My niece turned three on Monday and on Saturday we had a party for her. I decided I wanted to make a pillow case dress for her out of some awesome orange elephant print the boy noticed when we were at Sew to Speak earlier this summer. I have a little thing going where I give her some kind of elephant for the holidays, so this print definitely played off that theme.
I made the ballet neck dress pattern from one yard wonders. The pattern uses an entire yard of fabric to start with and then utilizes elastic to gather the fabric to give it shape. While cutting it I sometimes wondered if I would just be making a tunic for myself. Since it seemed so large and because I wasn’t sure at what length to hem it I had my sister bring my niece over for a little try-on. Once we got over her confusion of thinking it was a nightgown and that she had to go to bed; she decided she wanted to help me pin the dress with the “sharps”.
Since that wasn’t overly helpful I took a measurement and hemmed up the fabric later. I hemmed it without cutting the length off so the dress can be let out in the future. I also sewed the waist band a little lower so it would be more of a drop waist for now (can you even really have a drop waist on a toddler?) and then will be in a better spot for her next summer and the following. I also used the bias tape I made for the waist and put it on the sleeve caps to clean up my poor hand sewing. Shhh!
At the party she tried the dress on for me and I think it turned out pretty cute. I also think it will fit much better next summer, but that’s ok, this summer – I am sad to say – is almost over. If I were to make it again, I would probably consider cutting the fabric down to the dimensions of a standard or queen pillowcase and then work from that rectangle. A yard of fabric turns out to be as big as or possibly bigger than a King pillowcase. Who knew?