Today I taught a little sewing class to three, 10 year old girls. I was asked several weeks ago if I would be interested in doing something like this, and I didn't figure out until yesterday what I was going to have them sew! (Yeah, I'm a procrastinator.) Anyway, I ended up with this project:
Pillowcase dresses! I found an easy pattern online, (there are several) but as usual, I changed it up a bit because I can never make a pattern exactly like it says. My version has a ruffle at the hem. I added the ruffle because I wanted to teach the little girls how to gather fabric. Since doll clothes are smaller, this seemed like an easy way to do it.
All of the girls had a sewing machine, and knew how to use it. Two of them had some previous experience sewing a pillowcase, but I don't think the other one had any experience at all. I wish I had brought my camera along and taken pictures of their completed dresses, but I forgot! So you'll just have to take my word for it that they turned out every bit as nicely as my two prototypes above.
The first dress I made (the pink one) ties at both shoulders and has white ric rac trim above the ruffle. The armholes ended up just a wee bit snug for my liking, so I cut the blue dress with slightly larger armholes and it fits great. It has one, continuous ribbon through the casings and ties on just one shoulder. White, cluny lace trims the ruffle.
It's hard to tell in the photos, but I even made some matching capris for the pink dress, also trimmed with ric rac. If I teach more sewing classes to these girls, then making these capris may be next on my list. All in all, it was a good experience. Between me and the other mom, we were able to iron the pieces in between sewing, over-see correct seam allowances, and just offer guidance in general. But the girls did great. The only area where they had a bit of trouble was adding the bias trim around the armholes. The bias was narrow and finicky to work with, so maybe next time I would make it a little wider so that they could handle it easier. I really had a good time passing on some sewing skills to the next generation. It's such a wonderful skill to have!