Monday, 3 November 2014

TUTORIAL - Making a Tiered Version of Ottobre 3/2012-#28 - Hawaii Flowers dress

Hi All, I had some great fabric I brought called 'Savannah' a lovely cotton with printed bands that just screamed to be made into striped tiers on a girls dress.  Feeling inspired I browsed through all my Ottobre magazines looking for THE pattern.  I even trolled Google and Pinterest.  I eventually felt inspired into using a shirred bodice and tiered skirt pieces.  So I chose to modify the Hawaii Flowers Dress from 3/2012.  As you can see in my photos I had two different colourways for the Savannah fabric, a dusky pink and a lovely sage green.  I decided to use each fabric in the dress. This was made in 128cm size for a 7 year old girl. So heres how I went about doing it:

First I created the pattern from the pattern sheet.
I then made a line on each pattern piece about at the waistband level.  It was kind of arbitrary and I thought - about here.

I didn't show too much of this step - but here is the finished bodice piece. I sewed the left side seam
with the overlocker, did a narrow edge on the top of the bodice and overlocked the bottom of the bodice. I then shirred the bodice with my standard sewing machine. I used the method mentioned in the Ottobre magazine, where you fill a bobbin by hand with shirring elastic and stitch evenly spaced rows along the width of the bodice piece turning at each edge and stitching back along the width an even spacing from the previous row.
(Heres a link to Made by Rae's tutorial on how to do shirring in case you want to see a more visual method than the one in the Otto Magazine -

I then placed a piece of the green fabric under the bodice piece pattern and cut it to the width of the
bottom of the bodice pieces (the second part under the line I drew).  I cut out one of the front on the fold and one of the back on the fold.  I sewed up the side seams & overlocked both long edges. 

I then created another tier from the pink fabric this time just putting the first tier on top of the pink fabric and choosing to cut it about 5cm wider than the previous strip.  Again I stitched it into a circle and overlocked both long edges.

Both strips were basted with long running stitches along one edge.  I chose the smaller stripe on the fabric to be the bottom of each tier.  I first pinned and sewed the green top tier to the bodice but in retrospect I think its better if you create the skirt tiers first and then at the end gather the skirt top and sew it onto the dress bodice. 

I continued to create alternate tiers each time adding about 5cm to the length of the upper tier on each successive strip.  I also continued to sew up each side seam and overlock both upper and lower long edges.  Then basted with long running stitches, gathered each tier and pinned and sewed to each upper tier.  I alternated colours from green or pink as shown in the photos. 

On the last tier I sewed a small hem which I did after completing the final tier.  It turned out to be a bit shorter than anticipated so I ended up unpicking that hem and adding another pink tier to finish the length.  

The bodice was finished off as per the pattern by making two strips of fabric for the shoulder straps.  I chose to use the stripe of the fabric again as the strip in the centre of the strap.  Both long edges were overlocked then a narrow edge sewn with a standard machine.  The pattern calls for 3 evenly spaced shirred lines to be sewn onto each shoulder strap.  Once done you then stitch the straps to the first shirred line of the bodice top at the marks shown on the pattern.  

That was it!  
It was a simple mod of the pattern to create what ended up being a rather beautiful dress if I do say so myself!