Sunday, April 21, 2013

Two True Southern Belles

This Easter was quite busy.  Two weeks prior, our family had a loss of my husband's grandfather.  Things have not slowed down since.  I raced to finish these dresses early but somehow, life just got in the way.  So here are my daughter's Easter dresses with my triangle fabric origami design on the front bodice.  I designed the rest of the dresses myself....but that pattern will have to wait.  Here is the long awaited tutorial for a bodice front using the triangle origami design.

Materials needed:

-Solid backing material - one fat quarter to 3/4 yard depending on size of dress.
-Extra fabric from two or three cotton materials used in your dress or jumper bodice.  I would suggest about two fat quarters for a size 2T and probably one more fat quarter per additional size.  Or use your rotary cutter and cut two strips of each color/print.
-Iron on fusible webbing - I used a roll of clover fusible webbing found on quilting aisle.
-Your Steam Iron
-Your bodice pattern of choice - one where you can insert a rectangle of fabric.

Determining the size of the bodice insert:

Use a pattern with a standard bodice front, no pleats and no darts in front piece.  Lay out the bodice front and trace the pattern.  Cut one bodice front on muslin or newspaper or tracing paper.  Open the bodice front pattern.   Cut a rectangle out of the middle of the bodice.   This is the size to lay out your triangles.   RE-DRAW your original bodice pattern to include insert and 1/2" seems.   You will end up with a right front, a middle rectangle and a left front bodice - almost like princess style but without the curves.

Cutting the triangles:

Cut each fat quarter or strip into 4" or 5" squares using your rotary cutter and mat.   I wish I could help you calculate how many you need, but it is easier to just cut the squares and have lots of extra just in case you need to add in more.

Now for the ironing....and get ready to sweat and give yourself a nice steam facial at the same time!! Haha.

Square folded and ironed in half
Step One: Fold each square in half and iron it!

Step Two: Place the "fold" of each square at the top.   Take the top corner and bring it to the middle of the square forming a triangle.  Iron it -- Steam it until crease forms.

Step Three: Repeat Step Two with other side.  Add a strip of iron fusible webbing or adhesive in the middle of the triangle to hold it down.

Step Four: Take the rectangle from your bodice pattern.  Press.  Finish top edge as desired.  I folded it down and just hemmed it to match the finished look of my bodice.

Step Five: After you start ironing your triangles...start playing with placement on the rectangle bodice.  If you noticed I turned mine upside down so the "seam" does not show.  I also used a dotted material which helped easily align my triangles as I layered them.

Step Six: After you "play" with your look - layer your triangles and iron them to each other using fusible webbing (like a 1" square) between each layer.  If you notice I was trying to see if I wanted the blue or the yellow triangles to match together.

Step.....well I won't lie....this layering takes time.  A 2T only took like 16 triangles.  But my daughters size 6 took a lot longer.  This is the finished look of the insert for your bodice.

After layering and using fusible webbing to secure each triangle to each these down carefully and start stitching.  I just went zig-zag - up one triangle and down and then back up and down the triangle beside it.  I actually do the top row and then do the bottom row -- this keeps the other rows in place...otherwise you can have the webbing de-fuse and fall apart!!  So be careful.

After trimming off edges...this is how it looks.

Now you sew this piece right sides together with the right and left front bodice pieces.  And Viola!!  You have your exclusive handmade triangle origami bodice.  I also added trim to the front - lining up over the triangles to give even more detail.   Sew enjoy and feel free to leave me feedback.

Here are some more pictures of the final dresses.  I did a shirred back, double gathered skirts with petticoats underneath for fullness and a simple tie top.  

"Ahh, the Shade!"

"I'm tired Daddy, Can we go inside?"