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A Few Finished Projects

There are several more “to do’s” on my list of sewing projects, but I have completed 6 dresses (2 of which I started months ago). My friend Tami, over the last 4 years, has taught me most of what I know about sewing (& embroidery). We enjoyed sewing together this past weekend when the kids were napping and now we’re convinced we need a “sewing retreat” to start and FINISH our remaining projects. Tami has a little boy and is pregnant with a little girl. She is the most talented seamstress I know. She does beautiful hand sewing and smocking and can crank out an entire outfit in no time flat!


I finally completed these sundresses I started months ago: { it didn’t take me long to realize that making 2 of everything takes TWICE as long!}

These are Carol by Children’s Corner.
view “C” (w/an inverted center pleat)
I omitted the puffed sleeves and used bias strips to complete the armholes
I also used a round collar (package #4) by Collar’s Etc instead of a Peter Pan collar
I self-piped the collar in the same fabric {fabrics: stripes: Candy Cord blue} as the dress


These next dresses were inspired by Beki’s precious creation over @ Artsy-Crafty Babe

Believe it or not these are Simplicity 5118 (I honestly have a hard time envisioning a pattern like this actually turning out cute… but I think it certainly did!)

I cut out 2 “backs” and rounded the tops to the ” dress front” pattern.
I also made the dress wider than the pattern called for & banded the dress in the same material I used on the angel sleeves.
This fabric came from none other than the local Hancock’s


I bought this fabric {fabric: novelty: Pink Giraffe} over a year ago and it’s been screaming “please use me” so I did…

The dress/top is by McCall’s (Sew Easy M5353)

It takes twice as long to complete the dress if you use piping or rick-rack but I think it’s worth the extra effort!
I also prefer for the straps to button behind the front– the pattern shows the straps buttoning over the front.

For Morgan (age 3) I made the dress “top” length (XL size but cut to M length) and used my favorite shorts pattern
{patterns: Creations by Michie: “Diaper Shirt & Shorts”} to make her shorts to match the piping & covered buttons.
For Paige (age 22 mos) I followed the pattern and used the Frannie Baby panties {patterns: Children’s Corner: “Frannie Baby”}.

In the last picture you’ll see I used grosgrain ribbon folded in half to mark the back of the panties. Both panties & shorts are often hard to differentiate between the front & back (especially if you’re 2 or 3 years old or a man) but I’ve found it’s really easy just to fold a piece of ribbon in 1/2 and tuck it in before you close up the casing for the elastic. I did the same in the girls floral dresses pictured above.

That’s all for now! I’ve got to do some things for the little boy before he gets here. Which by the way, several of y’all have asked about his name, we don’t keep it a secret… we just don’t have one for him… YET!

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  • the brown's
    May 29, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    darby–these are AMAZINGLY beautiful. i am in love with the pink and brown giraffe. i wished you lived next door, so i could watch over your shoulder as you worked. i would love to learn how to do all this–


    oh–i’ve been thinking about your pottery barn rug: how did it come out after the egg attack?

  • Tara McClendon
    May 29, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Can you please extend an invitation to your sewing retreat to your out-of-town friend? I have so many outfits that need finishing, but need someone behind me giving me a little kick in the rear to get on it! At this rate, the 2 Rubbermaids full of fabric will still be around for me to clothe my grandchildren. I’ve got to get that pattern for the angel sleeve dresses…those are too cute!

  • The Allen Clan
    May 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    between you and “yo sista” y’all are 2 talented girls!! tami is the best teacher isn’t she!! she is so patient! think you could be a little teacher yourself! so cute!!

  • The Birds Nest
    May 29, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    They are all soooo adorable!! I have wanted to learn how to sew for years. I wish you lived down the lane… I would be payin’ you for lessons!!!

  • Carly & Garrett
    May 29, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    You are so incredibly talented! These outfits are precious! Not that you have the time, but every Southern Belle in the deep south is waiting for their very own Darby Dress Design:)

    The monogram on the blue and white striped sundress is amongst the pretties I have ever seen.

    Keep us posted on your next creation!

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    D- way to go. you are so talented!! i am always impressed with your creations!! -Allyson

  • Jennie-Marie
    May 29, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    those are all adorable, you are amazing!!! I agree wiht TT, a big sewing retreat would totally motivate me to finish things I’ve started. Ok and a fun embroidery machine like yours. I love what you did with the ribbon in the bloomers, I’m looking up that pattern now, those are too cute!!

  • Hillary Dunham
    May 29, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    You are so talented, Darby! Those are all adorable!!
    I would love to be crafty like that for my 2 boys, but (I hate to admit) they’re not as easy or fun to dress in cutesy clothes. Your girls (and baby boy) will be the best dressed things to hit town, though!

  • LeslieW.
    May 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Everything looks great! I am so jealous, my sewing pile is taunting me as I type. I really need to pleat some things to smock on the cruise. You have inspired me and hopefully the now, nightly reruns will have me turn to the projects instead of the couch!

  • simply seleta
    May 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Eventually I am going to quit saying, “I’m so impressed with how much you do.” But I’ll say it this time…again.

    Love the dresses. You’re very talented.

  • Becky Brodbeck
    May 30, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Darby-The dresses are adorable…you do such an amazing job

  • Ashleigh Thompson
    May 30, 2008 at 6:03 am

    These are too cute!! Thanks for all the info on patterns and such! Now I am motivated to do something with all my fabulous fabric that I bought months ago.:)


  • beki
    May 30, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Those are all adorable! I have grand plans to sew for my girls this weekend. I picked up some cute prints from Hancock’s (surprise), and I plan to finally cut into my pillowcase stash.
    Also, when you have that sewing retreat, I wanna come!!

  • Dena
    May 30, 2008 at 9:04 am

    wow – those look great – the middle ones are my favorite – can’t wait to see them on the girls =
    i may have to ban you from sc blogging! hahahahahahah

    and now i want to sew!

  • Diane
    June 6, 2008 at 9:13 am

    so very adorable–makes me want to start sewing…