Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tara's Tiered Sundress & Add-on Alteration Tutorial

Add-on with simple skirt and back zipper.

    One of my favorite designers is New Zealand designer, Lydia Persson of LittleKiwis. I've tested several patterns for her and really LOVE this one, Tara's Tiered Sundress and the Add-on

Tara's Tiered Sundress--Original version with back zipper.

Add-on with simple skirt and back zipper.

    The Add-on also includes an option for a knit bodice (NO zipper!) a simple skirt, and simple tunic. I've made the knit one for my girls completely from knit (no different measurements need for the skirt) and knit bodice with woven skirt.  

Knit bodice, woven skirt (length added), FOE shoulder straps
    I finally had the opportunity to make another knit bodice with woven skirt. This is a size 8 so there are no modeled shots, but there are shots of the alterations I made.

Knit bodice, woven skirt, woven ribbon shoulder strap, matching knit headband.
    Lydia does an excellent job with directions. They are easy to read, step-by-step, and have great pictures.

    One of the changes that is a must, is adding elastic at the waist. This helps the wearer get it on and off with ease.

Elastic at waist, top stitching back seam.

    You can use clear swimsuit elastic or 1/4" elastic. I usually use swimsuit elastic, but I didn't have enough so I used 1/4". I put the elastic underneath the fabric and keep it in the center of my presser foot as I sew to make sure I go through the center of it. The purpose of the elastic is that with the stitching in it, it will stretch--a lot--making it very easy to get on and off.
    I had finished the edge of my woven fabric before I attached it to the bodice, so I choose not to finish the edges of the bodice so as to not interfere with the stretch I gained by adding the elastic. However, I have no worries about not finishing it because it is knit and knit doesn't fray or unravel. 

Elastic at waist, top stitching back seam.

    I like to top stitch when and where I can. I think it adds a more professional touch and helps the seam to lay flat when it's worn.
Outside view of the back seam, top stitched.

    Another alteration from the original pattern, making the shoulder straps attached and not tie. Because my knit was on the thinner side, I decided to line the bodice. Simple alteration by cutting two fronts and backs, sewing right sides together, adding the straps while sewing, and turning. I top stitched the edge around the whole bodice so that it would lay flat and be comfortable when worn.

Close-up of ribbon straps and bodice top stitching.

    When I finished, I noticed that it seemed to be missing something. So, I sewed a star button to the center of the bodice. I believe in sewing as many sparkly's on as I can instead of hot gluing them. By sewing them, they last longer and are less likely to fall off or be pulled off by curious toddlers. 
    I did not top stitch the waist because I didn't want to interfere with the stretch I had gained by adding the elastic.
No top stitching at waist.

    So, where did this dress go? I donated this dress to a little girl battling cancer. I added the knit headband (my own design) so she would feel beautiful even though she didn't have hair. <3

    Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to order one for your little one.

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