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Building Block Dress Book Tour

When Fancy Tiger was invited to join the Building Block Dress book tour, we opened the offer up to several amazing women in the Fancy Tiger community. We had not one, but four different women decide to join in and stitch up dresses for their little girls. All of the women who participated have come to Fancy Tiger Crafts through different channels. One is a staff member, one is an instructor, one a regular customer and one is Amber's sister. Though they have different connections to the store, they were all excited to jump in and begin building a whole wardrobe with the versatile Building Block book.

Four different dresses made from the Building Block Dress Book

 Tiffani's Mushroom Magic Dress for Quinn

Materials Used: 1 1/2 yd Fox Trot in White, ⅓ yd Cirrus Solid in Lava
Size Made: 12-18 months
Sleeve Style: Gathered Sleeve
Pocket: Mushroom treasure pocket
Collar/Neckline: Peter Pan collar
Silhouette: A-line
Hem: Regular
Closure: Invisible zipper and hook and eye
Lining: No lining



Did you feel like the variety of options available pushed you outside your comfort zone?
Absolutely! I feel like it took me forever to finally nail down the design of this dress. I wanted to make so many different combinations and deciding on just one was so hard. Ultimately, I wanted a dress that would fit her personality and playfulness, but would be practical and comfortable too. But choosing the design was the easy part, once I got down to the nitty gritty I really had to turn on my thinking cap. The instructions are easy to understand and concise, but altering a pattern to make a custom dress takes concentration. I had to focus on each step to make sure I knew how each part was going to fit together and that I was actually doing it right.  With most patterns, all of the pieces and instructions are all there for you. Just follow the steps and bam, you have a finished garment. But this was different, took a little longer, a little more focus, and turned out a whole lot of adorable.  

Do you feel like this is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced?
I’d say this book is for an intermediate sewist. I think a beginner may have a harder time with all of the terminology, technique and understanding how each part works together. The book does a great job walking you through making a modification to the sleeve or silhouette, but won’t actually tell you in what order to put all of the pieces together for each combination. I think that comes with experience.  

Do you have any tips for people looking to jump into a project from this book?
Take your time, don’t rush. I often make mistakes when I rush and I totally did that with this dress. Let’s just say I’m glad I ended up with extra fabric. 

 

Leigh's Mustard Dot Dress for May

Materials Used: Linen Dots in Mustard by Hokkoh - 1.75 yards
Size Made: To account for fit with a keyhole, I made a 2T bodice and an 18 month size skirt.
Sleeve Style: Bell sleeves cut to 3/4 length with contrasting sleeve facing.
Pocket: none
Silhouette: Basic
Collar/Neckline: Bias facing  
Hem: Contrasting hem facing
Closure: Keyhole
Lining: none

Did you feel like the variety of options available pushed you outside your comfort zone?
I loved choosing each part of my dream dress, sketching it out in order to see how the elements worked together, and then watching my little girl romp around in the final product!  Since I am a mama to a toddler, I am used to sewing while tired. This project pushed me to use my brain more than projects that involve a ready-made pattern.  I made a keyhole closure for the first time and, as with all of Liesl's sewing instructions, I was walked through the process to end up with a beautiful keyhole on the first attempt. I was concerned about being able to pull the dress on with the keyhole opening so I took Liesl's suggestions and sized up in the bodice and made a muslin.

Do you feel like this is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced?
The pattern development aspect of this book seems aimed at the intermediate sewist, while much of the actual sewing could be completed by an experienced beginner. My advice for someone starting out with this book is to build in time for planning and pattern-testing at the beginning the project. All of the information and tools you need are in the book, but there is a lot to take in! I am brimming with ideas for my little girl's next dress, and am looking forward to designing it with this book!

 

Emily's Long Linen Dress for Elowyn

Materials Used: 2/3 yards of Waterford Linen, 5 yards of bias tape
(had some leftovers, but would definitely get 5 yards again)
Size Made: 18-24 months bodice with 2T length
Silhouette: Modified A-line
Sleeve Style: sleeveless bound with bias tape
Pocket: none
Collar/Neckline: bias bound
Hem: bias bound
Closure: invisible zipper
Lining: none

Did you feel like the variety of options available pushed you outside your comfort zone?
I was a bit intimidated by all the options and really wanted to make something simple and quickly to get an introduction to the book. I haven't put together a garment in a while, and really wanted to get my courage up and make something at the same time. I am super pleased with the results!

Do you feel like this is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced?
This dress can definitely be accomplished by a beginner or intermediate sewist. The bias bindings on curves aren't terribly tricky... remember to keep a bit of tension on the bias tape, and make your first seam on the wrong side. Second seam should be pulled enough to cover the stitches. Go slowly! I also used an invisible zipper. Pick up an extra if you have never installed an invisible zipper before and practice with some scrap fabric.

Did you make any modifications?
Instead of making an a-line dress, I followed the lines of the bodice and then curved out not quite to the fullness of the skirt. Since I didn't use a lot of fabric, I definitely took a risk, and loved the result!

Do you have any tips for people looking to jump into a project from this book?
Start simple and make something quickly to get a basic understanding of how the book and patterns work together. It seems more intimidating than it actually is, and making something will get your feet under you!

 

Lizz's Plaidtastic Dress for Maggie

Materials Used: 1 1/2 yds of the 1" Gingham in Navy, 1/2 yds of the Sprinkle in Pickup Truck
Size Made: 12-18 mos
Sleeve Style: Bell sleeves
Pocket: None
Silhouette: Basic
Collar/Neckline: Tie Collar
Hem: regular
Closure: Button placket with snaps and false buttons
Lining: none



Did you feel like the variety of options available pushed you outside your comfort zone? In what ways?
I wanted to make something simple, but also something that I hadn't tried before. I consider myself an advanced beginner seamstress, but altering a pattern was totally new to me. I decided to use the basic silhouette but with a bell sleeve and a tie collar. The tie collar pushed me further out of my comfort zone. The directions given for altering the regular sleeve into a bell sleeve were simple to follow and I think it adds a little to the sailor-esque quality of the dress. The tie collar came out cute, although looking back I think I would have liked to make it a little bit longer so that it would have been easier to tie.

Do you feel like this is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced?
The book itself is certainly geared towards all levels. You can make the dress as complicated or simple as you wish, and it can be altered to fit different sizes and different seasons alike. I learned a lot in making this dress that I will do differently on future designs (because there's no way I can make only one of these), but even the basic silhouette might be a little complicated for a true beginner sewer.

Do you have any tips for people looking to jump into a project from this book?
The purpose of the book is to help you push your boundaries, but start small! Don't push all of your boundaries at once ... even if you're taking baby steps and making small modifications to the basic silhouette, you're still going to learn a TON and build your confidence to someday do the more complicated designs. I had a ton of fun working on this dress and am already planning a second one (and maybe a third!).

Comments on this post (1)

  • Oct 20, 2016

    What adorable babies! I wish I had a mushroom dress.

    — Catherine

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