I finally did it, and, as often happens, I'm wondering why on earth I didn't do it earlier. I made the Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress
When I bought the pattern A was only wearing pants and had no interest in twirls or dresses. I'd read all the lengthy discussions in the forum about fitting and darts and muslins. I figured it could wait...
Then I got the pattern out to draft the belt and bow to add to this dress and amazingly I bothered to draft the whole pattern in size 2.
A little while later Once Upon A Sewing Machine invited me to pattern test their wonderful Ruffled PJs (how my kid loves those pyjamas, I just can't tell you!) and that required me to measure my little tacker properly for the first time. What do you know, she was exactly the size 2 measurements.
Could I do away with making a muslin and just jump straight in? Well, when I found this sheer blue/grey fabric at that $3/metre shop the answer was yes, yes, yes!
Once I started sewing the fairy tale really started coming true. It fitted, it was fun to sew and the possibilities for the pattern just seemed endless. This is another of those patterns that, through the excellent instructions and the pattern itself, will cause you to be seriously impressed with what you can sew.
My main fabric is very sheer and I thought about hairline seams and what to do. Quite a bit of thinking for me, since I tend to cut first think later most of the time. I could do hairline seams, but what about the collars seam allowances, they'd show through? And what about the waist darts?
The answer, in the end, was to cut extra copies of everything out of the cotton lining (probably a batiste or similar) and treat one layer of sheer stuff and one layer of cotton as the single main fabric layer. I think it's an answer someone in the forum had already come up with (but of course I'd forgotten to check there), and Nicole then did exactly the same thing, so I was feeling very confident it would work.
I'd like to say it was a dream run sewing it up, but like most good fairy tales there was a sticky bit in the middle when I sewed the invisible zipper on such that the dress would have to be half upside down and inside out in order to close. No great problem, I mean it's not like I lost one really good shoe at a party. A bit of unpicking and slowing down to concentrate and then all really was happily ever after.
When I had sewn just the bodice and skirt I held it up to have a look and suddenly I was wanting to make a sleeveless, collarless version. Then after adding the collar I thought the one after that should be sleeveless, but with a collar. I set the sleeves in and obviously then wanted one just like that without the belt...
It's easy to see how Rachel at Nest Full of Eggs has managed to make ten of them! (well, no actually, it's easy to see how she could conceptualise ten of them, making them all is quite an extraordinary achievement)
Having the sheer fabric underlined with the cotton made it easy to hand sew the hem and make it truly invisible. This was my first time playing with tulle* and I decided to use two layers as the poofiness of a single layer just didn't seem sufficient. This is the nice, soft stuff but I guess a single layer of the stiffer, scratchier stuff would be fine as there's a lining layer to protect little legs.
*excepting my handmade bridal veil I wore on my bike helmet on the morning of my wedding day - who'd waste a perfectly good Saturday morning with hair and make up appointments when there's a bunch ride to join?!
My happy cup of joy was really spilling over when A was watching me sewing it and becoming increasingly excited about it. She absolutely LOVES this dress. Obviously she'd prefer if it was purple, or pink at a stretch. But with some persuasion, and the help of some theme branded Band-Aids she's come around to the idea that Cinderella wore blue and so will she (and "Cinderella has an ouchy on both her knees just like me too").
I'm not sure this is how Cinderella poses for pictures,....
But I am certain that this:...
...is how she does her bench dips to keep her triceps toned.