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Thread: Help I need advice on a little Princess Dress

  1. #1
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    Help I need advice on a little Princess Dress

    I have not made any little girls clothes before. My granddaughter, whom I will never refuse anything, requested a barbie doll wedding dress so her barbie can marry ken so they can kiss. LOL And someone gave me an old wedding dress, so I cut it apart and started to cut out this princess dress for her to match her barbies dress kind of. Wedding dress was put together in triangle shaped fabric pieces, so really not as much fabric as one would think and pieces placed on the fold were a challenge and there is much more fabric in the little princess dress than one thinks and it is 3 layers. I ran out of fabric so I found some light pink and I cut the overskirt out of light pink and making all the bows out of light pink, if I can figure out how to make those, directions are complicating. Here is my problem, dress pattern calls for a zipper, I don't know how to do zippers and I don't have a zipper foot for my plain old machine. Therefore, I was wondering if there would be any way that I could somehow use velcro or snaps? the pattern doesn't have any overlap for velcro or snaps, so my question is this, if I take maybe far less seam allowance than called for, would that provide me with enough to sew on velcro? This is just for her for dress up anyway, but I don't want it to look gawdy in the back. After I figure out petticoat ruffles and all that fun stuff and sew the 3 layers if possible onto the bodice, I will be in the home stretch. This has been a huge project for me. Then I have to make the Barbie doll one. LOL
    Thank you for any help you may be able to give me on this project.
    Rachel
    Shayarene

  2. #2
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    I got a little mixed up here - this dress is for your granddaughter To wear?- -how old is she?

    Does this fabric ravel and/or fray?

    if this dress will be loved and played in a lot - do not skimp on the seam allowances - and overcast them so they do not fray.

    A serger would be my first choice, zigzagging the edges of the seam my second choicr, and overcasting by hand.

    Sounds like a major project - with lots of learning opportunities.

    A ziper might be the first choice. You can sew thm in by hand. In fact, some of the "best" garments had zippers that were sewn in by hand.


    As far as velcro goes - yoU could get the narrowest, lightest duty stuff available and sew it on the seam allowances. This would not be my first choice unless you cover the raw edges. you could turn in the seam allowance 1/4 inch and sew the velcro over it.

    Does this pattern have 5/8 inch seam allowances?

    Good luck with this project.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 03-20-2015 at 05:14 AM.

  3. #3
    dd
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    You could add another piece down the back on one side. This extension would go under the other side allowing room to sew the velcro. Finish the other side and sew velcro along that folded edge. Zippers aren't that hard to insert and can be done by hand. There used to be directions inside the cardboard they came in but I'm not sure they still come in the cardboard. I'm sure there are utube videos out there. Good luck and if you can't figure it out I heard you wanted to take a road trip to MD anyway.lol Bring it over and I'll do it for you. Bows are easy too. PM me if you want help with that too.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  4. #4
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    Narrower seams will affect how the garment fits. Velcro is about 3/4 of an inch. I would take a piece of fabric, about 2.5" wide, the length of the back seam, plus and inch or so. Fold it in half the long way, wrong side out. Sew across the narrow end, turn right side out. This will give you a finished short end. Sew the strip to one side of the back seam, with the finished side about 1/2" below the raw edge of the neckline. Take a half inch seam. Now you have a sort of a placket to attach the Velcro and the item will still fit. Personally, I would add snaps, not Velcro as Velcro is very stiff.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  5. #5
    Super Member Kathy T.'s Avatar
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    I would skip the velcro and instead put four or five ties down the back. The bows when tied would be lovely, especially if you made them pink to match the overskirt.

  6. #6
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    If you have plenty of seam allowance on the sides, you could put the zipper on the left side of the dress, starting about an inch under the armpit, and going down as low as it takes for her to easily get out of the dress. I remember making a few dresses like this (i've been sewing for 50+ years).

    Or take two strips of the fabric 2-1/2" wide, fold wrong sides together and press, giving you a 1-1/4" piece. Sew each strip down the back seam with a 1/4" seam, which will give you 1" extra down the back. Press the strips to the center so they overlap with one finished edge just covering the seam of the other side. If you need more than 1", just make your strips wider. I, too, prefer using snaps, and I would sew buttons on top of the snaps to hide them. I do like the idea of the ties, too, and you can add the ties when you sew on the fabric strips.

  7. #7
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    If the pattern calls for a zipper, then you should have about 5/8 inch overlap in the back (seam allowances for the zipper). If you wanted to use that overlap for velcro or snaps instead, I would suggest binding the raw edges first (do it just like quilt binding) to keep it from raveling and also add a bit more support for the fasteners.
    Laura

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    Thank you everyone, I loved all the great advice, I am with Kathy on this one, I am going to make some matching pink ties and attach so when tied, they will match those bows. Great idea, then the edges will come together right, I won't have to add on a piece, I won't have to have anything bunching up on it. DD, if I was closer to MD, I would be there tonight, LOL The bows to attach to dress front and sleeves are stumping me for some reason. And this fabric does fray a lot but I am praying that she will be a little careful with it, She is just 5 years old, so not much hope of that. LOL But wondering if I can buy fray check to help keep it intact a bit longer??? Thank you so much everyone for the fantastic advice, I knew I would get great ideas on here. I don't have a zipper foot for my machine, but something on my want list. LOL someday, I will have everything I need for these projects. LOLLOL have a great weekend everyone.
    Shayarene

  9. #9
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    I would get Fray Block rather than Fray Check. Similar results, but the Fray Block does not leave a stiff lump in the fabric. The tube version is messy to try to use, but the brush-on version is supposed to be easy to use:
    http://www.amazon.com/June-Tailor-JT...dp/B00D4VM4OC/

    I would make all the bows out of narrow ribbon and just Fray Block the ends.

    If in the future you want to use Velcro, I would suggest using this version of it, which is nice and soft:
    http://www.amazon.com/VELCRO-Brand-S...dp/B000YZ8UF8/

  10. #10
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    Do something to stop the fraying. It will take some extra time now - but if DGD loves that dress as much as I think she will - you will want those seams to stsy intact and not shred. A shredded seam is a big bother to repair even on a simple garment.

  11. #11
    dd
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    If you're using ribbon then just hold a match or lighter to the end so it melts just a little and you don't have to worry about it fraying.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  12. #12
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    OK, I do garments (and sew for DG all the time - just a you I know how to make work for myself - lol). You can go to Joann's and pick up the new fancy zippers (they look like lace, very sweet), and sew it on "TOP" of the back. You don't need a zipper foot and it just looks like a design on the back of the dress (very simple). This way you can keep your seam allowances (without shorting yourself), with all of the big designers using zippers that show on the back of dresses your DG will be in style and you can keep your sanity too.

  13. #13
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    The problem with velcro is that the 'hook' side will be snagging any lace or delicate fabric it touches. What I would do is use snaps or buttons. You can add a strip of any fabric to one side of the seam, for the 'back' or underside of the fastening seam. Just make a facing, for one side, instead of folding it into the seam. This will extend it, so that a fastener can be attached and covered with the top part of the seam. I hope that makes sense.
    Neesie


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  14. #14
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    I like Kathy's solution. Think about attaching a length of fabric behind the ties on one side and it makes it expandable.

  15. #15
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    You can trim the Velcro to narrow strips, also. You don't have to use the entire width.

  16. #16
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    Velcro does cstch on everything - and it probanly would snag the lace.

  17. #17
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    I would use snaps & stitch bows on where the snaps are so it looks like ties on the back.

  18. #18
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    A very easy way to put a zipper in a garment is the sew the seam together with long stitches. iron the seam open. Lay the zipper on the seam with the teeth going straight in the center. Pin or glue the zipper in place. Sew down one side of the zipper across the bottom and up the other side. Use your seam ripper and open the seam. You won't be able to get as close as with a zipper foot, but I have sewn them in this way with a regular foot and they looked ok.

  19. #19
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    I think you should go with what the pattern says. Buy a zipper and take the whole she-bang to a cleaners or a place that does alterations and ask them to put in the zipper. My sewing machine only made ugly buttonholes. I took a little GD dress and had someone make the buttonholes at an alteration place. It took her less than 2 hours and cost me very little. My dress was a hit! I have a new machine now. If I was close to you I would put in the zipper. Then you are sure everything its and is sturdy and plays well!

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