children, sewing

Peppermint Swirl Dresses

I don’t usually do custom orders, but sometimes my arm can be twisted! Since I was going to be in Australia, my younger sister asked if I could make her a couple of dresses for some of her friends kids. Of course, my girls want their own versions too, and maybe sometime this summer I’ll forget what it was like to hem these, and get to making them for my girls too.

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The Peppermint Swirl Dress by Candy Castle Patterns definitely has WOW factor! The skirt is very unique and I would definitely use it again. The instructions include fabric requirements for making a dress from two colors (as in the purple/My Little Pony version) as well as seven colors (as in the rainbow version).

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A lot of people are quite daunted in cutting this dress out. I stacked all the colors on top of each other to speed up the cutting process. Due to the shape of each pattern piece, you can’t actually fold the fabric over for a double cut, so it all needs to be cut in a single direction.

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I used my serger to sew the skirt together, and my sewing machine for the bodice. The bodice required a bit more precision than I was in the mood for, due to the shape of the neckline. I haven’t seen what it is like on an actual child yet, but I’m tempted to use a knit bodice next time, which would also extend the life of the dress too. Since the skirt is pretty heavy, a knit bodice would need a stabilizer in the seams so that it doesn’t get all stretched out.

I would normally use 100% cotton for a dress like this, but after reading good reviews, opted for the cheap poly blend fabric from JoAnn. The benefit of using the polyester fabric is that the dress will be less prone to getting crumpled. (I know I definitely wouldn’t want to constantly iron it!!).

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The My Little Pony dress however is mostly from 100% cotton – I scored this yardage at Walmart a couple of years ago at just $1 p/yard!!

To hem this dress, the pattern provides 3 options. I initially went with the second option – a rolled hem with my serger – but I had a lot of trouble keeping this stitch ON the fabric – and keep finding myself serging off the fabric as I went around all the curves. I hated the look of it, so I sucked it up and bought a few packs of bias tape and hemmed it with that instead. I highly recommend the bias tape method, even if it is a bit more work!

My versions are 18M size (pattern available in 6M – 10Y, and is also available in women and doll versions)

I can’t wait to see these dresses on their recipients!

 

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