing and pointing. I did beat them, this time. I figured it out. I was on my own playing field and I got it. So there, word problems!

Okay. Let’s come back to the present and leave math ghosts behind.

The design is so simple but uses a couple intricate touches to make it an absolute beauty to feast your eyes on. I mean, look at the bodice up close:

One thing to note is that her patterns come with no seam allowances. This is what the Built by Wendy Dresses patterns are like. I like that I get to choose how much of a seam allowance gets added in, and altering is much easier when you don’t have to account for the built-in seam allowances. Just don’t forget.

Next time I’ll be more careful when attaching the the skirts (there are two- an organic chambray and a cream gauze on top. You can even see the raw edges at the join of the skirts and bodice – Okawa’s signature design element. I didn’t really think I’d like the look of the raw edges, especially after working so hard at the bodice (I quilted the top layer, the gauze, with a layer of cream organic flannel from Heart of Vermont, attached it to a layer of chambray which would serve as the lining). I ended up loving it.

I sewed up the size 4 and you can see that there’s room to grow. My little girl said the nicest things about the dress and was hugging it when I gave it to her. She has been wearing it almost every day since I made it.


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