Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pillowcase Muu Muu

I've recently begun the journey of sewing & am LOVING it! For the record, I abhorred sewing in my younger years and was 'forced' to take a basic sewing class in high school that I despised- if only I had known how far my interests would turn!

That said, I'm a total newbie and have not wanted to begin a project that might quickly become overwhelming or likely end in disaster- my 1st project was this embellished white dress for Olivia which I love:)

My 2nd project (almost complete) will be featured shortly... you can see a sneak peak above:)

With a delay in completing my 2nd project, I opted to jump into my 3rd- a pillowcase dress for Livy. I'd read that this was a great project for beginners and was very forgiving- sold. I also was drawn to the loose style of the pillowcase dress, perfect for my active "Peanut":)

My Mom unearthed a stash of fabric that I purchased off the clearance table (somewhere?) approx 12 yrs ago- in that pile I found a bright Hawaiian cotton print as well as a bright pink Charmeuse (I think). Why I originally bought them, I have no idea, however they're being put to great use now! We're planning a luau themed birthday party for Leyla next month and so I wanted to make an outfit for Livy that would coordinate. A Pillowcase Muu Muu seemed perfect- "Muu Muu' means "cut off" (if you're wondering as obviously I was), and originally lacked a yoke:)

So at approx 8 pm the other night, I followed this tutorial for a basic pillowcase dress (adding a ruffle and sash ties vs ribbon ones). I'm pretty sure my Hawaiian print was a full yard so I simply measured the length I wanted (with fabric being folded) and cut with my newly acquired (and so loved) rotary cutter; I also cut down the crease line to form my 2 dress panels.

Next it was time to iron. I guesstimated a 1/4 inch fold on each long side of the panels and ironed in place, then folded over a 2nd time and ironed on all 4 sides. Stitch just inside each fold and you're done with 'Phase 1'.

'Phase 2' requires building your casing that will house the ribbon/sash. Again, I guesstimated the width, ironed in place and then folded over again and ironed. Stitch just inside each fold and then again at the very top, creating a neat casing that will lay properly.

'Phase 3' is creating the arm holes- see the tutorial as I followed it exactly for this step and stitched accordingly.

Continue with the tutorial, attaching the panels, ironing seams and hemming:)

Now ribbon would have been a great (and easier) choice for my dress ties, but I was determined to keep the cost for this project to $0 (essentially, since there was no out of pocket expense) so I opted to sew sashes since I had coordinating fabric.

I guessed on an approximate width to coordinate with my dress casing, cut and stitched. I then cut off the excess with pinking shears to minimize fraying.

And now begins the long, arduous task of having to turn these 'tubes' inside-out; it took awhile but the help of a handy dandy bamboo skewer (I'm sure there's a better way, so feel free to share!) the task was completed, eventually. Attach a safety pin at one end of the sash (or ribbon) and feed through the dress casing until both ends are equal (I also made sure the casing edges were equal); pinch the dress casing at the halfway mark and sew along that line, stabilizing the sash in place. Repeat for the second sash (ribbon tie).

Looking at my finished hem, I felt it was a bit plain. I was also worried that my Muu Muu would be too short but since I was doing this at 10pm, I didn't have Livy present to check my measurements, so I played it safe and opted for a ruffle.

Cutting a strip of the Charmeuse approx 5 inches in width and the length of the fabric (just shy of double the width of the Muu Muu) I began to iron the edges, turn them over and iron once more- I pinned as I worked as this material is slick:) Sew the hem of the ruffle in place.

Due to the lateness of the hour, I neglected to sew a basting stitch at the top of the ruffle which would allow me to ruffle it (grrrrr), so I pinned little pleats and sewed them in place which worked out just fine, resulting in a subtle ruffle. Attach the 2 ends of the ruffle and then slowly stitch the ruffle onto the hem (make sure your sides are positioned correctly!), removing pins as you sew each pleat:) ***I checked the length of my pinned & pleated ruffle (before attaching) with the length of the Muu Muu to ensure it would fit and readjusted as necessary.

The next afternoon, Olivia came running out of her room after taking a nap and saw the dress; she immediately began to smile, work her hands and dance the hula! I never cease to be amazed at how much our kids understand- she was aware that this was a Hawaiian dress and thus, a hula dance was appropriate. Livy loves the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse "Hula Hibiscus" episode and "Lucy's Hawaiian Vacation" and thankfully, since there's plenty of room to grow in this Muu Muu, she can dance the hula through the next summer season:)

And there's lots of room to play and move around in- here Livy has on her tea gloves too:)

The sash ends are still not finished- need to trim and sew the edges but otherwise it's complete, all ready for our upcoming luau party! I have enough of the Hawaiian print to make a skirt or maybe something for Jonah so they can match... still ruminating:)

I'm quite chuffed with my 1st complete dress attempt and even more so because it cost me $0!!!

Thanks for looking & let me know of you have any questions:)


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