How long does it take to make a dress? Part 2, the finished dress!

by - 13:14

So now we know how long it took me to make the Spinny Mini, I thought it might be nice to have a little rundown of the dress itself.

The Spinny Mini is a vintage style dress with puff sleeves, a peter pan style collar, and a full circle skirt. The pattern has had a very recent revamp, and now features either 3/4 sleeve, or sleeveless, with the option of a ruffle sleeve and ruffle collar, along with a shaped gathered skirt, and even a romper option. There are almost too many options to choose from!

Layla chose the full circle skirt (she loves twirling) with ruffle hem, the pointed collar and the puff sleeves. This is pretty much the same as the two dresses I made her on the original pattern release. She also asked for a pinafore/apron to wear over the top.

I am pretty proud of my neat pointed collar, which meets exactly in the middle (although, annoyingly, it doesn't look like it meets in this picture!). I basted and sewed that section before finishing the rest of construction, to ensure it was correct.

And I'm pretty pleased with my puffy sleeves too. The gathers look fairly even in the sleeve head either side, I just need to add some catch stitches to stop the sleeve seams allowances from flipping in opposite directions.

The sticking point in the pattern, that makes it unenjoyable for me, is the skirt ruffle. I need to find some mechanical way of gathering, that doesn't involve pulling basting thread for metres and metres at a time. The ungathered ruffle in age 8 is just over 4m long. You gather in 4 sections, which clearly helps, but that means you're still pulling 1 metre of threads at a time. Still, the end result is rather pretty. To aid lining up, and setting gathers more evenly, I added extra notches to each half section of ruffle, and each 8th section of skirt.

I waited until the dress was finished before adding the buttonholes and buttons. But to ensure my back was lined up correctly, I basted the top neckline, as well as lower down on the centre back. This just made sure that when the waistband casing was sewn, the two back pieces didn't go out of line.

Then on to the pinafore. She wanted the same as in her original dress a couple of years ago. So as she is just in the age range still, I made her an A La Heart pinafore. I used the red chambray as I didn't want it to interfere with the busy, bold floral of the dress. I timed myself again for this sew. Not including the fabric cutting, it took me 1 hour and 25 minutes. A much quicker item to sew up!

And now, on to the fabric details. I used a print by Pat Bravo. Possibly my most favourite print ever, the Ad Lib Blooms Shout, part of the Artisan collection by Art Gallery Fabrics. I have now only got a small amount of this fabric left. Perhaps enough for a cropped blouse for Layla, or a tiny baby dress for my niece. I paired this with some red chambray that I have left over from Fabworks Mill shop. Both these fabrics were bought maybe 3 years ago now, if not a little more. It's like they were made to go together!

I have previously made a Free Spirit high low circle dress,

and a Petit Four dress, both by Duchess and Hare.

A Lola top and matching dolly top by Violette Field Threads,

and finally, a Paris Bolero by Frocks and Frolicks. All utilising the same two fabrics.

Clearly, big bold florals are my thing. And I'm pretty pleased that Layla loves them too, well sometimes... other's she gives me a look like this ;)

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