Sewing project: Kids gown

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I made Willow a gown over the weekend. My desire to learn how to sew is still going strong and I’m so proud of each project I complete.

Unlike other projects, this was a completely solo effort. I set out the pattern, cut the fabric and sewed the gown together all by myself. It’s not perfect by any means, but I’m really chuffed with how it turned out.

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I chose this really pretty mint minky fabric with stars on it. The fabric itself gave me some issues. It’s really soft and fluffy and that made for some slipping and I missed a section of two and needed to go back and do it again.

The pattern was for a three-year-old, but I just rolled with it. The final product is quite big for Willow, but it’s so cosy and as it’s a gown, I really don’t mind.

Cutting the fabric myself was really intimidating. But once I got going I found myself in a groove and got it done quite quickly. I had issues with the pockets of the gown and in the end decided to leave it off altogether.  I have the pockets set to one side; if I feel it needs them I can add them at a later date. There was talk of interfacing which was all too much for my brain at the time.

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The actual sewing of the gown was quite simple and I got the main body together in a good time I think. I had missed some tailor tacks and needed to repin the fabric and add them, but after that, it was very simple.

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Except for the collar. I was going along quite well and was half way through sewing on the collar when A called me to come help with a really bad nappy change. I’ll spare you the details, but let me just say that Willow is on antibiotics and it’s really messed with her system. When I got back to the collar I continued sewing, but somehow I managed to miss a section and sew the collar on skew. I had to take the whole thing off and start again. I tried using the seam ripper but the fabric made it really hard to see the stitches. In the end, it was simpler to just cut the collar off with scissors.

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Here’s what I learned from the experience:

  1. You can never use enough pins. Use plenty when pinning down the fabric and use plenty when sewing. You will prevent the fabric from slipping this way. You will go a little slower as you need to remove the pins as you go, but for a beginner, that’s not a bad thing.
  2. Make sure you’re sewing both layers of fabric otherwise you get holes. Obvious I know, but still important to keep in mind.
  3. Take your time when cutting the fabric. This is the most crucial part and you’ll be sorry if you weren’t paying attention. The sewing kind of takes care of itself.
  4. Don’t’ tug or pull at the fabric when you’re cutting the pattern. You’ll distort it and things won’t go together as well.
  5. Pay attention to all the additional markings on pattern such as tailor tacks etc. Do it right the first time and it will save you time in the long run.
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