A sweet outfit for a sweet little girl

We recently had  a new addition to our congregation and I wanted to make her something.  I used two patterns from the Autumn ‘o9 edition of Ottobre.

The “Lullaby” batiste blouse:

and the “Moss” pinafore dress:

Here is a close up of that lovely tree:

The tree and most of the leaves are hand embroidered and the other leaves are appliqued on.   There is supposed to be a bird in the tree.  It’s not that I didn’t try, it’s just that even after several whole-hearted attempts to make a bird, it still looked like this:

That’s right, that turquoise blob is supposed to be a bird, but each time I tried it, it looked less and less like the one on the pattern.  I couldn’t decide whether to leave it or just start over and in the middle of my indecision, I did this:

I accidentally ironed on about 4 square inches of iron-on adhesive to the right side of the front panel and this is what it looked like after about a half hour of me trying to get it off.  So my decision was kind of made for me.  I could live with a bird that didn’t look like a bird, but I couldn’t live with the adhesive mess.  I had just enough gray chord fabric left over to cut another front panel so I started over.  This time I just put in an extra leaf and left off the bird.

I am very pleased with the whole outfit.  Here is a close up of my favorite part:I just love those little tucks and the sweet frill around the neck.

Once again, I loved using Ottobre’s patterns.  A really enjoy the lack of detailed instructions.  It forces me to think ahead when I am sewing and I feel like it is pushing me to become a more knowledgeable seamstress, even with the lack of a teacher.

Here are a couple of things I learned while making this outfit:

1) Because I used baby chord fabric (which has a definite nap)instead of the linen that the pattern called for and because Ottobre does not provide a cutting layout, I had to think about the best way to lay out the pattern pieces for cutting.  Not only did I want all the pieces to fit on the fabric, but I also wanted to make sure that my finished dress didn’t  look like it was made out of two different shades of gray.  Fortunately, this is not one of those “I learned from my mistakes” stories.  I actually thought about all of this before I begun to cut out my pieces.  See Mrs. Reese, I was listening.

2) I learned what a raglan sleeves are.  At first when I read the sewing instructions I had no idea what to do.  The first sentence reads: “Pin sleeves to front and back panels, right sides together and stitch raglan seams.”  Huh? Since I didn’t know what raglan seams were, I looked it up in a basic sewing book I have and learned that they were similar to Kimono sleeves.  And if you remember, a couple of months ago, I made a pair of p.j.s for Lila that had Kimono sleeves so I just put this top together like did the top for the p.j.s only backwards.  Here is a picture of the back of the blouse, which fastens just like a Kimono:

3) I learned how to use this nifty little foot:This is my overcasting foot and it can turn this:

into this:

Here’s a picture of it in action:

It folds the edge over and zig-zags on top of the folded edge.  It’s not nearly a serger quality finish, but it sure beats cutting the edges with pinking shears.

I am excited to see the sweet baby in her sweet little outfit, but I will have to wait a little while.  She is so tiny right now it will be several months before she can wear it.

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