After having thoroughly enjoying the 1st Alteration Challenge from Week 1 of The Great British Sewing Bee, I waited with baited breath for the 2nd to be revealed. I was pleasantly surprised when Patrick explained the contestants had to make a new thing from a Childs Cotton Dress and a bright yellow T-Shirt. It immediately set my mind a-buzzing (which I try to stop so as to not have too much of an edge over the contestants!), and I scuttled off with glee to my local Charity Shop sure in the knowledge I would find my challenge goodies.
Readers, I was thwarted. I looked high and low in at least 8 Charity Shops and finally resorted to a Primark hunt but all to no avail. I put the conundrum to Sewing Club and we all agreed that if I could find no Cotton Dress I would get a Shirt and a yellow T-Shirt as this was equivalent fabric.
I couldn’t shop again until yesterday and lo and behold… oodles of Cotton Dresses. Hurrah! I ended up with this brightly coloured Aztec number, which I thought was quite jolly and went rather nicely with the yellow.
I hastily made my sketch and was off!
I still had it in mind that they are asked to drastically alter the pieces they are working with, so decided to make the Dress into the top of a new Dress and use the t-shirt for the skirt. As the GBSB contestants were allowed to use as many trims as they liked (an opportunity I think they all wasted!!), I decided on some matching… contrasting?… Ric-Rac and a Bobble Trim.
I first re-purposed the pocket by simply cutting it from the Dress to make it a larger size, then quickly drafted a Pattern (I don’t have a child’s mannequin so this was assumption and luck to be honest!), and cut out two sets of Fronts and two sets of Backs choosing the nicest parts of the pattern.
Sewing the Fronts and Backs right side together, then turning and sewing at the shoulder seams to create a lovely, lined and top stitched bodice! Took a couple of pins through the ironing board, but it turned out very neatly I think! I had to top stitch because I needed to close the holes where I had turned it out the right way.
I then attacked the T-Shirt! Cutting the front and back into panels for the front and back of the Skirt of the Dress, then joining and gathering along the top. I curved the back panels for a little flair. I also sewed on the pocket at a jaunty angle! Quickly cutting some Bias Binding, I sewed this together in strips then attached to the bottom of the skirt… what you’re seeing in the last picture is me running out about 5cm from the end of the hem. Typical!!
After sewing the Bias to the bottom of the skirt, I flipped it to the back and Zig-Zagged it on neatly. I like Zig-Zagging Bias Binding, it makes it look much happier! I then added my Ric-Rac, which made me so happy!
I cut and pinned the Bobble Trim to the bottom of the Bodice, tucking it neatly to the back…
…then pinned on the gathered Skirt and top stitched it in place directly over my original top stitching! Very cunning, I was super duper pleased this bit worked as well as it did as May was right, joining non-stretch to stretch can get very interesting!
I suddenly realised I didn’t know how I was going to close the dress (doh!), so the Button Shelf came to the rescue and I quickly added in three pretty flower buttons that I think fit very nicely with the crazy print.
And there you have it. Sewing Bee Challenge No. 2 complete! A darling little girls dress (4-5 yr old) made from a Cotton Dress and a Yellow T-Shirt. Happy, if slightly delayed, days!!
I couldn’t resist, by the way, keeping the printed label from the T-Shirt in the side seam of the back! Can you see it, peeking out in the above, right hand picture? Tee hee hee!
Next week… Curtains! And I can not blooming WAIT! I have made dresses for myself from Curtains before now and I’m going to try and dig some pictures out so I can show you!