Stealing From Goodwill

I didn’t mean to do it, but the fabric kept calling to me. This piece of grey fabric with black rose buds was found in the mystery boxes I was sorting through earlier and it had made it’s way to the Goodwill box. This fabric was originally purchased and put in the stash to be a shirt for me long ago. When I pulled it from the box it had spent so many years in, I could no longer see me wearing a shirt made from it. Although it is the right color for me, the little flowers just did not appeal to me any longer, so into the Goodwill box it went.

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While the fabric was in the Goodwill box, it kept catching my attention until my creative mind just took off with it. Just because I did not want to wear tiny flowers did not mean that some little girl would not just love to wear them. I began to see a little girl’s dress with an embroidered design on the front made from it in my mind’s eye, so I pulled it out of the box and got to work on it..

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I decided to make a size 5 (small) dress. Since the fabric was originally purchased for me a shirt there was plenty for any size I wanted to make. I went to my pattern box and picked out a basic dress pattern, a bodice with a gathered skirt. Because the fabric was a woven cotton instead of a knit, I knew I had to make some way for the little girl to get it on because it wouldn’t stretch. Since I was not in the mood to play with a zipper, I decided to do a slit in the back with a button. And I wanted to keep the front left open for an embroidery design. Because of the grey fabric, I knew the embroidery design would need to be bright and full. But when I saw the black Mickey and Minnie Mouse red work outline design, I knew that was the design I wanted to use. This design absolutely would not work on the grey fabric so I decided to make the front and back of the bodice in white.

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With the basic design in mind, I cut out the dress and got started. I embroidered the design first with the black bobbin thread which you know worked great. I decided to double the bodice instead of making a facing. The white fabric I picked for the bodice is thin so I figured it would work as a lining as well. For the slit in the back, I drew a line in the center back about 2 & 1/2 inches long. I then sewed down each side of the line, tapering at the end. It worked great. I got the results I wanted and only had to stitch it once. I about fell off my chair at this point, since I figured I would be unpicking and restitching the slit at least 3 times to get it right. I also added some corded elastic to one side for a button hole. As always, sewing is a learning experience and I made the loop too big. So, when it came time to pick a button, I had to pick a larger button and place it to the side to accommodate my large loop.  Next time I will make the loop smaller and I will pick the button first so I know what size to make the loop beforehand.

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I decided to use the bodice fabric to line the skirt too. Since I have never really lined a garment, I was not sure which technique would be best. Should I attach it to the gray fabric? Or should I have it separate like a slip under the skirt? Because of the colors and design, this dress was turning out very tomboyish so I decided to attach the lining to the skirt. This seemed to work out fine. I hemmed the skirt with the lining before I gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice.

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I used the floss method to gather the skirt. I zigzagged embroidery floss to the skirt and then pulled it to make the gathers. It worked great and was much easier than pulling threads and stitches. I would have liked more gathers in the skirt but I gathered it so that it fit the bodice. I will cut the skirt bigger for more gathers if I make this pattern again.

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Even though the dress did not turn out quite as I had envisioned it, it is very cute none the less. I like the colors and of course the embroidery design. I still have plenty of the grey fabric left, but I can’t decide if it should go back into the Goodwill box or back into the stash now. I am leaning towards the Goodwill box, since I have so much other fabric to work with. I’m sure my creative mind can pick a different piece to play with next.

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One thought on “Stealing From Goodwill

  1. This dress turned out so cute! Too bad I don’t have a girl size 5. I have an awesome gathering foot for my machine. It gathers and sews it to the other fabric at the same time. I know a 5 year old that has a baby sister if you want to make matching dresses out of the extra!

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