My two favourite books these days for sewing projects are:
I like them because each project in them requires only one metre of fabric (which is cost-effective) and about two evenings to complete (which is time-effective).
I also love to go to Fabricland with no actual project in mind, pick lovely fabrics and purchase them. With these two books, I know if I purchase a metre of fabric, there will be a project that I can complete from one of these books.
The following is a play-by-play of the making of The Mandarin Dress for my daughter, Amelia. She is two, but I made the 4T pattern because I want it to fit her for a while. The Mandarin Dress is found in the first book above, Fabric-by-Fabric: One Yard Wonders.
I cut out the pattern pieces.
Then I had a glimmer of a memory that perhaps I'm not supposed to be cutting out the pattern pieces. Maybe I'm supposed to be tracing them onto tracing paper or freezer paper or something and cutting THAT out.
Then I cut out the dress pieces from the fabric.
I had so much fun picking buttons!
I attached the back piece to the two front pieces and hemmed the bottom.
Then I added the interfacing to the back collar piece and attached the front and back collar pieces to the dress.
I felt like I was home-free at this point, but adding the trim was the hardest part for me. There were some spots where the frayed edge peeked out from under the sewed trim. In future, I wonder if maybe I should have folded over the edge of the fabric and perhaps glued or starched it to the trim to ensure it didn't slide as I sewed.
I'm sure by the fortieth dress, I'll have it perfect.
If I could do it again, I would probably place the buttons a little further back for a better wrap-effect. In my defense, my model was a moving target.