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Help I need advice on a little Princess Dress

Help I need advice on a little Princess Dress

Old 03-20-2015, 04:48 AM
  #1  
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Default 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
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:58 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:58 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:10 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:51 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:34 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:22 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:24 AM
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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.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:55 AM
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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/
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:07 PM
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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.
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