They sure know how to kick things off right - every season (I think) starts off with a pattern re-mix. It is an awesome way to see how each designer views and re-interprets a pattern or idea. Week one was one of my favorite weeks sewing along last season, so I was super excited and on pins and needles to see what would be chosen this season for our re-mixing pleasure.
When I saw that we would be doing the Party Dress from Lindsay at A Cottage Home, I experienced a gasp of delight and then a downward spiral of despair You see, I am a pinterest junkie (well, mild addict maybe) - and this was one of the first dresses that I pinned to make for baby girl. Woooohooo, something I already love. But OH NO - something I already love 'just the way it is'. It took me almost two full weeks of designing, redesigning, and designing again before I could start working on this outfit. I went through so many different styles inspired by so many different things until my head was spinning, I couldn't see straight, and my boys had enough scrap paper to color on for months.
Finally I had to take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask myself the two questions that mean the most when I am making clothes for my kids. 1: What do I have in my stash to use or re-purpose and 2: What can they honestly get the most use out of in their wardrobe right now.
I was immediately drawn to this teal blue linen-ish fabric that I scored from my church's pile of old shephard costumes that have not seen the light of day in over a decade (and made their way into my home as I made decor and games for this years Christmas Party). I then searched through the piles until I found a gorgeous grey linen-ish wrap skirt. I'm a little in love with grey at the moment. The two together immediately turned my thoughts to the arctic.
With fabric in hand, I knew immediately what I was making. I had fallen in love with a dress for me - and it became the inspiration for baby girl. The answer to question two was a fun play dress - not a fancy holiday dress, but something she could wear anytime; and most importantly something warm enough for our NE winter weather.
I knew I would shorten the dress and that baby girl would need bloomers added - and ruffles didn't seem appropriate with this design, but the bloomers needed something to make them special... hmmm. Well I was already inspired by the Arctic and baby girl's nursery is Little Red Riding Hood - so a Wolf it had to be.
-I started with the original pattern grading the size just slightly for my 8month old (size 12 month) daughter. I wanted a little extra room for crawling movement and to have a shirt layered underneath so I didn't grade down as much as I would have if it was a summer frock.
-I then laid out the pattern pieces and decided where I wanted my piecing to be - I cut the pattern and created new pieces with seam allowance.
-When I attached the pieces together I then top stitched every created seam with silver thread.
-I lined the bodice using my method from the Puttin on the Ritz dress (where you leave the side seams open rather than the shoulder to turn - it is all personal preference, but this way you don't have to top stitch around your arm hole).
-The skirt was also pieced and top stitched along each seam, but I also wanted pockets - I love pockets even if baby girl has no clue what they are. So pockets went into the seams of the front panel. LOVE
-I decided to line the entire dress so that as she crawled around, showing off the inside of the garment to the world with her booty in the air, there would not be random seams staring the world in the face.
- I used the band concept of the original in the lining, this makes sure that the grey linen is really the only thing you see as she moves around.
-The lining bodice and lining skirt pieces were sewn together by hand so that there would be no visible stitching and could in theory be a reversible dress (it is of course not reversible because of the buttons only being on one side ;op)
-The buttons are stolen from an old coat and held on with elastic bands.(I find for babies, elastic can be so much easier to button than fabric loops). These buttons are so perfect, they are a grey in the center that radiates out to black.
-The Belt is a tube of the blue fabric turned and top stitched with a loop at one end for threading the end through and then tying/knotting in an 'oh so mod' way. I am thinking I need to make a bunch of these belts for me, so easy and a great pop to add to pieces in my wardrobe!!!
-for the bloomers, I used a Simplicity pattern and then created the piecing the same way I did for the bodice and skirt.
-I did flat feld seams on every seam since I did not plan on lining the bloomers... it is rare that I take the time to finish garments this way, but I LOVE the finished effect.
-The leg casings are made with grey bias tape to create smooth casings with no puckering in the stitching.
-The Wolf was appliqued on and created using each of the fabrics from the outfit (muzzle: cream knit, head:grey linen, pupils and nose: grey lining)
-The shirt and leggings are both made form a cream knit with one way stretch.
-They are both my own patterns drafted from other clothing baby girl owns and then adapted
- The shirt has a gentle boat neck and gathered sleeves
-All seams are serged. All hems are serged then turned and sewn with the twin needle for a professional finish.
-The neckline of the shirt is finished with grey bias tape and a small bow (this shirt will be a staple for layering or wearing on its own)
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due:
Dress: Party Dress by Lindsay at A Cottage Home(adapted size and added piecework, lining, pockets, etc...)
Bloomers &wolf: Simplicity 0291(adapted piecework)
Shirt: Self Drafted
Leggings: Self Drafted
Bow: Inspired by pinterest Japanese felt bow - my pattern and tutorial HERE
And more pictures!!!!!!!!
Baby on the prowl...
I am absolutely in love with this outfit - and baby girl seemed very happy to play in it, so happy that she wouldn't stay still for a picture ;o)
Now GO VOTE - there are some amazing outfits out there so pick your favorite (and if that happens to be mine, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!)