Monday, February 14, 2011

Elephant Dress

T-shirt Dress

Another new dress for the little girl (who insists she is not little). The dress is a very basic T-shirt dress, made by modifying an out-of-print Kwik Sew pattern (2315 - actually for pajamas).

Elephant Dress and Elephant Stuffy

Inspired by her beloved stuffy, I added an appliquéd pair of elephants. I'm terrible at drawing, so this is a rather modified form of an image I found online.

Elephant Applique

The braided tails were a hit, but I think they're a little long. Also, maybe I should add eyes. I didn't think about that until looking at the picture just now. It seems I have difficulty making complete elephants.

I stitched a tear-away stabilizer to the skirt piece and fused the elephant shapes on. I opted for the raw-edge appliquéd look and stitched about 1/8" away from the edge all the way around. I stitched around each shape three times to give it a slightly bolder line.

Stripy Leggings

The fabric for the dress and leggings came from three XL adult T-shirts purchased from the clearance table at Zeller's. There are some advantages to this over cut yardage:

1.  Accessibility - Zellers is in my town, the nearest fabric store is 45 minutes away.
2.  Coordinates - The solid and the stripe match perfectly - often not the case with bolts of fabric
3.  Pre-finished - I used the hem of the shirt for both the leggings and the skirt. Hemming isn't one of my favorite parts of the sewing process, so I like to have it done already.

However, there are some disadvantages:

1.  Grainlines - These weren't exceptionally high-quality T-shirts, so there were some grainline issues that were hard for me to work around. You can see that the stripes don't match at CF of the leggings.
2.  Limited layout options - Since the T-shirt already has a certain shape, you have to work within those boundaries sometimes being creative with what you can put where.
3.  Size limitations - I was able to squeak out the leggings from one T-shirt, but had to add a separate piece for the elastic casing. The next size up would not have been an option. Making a big T-shirt into a smaller T-shirt works well, but I don't know that I'll be able to do more dresses or leggings.
4.  Waste - It seems like there was more waste compared to working with yardage - a lot of smallish, un-useable pieces leftover.

Elephant Dress and Elephant Stuffy

I continually had the tune of "Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini in my head while I was working on this project. It was subconscious at first and it took me a couple of days to even remember the name of the song and figure out why I was humming it. Funny stuff. Thankfully, it is a fun tune because it is quite tenacious and once it's there, it is hard to get rid of!

9 comments:

  1. This is the sweetest little ensemble! I love the braided tails on the elephants, it's the perfect touch.

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  2. How absolutely gorgeous - the elehants, the braided tails, and your little "big" girl!

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  3. Really cute! I always enjoy seeing what you have made! My DGD got a can can skirt because I saw yours...very clever dress and leggins too!

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  4. She looks So sweet. This is a wonderful outfit..and maybe I've said this here before ~ I love elephants ~ so I am a big fan of this
    detail :)

    I've been trying to make an elephant fabric design over at the Spoonflower site...one day I'll get what I have in mind.

    http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome

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  5. I am in awe of how cute this is. When I see outfits like this, I wish I had a little girl to sew for! Where is that stork anyway? Just Kidding. Three boys are good for me.

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  6. This is so cute! The elephants are adorable, and they fit so well with your daughter's lovey!

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  7. I was doing a search on Oliver + S patterns (looking for inspiration) and stumbled upon your blog! I love it! How you get so much sewn is amazing to me - a slower sewer. I will have fun looking at some of your older projects as I have time.
    I love the elephants, what a cute idea!

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  8. This outfit is adorable...and just you wait, it will be your daughter's favorite.

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