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dress

children, create, dress, fabric, sew

mermaid dress

June 30, 2014
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For Bailey’s 4th birthday we had a beach party.  She wanted to be a purple and pink mermaid so I promised her an amazing mermaid dress (silly mommy for setting such expectations!). 
I started with purple sequin fabric and tutu tulle (purple and pink).  The sequin fabric was see-through so I had to line it for it to work as a skirt.  I used a tshirt of hers (which she never wears) for the lining and made a skirt.  Then I alternated colors of tulle and created a “mermaid tail” base.  Initially, I planned to just create the skirt and pair it with a tank top (maybe adding a bit of mermaid “bling” to embellish).  But then I remembered how much she prefers dresses to skirt/top combos so decided to maximize the chances of her wearing it and create a dress.  This caused some issues, because I couldn’t easily just attach a tank top (as I wanted to) since she wouldn’t be able to get into it.  The mermaid base was too tight to fit over her head and she wouldn’t be able to step into a tank top.  So I used the purchased tank top to create a halter top for the dress.  I chopped off the top, creating a tube.  Then flipped it upside down (for a nice finish at the top), sewed it to the skirt, added elastic at the top and then used the cut off peice to create halter straps.  Perfect! 
When I first revealed it to her she cried.  (I did too, but not in front of her luckily).  It was heart breaking.  She is very shy and I think she panicked she’d be too much of a focus if she wore it.  Plus it was definitley different to other “party dresses” she has. So I quickly showed her images of mermaids and she slowly made the connection in her head of the dress looking like a mermaid.  I added a massive tulle bow to the top and she was smiling. 
At this stage I was just hoping she would wear it once, without frowning, for a photo. Surprisingly, on the day she loved it. After an initial issue with a very scratchy bow which was later removed, she happily wore it throughout her party when she wasn’t swimming and paired it nicely with her still-smelling-of-chemicals-from-the-factory-in-China pink heels.  It definitely was helped by a four year old party attendee saying “wow, you look like Ariel [from Disney's Little Mermaid]“.  I could have kissed that child!! 
She was a beautiful mermaid and I am pleased the dress will get future wear as an addition to her dress-up box.

children, create, dress, fabric, feature, sew

one Easter dress

April 1, 2014
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Orla has an Easter dress.  Bailey will soon as well made from the same pink fabric shown here.  I love these colours, they just scream out “Easter” to me!  I still need to finish the hem but I’m really happy with this dress… it’s the same pattern I used for Orla’s Christmas dress (which was huge on her 4 months ago).  

I’ve been inspired again by The Great British Sewing Bee and I want to crank these little dresses out all day long! If only….

The pink pocket fabric is “Little Azalea” by Dena Designs (Bailey selected it for her Easter dress) and the mustard fabric is “Modern Folklore” by makower uk.  

One more little springy Easter dress to go…

children, create, dress, fabric, feature, sew, shop

smock pinafore dress

July 3, 2013
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This dress came from a pattern I bought a year or two ago.  I love how sweet and flirty this smock is with the full skirt.  It’s not a true dress because it opens at the back and therefore it is in the least expensive bracket of just £16 ($25). 
 

The bow at the back is discrete and pretty.  It’s best worn with a top and leggings.  Bailey adore this dress because of the fullness of the skirt– she loves “poofy dresses” right now.

 
 
 
The bodice is lined but not the bottom.  This is the only dress that isn’t fully lined.  This beautiful dainty fabric is upcycled from vintage sheets!  But I have many other versions of this dress in other prints.  So far I only have this in size 2-3 years, but as it’s a tie-back, it’s very easily worn until 4 years I think.

children, create, dress, fabric, feature, shop

ruffle dress

June 28, 2013
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The ruffle dress is one of my favorites.  It’s another top price dress at £20 ($31) because the ruffle takes me ages to make.  Some versions have different fabrics for the ruffle which adds a nice touch.  I made this dress pattern after seeing a photo of a darling ruffle dress. 
 
 
I adore this fabric and I’m not even sure where it came from.  I didn’t buy it specially, I had it in my stash.  I really wish I could squeeze into this myself.

 

 
Once again, fully lined.

 

 
I added some lace trim to this one because it’s a bit short.  I love the daintiness so I’ll definitely add this to a few more. 
 
Again– multiple versions of this dress pattern in different sizes too.

children, create, dress, fabric, shop

bubble dress

June 27, 2013
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The first dress to showcase is the “bubble dress”.  I love this cloud-like dress and all of its poofiness.  The length falls around the knee plus/minus a few inches.  It’s not floor length though or too much of a mini.  I’m starting off selling these for £18 (about $27) (note, price has since gone up to £20) which is the most expensive price bracket so far.  They aren’t quick dresses to make with the need to handstitch the lining dress to bodice.

 
They are all made of different fabrics and some have fabric flowers on the bodice.  I bought this fabric ages ago and made a full pleated skirt for myself, so it’s funny to now make mini dresses out of it.  Maybe I’ll make one for Bailey and Orla so we gals can all match.  

It’s fully lined which is pretty key I think.  Since I’m selling them it’s really important for them not to look “homemade”.   They look much more professional if they are fully lined.  Plus, how lovely is a lined dress!?

Now for the best news… I sold one!  My first sale!  My friend asked to see them before her daughter’s third birthday and bought this one.  I was honoured to be asked and so thrilled that she bought one.  It’s really nerve-racking selling to a friend and watching her browse them all– I want them all to be perfect and for buyers to fall in love with them.  I also really want them to seem worth the price!

I have many bubble dresses made now in different sizes and prints.   Hopefully they’ll sell!

children, create, dress, fabric, sew

dresses for sale

June 27, 2013
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Dresses, dresses, dresses.  I am taking a break from quilting to enjoy dressmaking for little girls.  After watching the lovely and inspiring Great British Sew Off, I decided I shouldn’t spend any more money buying cute dresses for my girls and instead I could make them! 

It has been awhile since my dressmaking course (adult education course which I loved for three years), so I was lacking in confidence.  I bought a girl’s pattern ranging from 12 months to 5 years from Etsy (I definitely like Etsy original patterns rather than the usual Butternick, Simplicity, New Look, etc patterns.  I find Etsy is more modern and fun in comparison.).  The pattern was easy to follow and after the one I felt confident enough to start making my own patterns, using the bought one for sizing purposes. 

After making a few I felt especially brave and reserved the local café window for two weeks in July to showcase (and hopefully sell?) my dresses.  So the pressure is on! 

Over the next few weeks I’ll detail the dresses and show some pics…

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