So I have completed a master pattern for the “Brigitte Dress,” a toddler dress with Butterfly appliqué.
I used a Banana Republic dress shirt from last summer, it is the coolest fabric. It is almost like a chambray with Swiss dots. The shirt had darts in the back, which becomes the front of the dress so I kept them because they were really cute; they go through the armhole, so they are almost like Princess seams.
It is basically the same dress pattern as the Ombre Dip Dye dress, with butterflies at the hem for embellishment instead of the dip in bleach. I did a test of bleach on the dress and it turned a dull beige color that wasn’t very fun.
I created a similar dress for Easter, in a purple linen and learned some about using fabric appliqués.
As the dress goes through the wash and dryer, it gets a more casual look, which I do love but it is hard to recapture the crisp look it had at the beginning.
With a quick iron, the flowers can be made more formal looking again.
I decided to stitch the border of the butterfly and cut outside the stitching lines to make it stiffer and have more weight. I also changed the initial shape of the appliqué from a curved flower to an angular butterfly. I think both of those changes will make the appliqués stiffer upon washing. The butterfly pattern piece is also larger than the round flower was, so I made less of them–about 25 instead of around 60–because it was starting to seem heavy.
I used a machine topstitch for the collar for the new dress, while I sewed the purple version’s collar using a slipstitch by hand.
I think the changes are all positive. Of course, I used French seams on the inside, and so the dress is as nice on the inside as the outside. I always debate whether a serger machine is worth it, but these seams are so strong and beautiful I am glad not to have one because it would be so easy to fall back on!