Chloe Dress Violette Field Threads [Part Two]

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wow... I do not even know where to start. It took me awhile to write this post because I wanted her to 1. wear the dress first and 2. it took me awhile to think about what to say.

If you would like to see how I started and why I started this project check out my first post by clicking here.
I absolutely love love love the dresses and I think Braelyn looked great in them. However, gathering 12 feet of fabric into 20 inches was a little rough. Yes, you read that correctly...12 feet! So, that's 144 inches into 20 inches.

The dresses turned out so cute but it was only because I kept changing my mind on every detail including some of the fabric.

The Changes: I know in my first post I had the idea of using polyester lining and two layers of different color tulle. I did this and it did not turn out very well. The polyester lining was so hard to gather because it just wanted to unravel and all and the white under the tulle did not look good. The two colors of tulle just blended into a new color that did not match the top. I guess when I was designing them I forgot blue + pink = purple. After heavy debate I decided to use cotton solids under the tulle and one color tulle per skirt.
Polyester Lining I did not like.
Matching up the pink tulle and the aqua lining with the bodice fabric.
To save some money I decided to cut out four 36" x 12" panels out of one yard of fabric instead of the two 72" x 12" panels the pattern called for. This resulted in the skirt having four seams. With all of the gathering, no one noticed. I did the same thing with the tulle.

The top:  I love that it is a simple top to help play down the dramatic bottom. It was very easy to make and with only 6 pieces it took a very small amount of time. Because it was sleeveless Braelyn did end up wearing a long-sleeve onsie underneath. 

I used an expandable sewing gauge to mark my buttonholes. I absolutely love this notion. Although it is not a must-have for most sewers, anyone who makes a lot of little girl dresses that require a ton of buttons would agree that the tissue paper pattern peices to mark buttonholes is just frustrating. This tool really helps you mark both sides quickly and without error.
Expandable Sewing Gauge

Once you expand to the right width, you mark your fabric in the slits of the gauge.
Skirt hem: to hem the skirt I used a rolled hem foot to hem the 12 feet of fabric. I love this foot and although it can give you greif it worked great with the mid-weight cotton. Remember there are different widths you can use for a rolled hem, make sure you pick one you are comfortable with. I used the foot that came with the machine and although it was a little small I think it looked really nice. The hard part is going around the serged seams and, remember, because I wanted to buy less fabric, I had four seams.

Sewing the rolled hem to the cotton lining.
Now it was time to sew the tulle to the lining. To save time I just sewed both layers onto the cotton at once. I did need a friend to help me match up all of the seams and pin before I sewed. Matching up a 12 feet ring of fabric with two 12 feet rings of tulle takes some space. I just used the gathering stitch to connect them. I did two gathering stitches on each quarter that way if one broke (which did happen on one skirt) I would have another to work with. I did not over pin instead I used only a few and matched as I sewed. Tulle does not pin well and I did not want to waste my time. With all of the gathering, I did not worry about a perfect hem line on the tulle. 

WARNING: I did break a needle while sewing the skirt to the top and, believe it or not, I even broke a needle on the serger trying to serge the inside layer. As you can see below there was a lot of fabric.  I left it unserged which I was afraid would itch her but since she wore a onsie underneath it really didnt bother her. Look at how messy it looks! I am not ashamed...sewing that was very hard.

Soooo....much fabric! 
Other than all of that the skirt turned out super cute! The only thing I wish I would have done differently was sewed the band on the top and the bottom. Braelyn doesn't walk so when people would hold her it would tend to roll up. The reason I did not sew it on the bottom the way the pattern reads is because I was afraid to go near the gathered fabric. 

I will be using this pattern to make her flower girl dress for my sister's wedding I might just use a little less fabric and more tulle as her dress has a lot of tulle on the bottom. So maybe 6 feet instead of 12 feet.

And, without further ado, here's Braelyn at her first birthday party in her two adorable party dresses...

She looked so good, we had to get some professional photos taken as well. Here are a couple that we love.


  1. Thankyou so much for this post. I have been attempting to make two of these for my small nieces and it is my first ever thing I have ever you can guess I don't make life easy for myself and have been stuck for ages. I hope I manage to finish them with your tutorial as guidance.

    Sharon from Nottinghamshire, UK

  2. Please send us a picture of your dresses! WE would love to see them!


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