Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Suit

Finished Kate's Strawberry Shortcake dress this past weekend.
Here's what I used for inspiration i.e. what I copied

to make in a bigger version:

I went out to buy ribbing for the first time in my life
to try a T-shirt style neckline so the dress could pop
over Kate's head. I had forgotten how big toddler
heads are (compared to the rest of them)! It was a fun
experiment. Next time, though, I will shorten the
ribbing and stretch it more so it lies flat when worn.

I thought seriously about making the hat - it would've
been easy enough, being shower-cap-ish. but I wanted
to move on to something else on my never-ending to-do list.

Drafting Kate's new sloper (her last one, made for
Halloween last year, is past its expiration date) has
somewhat cured me of the sewing ho-hums. I always
learn something new when I go through the full process
of clothes-making, beginning with measuring
the wiggly subject (at least twice)

second-guessing myself and changing
the measurements (a very bad habit)

and finally slapping myself and returning to the
original numbers to get it right. Then it was simply
flaring out the sloper to get that A-line, puffing the
sleeve block, and moving right on to cutting out
the fabric and sewing it all up.

That front armscye (in the photo with the ruler) should
be less angular - very rusty freehand curve-drawing
skills. I used to own french curves and flexible rulers,
but they've disappeared. Must go shopping soon.

So not perfect.
But drafting makes me feel like I've finally grown up.


  1. She looks very cute, and immensely pleased with her new outfit =)

  2. LiEr, this turned out darling, but......oh no, what have they done to Strawberry Shortcake?? Where is the short, round girl I loved as a girl?? sigh :)

  3. She makes a cute Strawberry Shortcake! The outfit turned out so nice and she looks happy in it.

  4. What a beautifull little strawberry shortcake dress... you have a sweet todller

  5. Just adorable!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I agree with Myrnie! What HAVE they done to her lol... The dress turned out sooo cut though LiEr. Great job!

  7. How precious! I'm sure she loves it.

  8. So pretty, but I am shockingly short on memory and was expecting a shepherdress dress or something with a pinafore.
    But little Kate is so so so cute! And that bubble thingy she's holding is genius. Where can I get one of those? I hate it when my kids dump a full bottle of bubbles, but I hate doling it out in little cups because they come back for refills so quickly.

  9. Sweet Strawberry Shotrcake in lovely dress :)

  10. Very cute. She looks so pleased with it too.

  11. My 30 year old daughter was totally into Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite when she was a toddler and preschooler. I made a Rainbow Brite Halloween costume when she was 5. She would have loved Strawberry Shortcake dress as well. She even had the red hair to go with it. You did a great job and Katie looks happy.

    To Margo: the bubble device is called a Bubble Tumbler. The one Katie is hold is a Mini. The full size one is much larger. It is a great product.

  12. That is very adorable and gives me a flashback to childhood!

  13. Spot-on match! Your daughter looks thrilled with her outfit. With a wig, it could be a Halloween costume, too.

  14. So stinkin' cute!!!

    And OH how I could use your dress-sewing-for-children skills! I've been debating what I could tempt you with to come down here for some drafting help -- we need three flower girl dresses by August. But my mum is here helping, so we'll muddle through it, I'm sure... : )

  15. Aah she is adorable! Way cuter than the actual doll.

    Hey, dear LiEr, Queen of All Things Sewing, have you ever blogged about how to sew piping? I'm looking at your tutorials and hoping, hoping, fingers crossed that you've tutorialized it before. Do you have a special piping foot for your sewing machine? I want to sew throw pillows with piping, and I'm scared.

  16. Katie: Off to type a piping email to you now!

  17. Ah, Katie, couldn't find your email add - sorry. Hope you're reading this. Can you shoot me an email? In return I will give you crude (as in unrefined, not "language your mother would get a heart attach hearing") piping instructions!

  18. EEEEEEE! That was the sound of an acute cuteness attack that I just had! Your little girl is soooo adorable in her little Strawberry Shortcake. She takes the cake! OK, enough with the puns. I popped over to see your chickens and just loved all your creativity. Thanks for sharing! Laura

  19. Ok I have to ask where did you find her little pants? My 3 year old just saw this and squealed in her most 3 year old girly girl squeal I want that Mommy its BEAUUUTIFUL lol... Btw we are headover heels in love with cupcake shortcake as she is called around here as well ;)

  20. Pam, I have no idea where to buy the pants, sorry. I sewed the pants that Kate has on. I realize (after a week!) that I forgot to mention that I also made the pants and not just the dress. So it was the whole suit that Kate got. Oops. Are you planning to make the suit too? I'd say just get a pants pattern that has an elastic waist and sew it in knit. That way it can stay snuggish and pretend to be leggings, and still leave room for movement. I drafted it with a bit of boot-cut-flare from the knee down. The pants shrank in the wash so they are now capris, which is now (accidentally) perfect.

  21. LiEr, I guess I totally beefed that question! What I ment is where did you find the stripped fabric I have looked several places and have not found any... I plan to copy cat you if that is ok ;)

  22. Ribbing, eh? What advice can you give (in all your hours and hours of Nutella-eating free time between kids and projects. :) ) on sewing ribbing? It's trickier than I thought it would be. Do you use a special foot? Some sort of water soluble backing? Have to hold your tongue just the right way?

  23. Chris, I hope you'll get to read this reply here!

    Ribbing - no, I don't have a special foot for it. I only have three feet (well, my sewing machine does; I have two) - regular presser foot, zipper foot and buttonhole foot. So I use the regular presser foot for it. Two main things for ribbing:
    1 Decide how big the neckline will need to be when fully stretched. For this, I measure the wearer's head circumference. The neckline will be bigger than the ribbing circumference. By how much is preference- depends on the style of garment.
    2 Stretch the uncut ribbing as far as it will go to be able to reach this circumference you measured. Add seam allowance and cut this length (and whatever width you want, doubled plus seam allowance). Some people say 80% or 70% of needed circumference, but hey, not all ribbing stretches the same.

    Then sew the short ends together to make a ribbing loop. Fold lengthwise to make a double-layer ribbing loop and pin and sew to the neckline. Stretch the ribbing as you sew to fit the neckline but do not stretch the neckline. Zig-zag stitch (or serge) the raw edge.

    I know there are tutorials out there in the internet, so maybe you can find one with photos or video that is more helpful than all this texty stuff I just wrote!

  24. Well well well! I'm five days away from Ffi's birthday and wanted to whip up a strawberry shortcake costume for her, so googled to see if anyone had trodden the DIY route before me and waddya know! If it ain't LiEr! I'd totally forgotten about this post! Looks lovely! I think I'm going to cheat a bit because I want to make use of random fabric I have around already, but hopefully it'll be close enough that Ffi will approve :)


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