Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

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Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby kjh9835 on Thu May 24, 2012 8:26 pm

I have NOT YET committed to make this dress. I told my niece that I *might* be able to do it since it's just one dress and I have until September but I'd have to find a pattern and I needed to know what fabric they were ordering so I'd know if it was something I could sew or not.

Background info: little girl age 6 will be jr. bridesmaid in the wedding, the bride is my niece's SIL. Dresses are coming from a bridal shop and they can order identical fabric to the RTW bridesmaid dresses @ $30/yd. The bride wants this dress to be identical but it doesn't come in kids' sizes and she remembered that I made my girls' dresses for my niece's wedding and wondered if I could do just this one dress?

Little girls' patterns do not come in sweetheart strapless with a crosswrap thingy. I WILL practice with muslin first esp since it looks like I may have to combine different patterns to get what I need. Ladies' patterns are available that are similiar but without the crosswrap thingy but she's only a girls size 6 and I don't think I could reduce it down that much and make it right.
I can't find any strapless patterns at all. I even looked at a mermaid costume pattern.

Maybe I'll be "off the hook" since I can't find a pattern but thought I'd ask here first and see if anyone has any suggestions before I tell her I can't do it. This is a pic of the bridesmaid dress.
a bridesmaid dress for Meg-JPG.jpg
a bridesmaid dress for Meg-JPG.jpg (22.73 KB) Viewed 4145 times


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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby MartySews2 on Thu May 24, 2012 11:19 pm

Kathy, try McCall's #5838 ... because she is just a little girl, I don't think spaghetti straps would be out of line but this pattern seem similar in shape to the adult version. You could always add elastic to hold up the top but at least, this gives you a base to work with in creating the dress. I hate it when adults expect little children to dress as adults. It's totally inappropriate.
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby Pudge99 on Fri May 25, 2012 8:01 am

Wow Marty that looks like a pretty good match to me.

I think the reason they don't make strapless gown patterns for little girls is 'cause that don't have anything to hold it up.
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby Mom of Six on Fri May 25, 2012 8:25 am

Pudge99 wrote:Wow Marty that looks like a pretty good match to me.

I think the reason they don't make strapless gown patterns for little girls is 'cause that don't have anything to hold it up.

That's what I was thinking.
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby bridesmom on Fri May 25, 2012 9:05 am

I was watching a segment of 'Bridesmaids Say Yes to the Dress ' and the maid of honor was the brides little 8 yr old sister. The other bridesmaids were adult women and the dress the bride wanted was almost identical to that. I agree with Marty, it looked pretty inappropriate for a small child to be wearing a strapless dress and she seemed really uncomfortable with it. They did finally choose a dress with one thick strap on one side, but the owner of the salon and the designer both told the bride that she should be wearing a dress with straps. Spaghetti straps would be fine and would look almost the same. Is the fabric that chiffony stuff that is one the picture?? It would need a lining as well. That's pricey fabric! I' m sure you could do the dress, the Mccalls pattern is close to perfect. My thought would be depending on the bride, if she's willing to compromise a bit and have something almost identical and with the straps and the bride is not a bridezilla then go for it.
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby kjh9835 on Fri May 25, 2012 11:35 am

I was thinking the same thing about little girls not having anything to hold up a strapless dress but I figured I could do the clear elastic like I did on another dress. I got her measurements and have looked at that pattern and some others. I think I will send her the links and see which one she wants me to do. I'll do it up practice first in muslin and see how it fits, etc. then I'll tell her how much fabric to order. I also want to know what the fabric is: satin, taffeta, etc. They are leaving on vacation Sunday for 2 weeks. Then she'll just be an hour away and they could meet me halfway or something once I get the practice one done.

Maybe this will jumpstart me back into sewing. I haven't done anything for several weeks. I've been working outside but quit when I get to hurting. I don't have much stamina to do anything all at once.

Thanks all,
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby kjh9835 on Fri May 25, 2012 4:46 pm

The fabric is chiffon, something I've never worked with. I wish it wasn't so expensive from the bridal shop. Now I'm having second thoughts. I hate to take on more than I can handle and get stressed out about it. I wonder if the alteration lady in town would be interested?

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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby Mule on Fri May 25, 2012 6:35 pm

Why not do a little experimenting first? I never make anything out of expensive fabric without trying it out in something cheap first. Fabric.com has some pretty inexpensive chiffon (probably nothing anyone would actually want to wear, but perfect for experimenting). Some of these are as low as $3.98 per yard, plus additional discount codes are available on retailmenot.com.

Another option for the base could be Simplicity 1893. I agree with those that think a little girl should have straps on her dress.
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby bridesmom on Sat May 26, 2012 2:44 pm

Kathy have you ever sewn with a light gauzy fabric that stretches?? Chiffon is worse. It's really finicky and serging isn't the best finish, but french seams, it frays like crazy, and if you use a dull needle it will pull the fabric threads. Serging adds extra weight and because it's so lightweight I've found the serged seam is noticeable. Beth is right, pick up some inexpensive chiffon and give it a try and see what you think. You will have to line the dress with something very light as well, as chiffon is very seethrough. I'm surprised that it's $30/yd just for the chiffon. i wonder if you could find the color in a fabric store or something really close.
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Re: Jr. bridesmaid dress, need pattern/suggestions/advice

New postby kjh9835 on Sat May 26, 2012 7:16 pm

I mostly stick with cottons and denim so I don't have much experience with other types of fabrics. I've done knit cuffs on jackets and the crepe back satin I've sewn. I'm not exactly sure about the fabric type. I know the RTW dresses on the website say chiffon so I just assumed that the matching fabric would also be chiffon. It's a deep red and reds are very difficult to match and since everything will have to be "perfect", they'll order however much fabric I tell them I need.

I bought Simplicity 3943 http://www.simplicity.com/p-2062-child-special-occasion-dresses.aspx today when I went to town, on sale for $1. I also bought 3 yds of white muslin and 3 yards of clearance chiffon, white with blue stars for $3/yd. View G is what I've cut out. There are 3 identical pieces to the skirt, a front bodice and two back bodices. Pretty simple other than the large amount of fabric. I'm pretending the muslin is the lining and the white star print is the dress fabric (which I figure is how it will be if it is chiffon with a lining). The skirt may end up being fuller than they want but at least I'll know if I can do it and if it will fit without too much trouble.

I cut out the front bodice but made it a sweetheart neckline. Now I'm trying to figure out if I can do the "crossover" or not. Since there's no pattern pieces for that, I haven't been able to figure out how to cut them. The muslin is cut out as the bodice and I wanted the chiffon to gather up at the side seams and crossover like the RTW dresses. I may have to find a ladies blouse/dress pattern just to see how the pieces are cut out and sewn together. Simplicity patterns are 5 for $5 this weekend, May 30th thru June 3rd McCalls will be 99 cents then I think I was told Butterick will be the 7th-9th of June for 99 cents. I wish I'd thought of it today while I was there as it's nearly a 2 hr drive round trip but dd22 goes over that way quite a bit and she can stop for me one day to save me the trip.

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