My friend’s 9 year old daughter asked me to help her make a dress to wear to a party her Grandparent’s are holding. I probably set unrealistic expectations by immediately agreeing to it before realising we only had a couple of days to find a pattern, buy some fabric and make the dress (not to mention fitting in all the other activities a 9 year old enjoys)
I decided we could probably make something like the sun-dress I made last year at Make Lounge; the pattern only has to fit around the bust and the rest is taken care of with a belt. I spent a bit of time worrying about how to reduce my pattern to fit a 9 year old and in the end traced the bodice from a Burda magazine then just extended the edges out to produce the wider bottom. Incidentally how do people sew for girls taller than 140cm? I only managed to find one Burda pattern that went up to that size after that it was adults sizing only.
We spent the morning cutting out and sewing the dress and matching sash belt. The fit was fine (thank you Burda) and the only alteration we had to make was to change the shape of the neck line.
The next day we finished the armholes and neckline with bias binding (tricky for both of us) and hemmed the dress. She was very particular about wanting the dress to finish just above the knee. We then spent quite a bit of time discussing how best to tie the belt and whether to wear the dress with leggings and a t-shirt or just on its own.
I must admit to feeling quite proud of the finished result. It was the first time she had tried sewing and never used a machine before. I was a bit worried that she would get bored part way through the project or find it too difficult to finish, but it was simple and quick enough that it was completed in no time.
She’s pleased as punch with the dress and everyone who has seen her in it has complimented her on it. Next time I’m told we’ll make matching batman dresses for both her and her sister!