I seriously overestimated my sewing abilities

I had this fantastic idea to design my own dress for Lil’ J. I wanted it to have lots of ruffles and some smocking. I hadn’t tried either skill on her dresses yet.

A few years ago I bought a bunch of gingerbread fabric when I was sewing holiday dog collars. I had that left over, along with a slew of red and white striped fabric I picked up from a thrift store about a year ago. Finally I could put these to good use and make a (free) dress!

I decided I didn’t need a pattern… I’d wing it! But come to find out I’m not much of a “wing it” person, because I still wrote down the measurements I wanted and the steps I’d need to take.

I cut all the fabric for the different pieces and placed them out how I planned for them to go. Easy enough right? I’d just gather the ruffles, and hem the ends, then sew them all together.

HA HA HA! … No.

About 8 hours and 80 f-bombs later, I was done. I think it’s cute but I also think I’ve made cuter in less time. In the beginning I was taking photos for a tutorial but about a quarter of the way through I realized I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and no one should try to imitate this the way I was. There’s probably a much simpler way to make something like this.

My little model was already sleeping when I finished so I’ll have to post some picture of her wearing this later.

Shirring wasn’t too hard but it was a pain in the butt going back and forth from straight stitching to shirring, changing the tension, and re-testing the machine because it’s finicky. I added some fun funky stitching at the hem line, and made some matching leg warmers from womens socks. It’s warm here in Texas so she may be able to get away with the short sleeves for part of the month but I’ll most likely have her wear a long sleeved white tee underneath.

Whatcha think?! Turns out designing isn’t as easy as I had hoped, and I’m not as advanced in my sewing skills as I thought.
Would love to see your creations, craft, food, or just bragging about something you’ve done!

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  1. I think it is cute and you did a good job! Don’t be so hard on yourself because you DID it! Yay! Keep on!
    I bought a bunch of lovely wool vintage fabric at an estate sale and now am thinking how to do what I want-make clothing out of it? I hate patterns so I would love to create my own things. Haven’t had time YET, but I will. Haven’t made clothing for about 20 years, but I have made pillow cases for our bed and other things of that sort. I am excited about it, but hope it works! LOL

  2. It turned out really cute. I would have never thought to put the red and white stripes with the gingerbread fabric. They look nice together. On another note, my daughter asked me to knit hats for her high school swim team.

  3. That dress is so adorable! You did a great job…even if it did take you 8 hours and 80 f-bombs (had to laugh at that part!). Can’t wait to see Lil J in it!

  4. i’m the same when it comes to sewing: wing it! usually it’s fine. but, last halloween i decided to make my little girl a care bear costume. ended up taking two months and way too many hours to count. i made a million patterns and adjustments before i got it right. there’s some pride involved in knowing you did it yourself. great work on the dress. it’s really cute. can’t wait to see pics. oh, and i’m notorious for trying things on my girl while she’s sleeping!

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