At the weekend the quick trip to buy those tiny gold beads from Hobbycraft resulted in me also picking up two packs of fat quarters in lovely spring/summer colours. The material is quite stiff (really made for quilting) so I soaked it in fabric softener, rinsed it, then tossed it in the tumble dryer with a dry towel to spead up the drying process. This did result in softer material.
I cut a strip of material 30 cm high by 55 cm wide (the full width of the quarter) which left a strip 13 cm by 55 cm. I hemmed the bottom and top of the wider strip, using miniature ric rac braid on the bottom and a neat zig zag stitch on the top. I then cut 5 pieces of 5 mm elastic 29 cm long (after measuring their chests) and pinned these on the wrong side of the top of the strip with the bottom elastic being 8 cm from the top of the dress and the other 4 evenly spaced between that and the zig zagged top hem. Stitching elastic on whilst stretching it out to gather the material evenly was the trickiest part of the job but I succeeded without pricking my fingers too often! Thank goodness for the sewing machine - this job would have taken ages without it. I then sewed the back seam all the way from the top to the bottom of the dress after edging each side of the back seam. After neatening off the top and bottom of the back seam (pressing it flat) I fitted the dress onto Matilda (she got her dress first) and sewed the ribbons onto the back and front and tied them at the shoulders.
Belle and Matilda in their new Easter dressesThe leftover strip of material was folded over and stitched along one short and the long edge, then turned inside out to the right side and pressed with the iron, before closing off the other short end. This simple hair band was tied at the back of the neck. The material is stiff enough to hold without having to knot the hairband.
Belle and Matilda's new hairbandsEach dress and hairband took one evening to sew - quick spring dresses for Easter, though with the current weather (return to winter here, rain since yesterday and further north has heavy snow), I think both Matilda and Belle will be wishing I had made them some winter coats too!