Creative Sewing
A is for Apple(que) Dress

A is for Apple(que) Dress

Pia’s been asking me for a new Fall dress to go with the changing season.  Because Pinterest always seems to read my mind, an apple dress showed up on my feed. Reminiscent of my own favorite dress of my youth, I knew this was it.  Pia saw the pic, loved it and put me to work.

My Apple dress
Inspiration dress from

I don’t have an exact pattern in my stash so I had to create my own.  I haven’t sewn garments in a really long time, let alone hacked a pattern. I’ve been so far down the Quilty Adventure the past few months.

Using McCalls 6526 View F as a base, the bodice was cut and muslined. I ignored the pleats on the original skirt and made it a bit longer for gathers. (I actually meant to double this but forgot the pattern piece is cut on the center fold). The back skirt pieces were doubled in length, 2/1 ratio. I kept the original sleeves and collar.

Yes, I muslined this. TWICE. It was a good idea because the first muslin bodice wasn’t cut high enough. I never thought I’d be spending so much time on a doll dress.  Muslins are usually reserved for serious sewing for myself. But I couldn’t resist Pia’s sad eyes…or are they menacing? Lol. She really wanted the dress so I kept working.

Mistakes happen.

During the muslin period I decided to go ahead and fit it to Pia. I took out 0.5″  from the center front and 0.25″ from the back bodices, completely forgetting about the sleeves. This would later be a huge mistake. The seam allowances were way too small and it was too tight for the gal. She could hardly get her hands in!  I ended up handsewing both sleeves with a 1/8″ seam allowance. Next time I will save all the fitting until the end and take it in at the center back, the method I usually do.

Some more construction pictures –

The pattern doesn’t have a lining but last minute I decided to add one and slipstitch it in. This also gave me more work…why I do this to myself, I don’t know. It’s probably because Pia silently supervises while I work.  It makes me nervous having an audience. Since I gathered the skirt portion and attached it right away to the bodice, it was difficult to line and hide the raw edges.

The finishing is a mix of zig zag stitch, hand overcast and pinking shears. I admit it’s all over the place. It’s basically a reflection of my mind. All over the place. Lol. I’m a one project kind of person and having this project plus Christmas sewing has thrown me in for a loop.

The standout of the Apple dress is the applique. There was an apple in one of my books but I ended up just drawing it free hand. Took awhile to get the proportion right.

Applique a new-to-me technique that I’ve been putting off for awhile.  For some reason I thought it was harder than it was. But it’s actually pretty fun! Like a craft project. Cut and paste! Or in this case- cut, position and press. 

I used Steam-a-Seam and an open toe foot to narrow zigzag over the raw edges. I did forget to use stabilizer but that’s ok. I’m pretty excited about applique since it’s another technique to jazz up clothing and quilts. 

The hem was already completed but I ripped it out and added piping to the bottom hem. It really brings out that apple. I like it so much better than the original inspiration dress!

There were some construction hiccups but overall I’m delighted by this Apple dress. I think it’s pretty cool that I looked at a picture of a kid dress and sized it down to doll size. It definitely looks like the inspiration photo.

Pia will proudly wear her Apple dress for Back to School season. She’s happy so I’m happy.

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