This is the dress I made our daughter for her Christmas present this year. I know her tastes very well and could picture exactly the dress I wanted to make for her, but was quite anxious about how to go about it. Cassie is the most difficult one in the family for me to sew surprises for, for the following reasons:
1. In order for her to like it, it had to fit her perfectly; neither tight or clingy, or worse, saggy and baggy.
2. I wanted it to be a length that made both of us happy. Once upon a time, not too long ago, if you had drawn up as a simple Venn diagram of preferred dress/skirt lengths for Cassie, comprising two sets representing mine and Cassie's preferences; the intersection of the two sets would have been quite a tiny one. Luckily she has grown up some and is aware that while barely bum-skimming skirts might be greatly appreciated by guys when a girl bends over to pick something up, that sight of publicly exposed knickers is often a moment of horrified self-awareness for that same girl's friends. "OMG, don't tell me I've ever looked like that?!!
3. She loves sewing herself, so is always super aware of what I am currently sewing. She also loves to go through the fabric stash, looking for something suitable for herself, and often wants to come with me if I go fabric shopping. This makes embarking on a secretive project an extreme challenge.
So, how to make her a secret Christmas dress, that fitted perfectly, and of a length that she would be happy with?
Well of course, it couldn't really be much of a secret in the end. But she has a sense of humour and we managed a compromise... she stood in the laundry with her eyes shut while I did the fitting. Again with her eyes shut, a mutually satisfying length was decided on. The surprise for her was just the final look.
The stretch lace I used for this very simple Tshirt dress is of course see-through on its own, so I lined the dress completely with a soft silky like jersey matched in colour to the dress. The sleeves are unlined. I positioned the body and sleeve pieces on the length of fabric so the natural edging edges the sleeves and lower hem. The seams are all overlocked to finish on the inside. I didn't finish the lower edge of the lining because it is that wonderful type of jersey that never frays.
I think she looks just beautiful in it.
And she loves it too, so I couldn't ask for a more happy result!