Sunday, 30 March 2014


I have been wanting to make a cat dressed in fifties styled clothes for some time but had not found the fabric to inspire me enough to put starting at the top of my to do list.  Then I saw the choice of fabrics in the Hillarys Blinds country craft competition and I knew this was exactly what I had been looking for. 

 I know that this fabric may not be everybody first choice for dressing a soft toy but it has worked perfectly. It is a very forgiving fabric and was easy to use even making the bodice of the dress, which was a little fiddly. The 'give' in the fabric meant turning the hem was a doddle. 

 First I had to make the cat so I could dress her.  She started life as a teddy bear from an old book, altered to make her taller so I could make her skirt as long as possible. 

To make sure the legs were the correct length I pinned and sewed the pattern pieces together before cutting them out.

 I cut a meter length of a similar type of fabric to do a trial run.  I wanted an eight gore double circular skirt to get the "NEW LOOK" style.  While doing the trial fitting I saw that a double row of buttons would look pretty on the bodice.

  I found a ruler that was a perfect length for the skirt and made a quarter circle pattern which I cut out eight times. To make the bodice pattern  I adapted the bear that I had used for my cat.
Double circle laid out so the fabric pattern can be matched (as well as possible).  I lined the bodice, I find that with full heavy skirts this gives strength to the garment and stops any fraying.

I sewed flat seams on all but on of the seams of the skirt, the last one I made a narrow hem so there was room for the tail.
waiting for a new dress
 I used five layers of tightly gathered net for the petticoat to give maximum lift to the skirt.  This was to show off the lovely fabric as well as to be in keeping with the style I was creating. This was all nice and straight forward, simple hand sewing and fabric that was a joy to handle. I loved making this project and am pleased with the result, thank you HILLARYS BLINDS for giving me the opportunity to see how good your fabric is.
The hardest part was choosing which fabric to send for.

Petticoat on and dress ready to go, just a few finishing touches.  A bow to go in front of the ear, a bead necklace and some fish ( fish shown were made as a bag charm).  A few shakes to fluff out the petticoat, a few tweaks to the skirt and she's ready to go.

a summer dress for a spring day

1 comment:

  1. Now I have finished my project I am looking to see what other people made - there are some wonderful creations and the judges are going to have a very hard task choosing a winner.