If something doesn’t seem right, you’re probably doing it wrong…

…like sewing up a sleeve when you’re supposed to be sewing down the side of the bodice.

This happens sometimes when I don’t read thru a sewing pattern in its entirety and fully understand all the steps.  When I plunk down $6 and download a PDF for what looks like just about the cutest little girl dress, I want the immediate gratification of sewing the dress up all while I’m waiting to for the laundry to dry.

And somehow I read the “sew from under the arm down to the bottom hem” instructions as sewing up the actual sleeve.   Yes, the actual opening in which this little-girl-to-be should be putting her arms.  After about 5 minutes of scratching my head (and running down to throw my whites in the dryer), I realized that I was supposed to stitch from the bottom of the arm sleeve (not the entire sleeve) down to the bottom hem.  duh.  Sometimes, you just have one of those moments.  As I sat sewing up the sleeve, it didn’t FEEL right, but I just charged ahead because, well, I just figured it would “all work out in the end.”  I’ve learned that it very rarely does.

Common sense eventually prevailed and after a few really confused moments, I ripped out the seam, re-opened the sleeve (thereby actually making the dress functional, and wearable), and completely just about the cutest little dress I’ve ever seen.

I wanted to make the sleeves out of a contrasting linen, but in my rush to start sewing this morning, I didn’t look in my scrap heap for the yards and yards of leftover linen I’m stashing for just such a project, and once again, just charged ahead.  I still think it looks adorable even all in one fabric, but the next little dress will definitely be sporting some contrasting sleeves. And potentially some pockets. Because, well, every dress needs pockets, in my opinion.

Yes, I’m loving the finished project.  But lesson learned for today – take a few extra moments to fully understand all the sewing instructions before your first cut.  And if it doesn’t feel right, its probably not…

Next steps:  A pair of little matching bloomers from Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing. Because if every dress needs pockets, then it DEFINITELY also needs matching bloomers.

The pattern: Leila & Ben’s Sweet Little Dress Pattern 

Size: 6-9 months

The fabric: “Tiny Tea Blossom” nicole deleon for Alexander Henry Fabrics (bought on sale for $5/yard) – Given the sale score, you’ll notice this fabric in multiple other projects around the apartment.  I sure hope my little girl doesn’t mind matching the throw pillows and table napkins.  I mean, I wouldn’t, but thats just me…

Clarifications: I’m not sure whether its just me (well, lets be honest, it probably is), but as mentioned in my sleeve sewing snafu above, I was more than slightly confused by the “sew from under the arm to the bottom hem” instructions.  I started sewing from the bottom of the arm and continued down the bottom of the sleeve and down the side of the body.

The verdict: LOVING this pattern (once I wrapped my brain around the sleeve sewing.)  I expect this little babe-of-mine will be sporting many a Sweet Little Dresses.  I’m envisioning a wooly-type fabric for winter-time fun with tights underneath, a light voile for summer nightgowns, and many more summer dresses (with matching bloomers) out of my endless girly cotton fabric stash.  Because while I may not choose to cloth myself in any type of girly cotton whatsoever, at least the kiddo will be too small to complain…

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