Friday, 28 November 2014

 Just a short reminder page about making garments

We have had some lovely, beautiful dresses and shorts.  Fantastic fabrics and effort.

One small thing - we hope won't  become a bit of a problem - is quantity overtaking quality.

The parent organisation in the USA are very strict on fabric choices, sizes, seams, seam finishes and hems as well as decoration.

Louise made a decision to be more 'lenient' and 'forgiving' however, as you will see from photographs I will post next week - which in no way identify makers!!! - some dresses are not quite hitting the high standard we know you would like.

Please do remember 

1 ~  That seams need to be finished - if you don't have an overlocker - and not many of us do!! - then double stitch,  once for the seam line and then a second row of zig-zag to ensure the seam lasts and lasts through numerous hard wear washes.  Alternatively you could do what is called a run and fell or an enclosed seam.  See this posting from Sue for a guide. HERE

2  ~  Hems, please turn up a small 1/2" hem and stitch, then turn up another 1" and stitch again.  The second turn up could have decorative stitches - or some pretty ribbon or strong lace.  Our single lingered lace I am afraid is not 'man' enough for the job.  It is such a shame when the lace disintegrates after the second or third wash, that is so disappointing for the child as I know you all understand!

3  ~  Sizes, whoops, we have had one or two or more dresses that are far to narrow and so we have had to dis-assemble and insert more contrasting/matching fabrics to make the dresses - which were so pretty - a practical wearable size.

4  ~  General hints  and tips LOOK under the October posts in 'Tips and More'

This is the size chart we all internationally use.

In the chart above, in the 'cut size' column, it shows the first measurement is the length and the second measurement is the width of fabric which is then folded over.  So for example the first one on the list for a 6 month old is cut at 17 inches long and the fabric is cut at 30 inches wide and that is then folded over to make a dress that, finished, is 14 inches wide and 28 inches around the hem.  That allows for plenty of movement for the child at that age.  

For the last three on the list ~ the 10, 11 and 12 year olds the dresses would need to finish at 20 inches wide with a small extra pleat or just a short 5 inch split in the seam to allow for walking.  If you imagine a young person in a 20 inch wide skirt it would be quite restrictive!! A more ideal size for those would be to cut at 50 inches wide and that give a finished width of around 24 inches still trim but allowing more walking!

Jacqui and I do hope that you all understand the need to keep quality at the top of our agenda as these are 'Best Dresses' and are all a gift to a young person as a special event!  Imagine your own young person being in receipt of the garment you have so lovingly made and you will know what we mean!!



  1. Very useful tips, thanks. Is it okay to machine stitch ric-rac braid on as a decoration?

  2. where has my comment gone?! Was it posted?
    I need to know, please, if I may embellish the dresses with machine stitched ric-rac braid?

  3. Hello Jane, oh dear, somehow we lost your post - now recovered. My apologies.
    Ric-rac braid is a really great trim especially if it is machined on to dresses. I do again apologise for the delay in response, here and really look forward to your dresses. Ric-rac can be so very pretty, I remember sewing it onto skirts for my daughter for her ballet class and she absolutely loved it.
    Thank you for stitching for us, without you we would not be able to send out to these special children.