I love stashes, hoards, bundles & bulk! You never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes things are an instant inspiration. Others are safely stored and wait patiently for a new life! As I was rummaging through my ‘seasoned’ goodies, I ran across a beautiful, but dated, Swiss collar. The Venice lace is timeless, and instead of returning it to its safe keeping, I pondered over the different ways to use it. The style is suited for a large, showy look that fits right in to catalogs from the late 80’s and early 90’s (bring on the big shoulder pads to go with it!!). Although it is a child’s collar, the length and width allows a lot more options if we think outside of the box. The lace is just too pretty NOT to use in some manner.
We recently received some gorgeous and uniquely styled 100% linen fabrics. The one that immediately matched the look of the white Swiss lace collar was a cornflower blue and white gingham linen. The collar would work perfectly as straps on a sweet sundress pattern! Bonnie Blue Designs #160″Kimberly” was just the look I was going for! The picture of the blue and white gingham dress is shown at the top of the page. Here is another view.
Since we loved this look, we wanted to try it again in another colorway. To recreate the dress, we went with a chambray ‘Petals of Pink’ linen. The chambray fabrics really come to life with this white Swiss Venice Collar!
So now, onto the fun part… Construction!
1. Using “Kimberly” by Bonnie Blue Designs, cut front and back bodice from pink linen, white lining, and lightweight fusible interfacing!
2. Fully interface bodice front and back pattern pieces with German cotton batiste interfacing or French baby interfacing for stability.
3. Sew the lining to the front yoke, right sides together. Stitch armhole and across the top of the bodice/yoke piece. Trim seams, clip armhole curves. Turn right side out & press.
4. Sew lining to back yoke pieces, right sides together. Stitch armhole curve, pivot at top of the yoke, stitch about 1/2″ or so, backstitch. Leave opening approximately 1 1/2″ to insert back of collar/strap, begin stitching again across the top of the back yoke, pivot and stitch down center back seam. Trim seams, clip curves, turn right side out and press.
5. First try for me was placing the top on a mannequin and pinning the collar/straps in place. Luckily, I was able to fit this to a granddaughter before final sewing, but if you don’t have a handy-dandy child at your fingertips, just measure the length of the strap pattern piece provided in the pattern & start from there.
6. Once the front collar is placed and pinned, you will be able to make length adjustments in the back (this is a long collar). Mark the placement with a wash-away marker. The front collar may be then stitched in place by stitching around the outer edge of the collar. I used a Sewline Glue Pen to glue my front straps in place, so they wouldn’t shift while I sewed them.
7. Insert the back collar pieces into the openings in the top of the back bodice pieces. Turn wrong side out and stitch along the seam allowance through the lining, linen and strap pieces. (I did not remove the ends of the collar pieces in back – in case I needed to make length adjustments later.)
8. Sew the front and back bodices at the side seams, press seams open. Tada!! Just add the skirt, and you have a darling dress!!
9. Here is the most amazing part. WHO in their right mind makes linen dresses for kids? Well, we love linen around here, and it is so cool and comfy in these hot South Carolina summers. The blue and white linen dress will be in our upcoming ad in Classic Sewing Magazine – and, following the photo shoot, we rewarded the kids with an Ice Cream Party! That meant chocolate, strawberry and vanilla all over the clothes, of course. I doused the stains with Shout, threw the clothes in the washer, shook them a little by hand, and hung them to dry. ALMOST NO WRINKLES!
What fun these little ones had! Here is an outtake from our upcoming Summer 2017 Classic Sewing Magazine photo shoot & Ice Cream Party!! For all of our bloggers out there, use coupon code IceCream15 to receive a one time 15% OFF coupon code on your next order!