The angelic gown for my niece’s baptism is finally completed. Here it is in all of its radiant glory.
This dress is long – it measures 36″ from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the lace hem. The length was set by the pattern, McCalls M4865, and its sizing for the 3-6 month range. I cut the pattern directly as is, though as I said before, a smidgen of the width was taken out due to fabric restrictions.
This same lace is mirrored on the hem, and, when combined with a few rows of pin tucks, it gives a very elegant finish to the dress.
The lace was thoughtfully sewn in so as to prevent any unfinished edges from showing along the hem.
The top also features cute little gathered sleeves, bound by a thin strip of bias binding made from the fashion fabric.
The sleeves were set in to the blouse between the bodice and its lining, an idea I picked up from Jodi of Sew Fearless, who used this same pattern a few months back for her daughter’s Christening gown. The sleeve seams were hidden by simply slipstitching the lining to the bodice arm holes after the sleeves had been attached to the bodice. I also took the time to understitch the lining by hand using a pickstitch, which made for a clean finish to the neckline.
Because I’d cut the pattern with a center back seam, the hardest part of sewing the pattern was figuring out how to attach the facing for the lapped seam that allows the opening in the back to continue into the dress.
It should have been straightforward, but it took me a couple tries before I properly wrapped by head around what exactly was going on with the fabric here.
My biggest regret with this dress was not sewing French seams for all of the exposed seams. I just don’t think I have enough sewing under my belt to have simple steps like that ingrained into my habits. It wasn’t until the end of the dress that I noticed the unfinished seams. Having already added the pin tucks and lace hem, there was no way to move backward.
My solution was to add bias binding to enclose the raw edges. I made bias binding from scraps of the fashion fabric, and stitched it on by hand, first with a basting stitch to ensure it was properly aligned, then with a back stitch to permanently hold it in place. My hand stitches are rough, and I’m very thankful that these seams are hidden inside the dress.
For the little exposed seams on the sleeves, I simply hand overcast the edges. There was just no way to neatly cover them with bias binding without unstitching.
That said, I’m very happy with this dress. It’s everything I dreamed it would be. I’ll ship it off to Seattle tomorrow, and in a few days time it’ll be hanging out with the golden bear and waiting for its moment in the spotlight.