Thursday 14 July 2016

Debut Dress - Pattern by Sew Honey Designs PLUS my Big Bow Tutorial!

I quite enjoy discovering new designers, be they be very popular large scale ones or very new upstarting ones. For me personally as an artist & sewer, I care not for the statuses, but more so for the design. Beauty, function, purpose, fit, and sometimes for the challenge! 

So when I had the opportunity to test the Debut Dress by Sew Honey Designs - a new upstarting designer, I gladly answered the call!

The Debut dress is a PDF pattern containing sizes 2T to 12 girls. The illustrations are clear and well thought out. The pattern pieces are also layered - which is a huge bonus!! I'm now often affronted when I need to print off all sizes! Ahhh..... the small luxuries! 

I would rate this dress somewhere between an intermediate or adventurous beginner sew. It has a placket, lined bodice and requires buttonholes. Really, the buttonholes push it beyond adventurous beginner, as it is a quick and straight forward sew, but I also know many still struggle with buttonholes. To avoid buttons, you could choose to pop in snaps......but...... I do have a thing for buttons, so highly recommend them!  

My little greenie, practicing her tree-hug!
The dress has a built-in front sash, which I decided to embellish with a big bow (tutorial below.) The high waist bodice is completely lined, so has a beautiful finish inside and out. It also has a keyhole front feature cut-out - however it can be made without this. The instructions come with options for flutter sleeves or sleeveless. The skirt has two different options also, a plain skirt - as I've done. Or an option to put in a hem-band and piping if desired.

I made my dress completely from a fun quilting cotton. My daughter is a cat fanatic, so when I saw this fun print, I couldn't resist making a dress from it! You could choose some more sophisticated fabric and add an organza, lace or sheer top layer to the skirt to add more pizzazz & glamour. 

The Debut dress really is one of those classic staples. I own another similar pattern by a different designer and it is my go-to dress. I love that it can be made casual or special. 

If you would like to purchase the Debut dress, see Sew Honey Designs Etsy 

 Big Bow Embellishment Tutorial

You may have noticed my version of the Debut dress has a little extra...... the bow! I love adding embellishments to clothing, it is a lovely way to personalize a garment and lift the look and take the garment in a different direction. All seam allowances are 6mm or 1/4 of an inch. 

To re-create the bow, you will need three pieces of fabric cut into the following sizes. 

Bow piece 18cm x  32cm          (imperial:  7 1/8"  x 12.5")
Ribbon 14cm x 32cm               (imperial: 5.5" x 12.5")
Tie 4.2cm x 20cm                     (imperial: 1 3/4" x 8")

Your ribbon piece will need the corners cut off to create the slanted ribbon finish on the bow. You could leave this square, but I think its a nice touch to finish on the angle. You can either fold you ribbon piece in half long ways, fold the corner up and crease, then cut the angle. Or you can measure out the cut. Find the center of the fabric on the short end as shown, mark it. Then on your long edge, measure in 7cm (2 3/4") and mark. Take a ruler and mark the diagonal line, repeat for the other 3 corners. Cut your lines and you should then have a piece similar to the above photo.

We are now going to make the main bow piece. If your using a lightweight fabric, I highly recommend adding some iron-on interfacing to give the fabric some rigidity - it will help your bow keep its shape. 

Take your bow piece of fabric and fold it long ways - right sides together. Sew along the short edge only and LEAVE a GAP halfway! This is very important, as you will pull your bow the right way through using this gap.  

Open up your fabric so the seam you have just sewn is now central. Sew the two remaining edges. Press your center seam open (the first seam with the gap in it.) Clip the corners.

Pull your bow piece the right way using the hole in the center seam. Use a chop stick to poke out your edges and press.You may now choose to hand stitch your hole in the bow or you can simply leave as is (it will be tucked in and hidden once your bow is assembled.)

Next take your ribbon piece. Fold in half, right sides together and so your angled cuts meet neatly. Sew around the edges, again leaving a gap to pull your fabric the right way through. Pull your fabric the right way through and press. Hand stitch hole closed if desired.

To complete the tie piece, fold in half - right sides together - so the longest piece is folded onto itself, stitch the two long edges, leaving the small edge to pull the piece the right way through. You should now have three pieces to create the bow (as shown above.)

Assembly time! Take your bow piece and concertina it - you could use little or big folds to create different effects, its really a personal look, so play around with it! Pinch it in the middle, along with your ribbon piece as shown above.

Take your tie piece and place it around the middle. You may have excess and you can just tuck this under the tie at the back. Make sure your neat end covers your raw edge. Trim the tie piece if needed - you don't want it to be too thick and bulky as it needs to be hand sewn together. Pin and then hand sew. Keep your stitching to the back and along the sides at the back. Make sure you do sew all pieces together as the ribbon could slip out if you do not stitch it in place. This is a job of discretion.   

Once the bow is stitched together, hand stitch your bow onto your dress or top. It looks very nice just to the side of the built in sash on the Debut dress, but would make a fabulous embellishment to any garment you desire! Even get out your hot glue gun and glue onto a blank large hair clip to make a gorgeous hair bow! 

Taaa daah!

We love the dress and bow................

........................THIS much!


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