::: the story :::
I’ve had to put all my little projects on hold for a while as other parts of life got busier. Exhaustion sets in nightly around the kiddie’s bedtime (my usual “me” time). The only thing I want to do after tucking them in and closing their doors behind me is to go into couch potato mode and just watch mindless reality TV with the hubby for the next couple hours.
Truth is, I think after the first couple weeks of not touching the sewing machine at all, I just got too lazy to start. Nothing like a birthday to kick things back into gear!
My cousin’s little girl turned one this week. I actually just realized that my very first post on this blog is about a welcome blanket I crocheted for her. Which means this little blog just turned one too!
We celebrated Caidence’s birthday last Sunday, and as usual I had high ambitions and little time (due to procrastination on my part). I spent the week prior cutting out the paper patterns, washing the fabric, ironing, cutting the fabric, reviewing the pattern again, picking out buttons…it wasn’t until late Friday night that I finally sewed the first stitch. Despite a few hiccups and some time with the seam ripper (it’s my first time sewing garment so I was learning as I sewed), I managed to finish two little dresses the morning of the party. I was literally hand sewing buttons in bed before the kids woke up. On top of that, I was scrambling to get some decent pictures of the finished product. Just a warning: there are lots of images…I apologize for the wrinkles and poor lighting. And a quick note to myself…go pick up some cuter hangers. :P
Here are the results of my labour of love….
…and their backsides…
::: the specs :::
I used fabrics from my recent nani IRO purchase for both of these dresses. I LOVE sewing with nani IRO double gauze. The fabrics are so unique and beautiful, and the dresses are soft and airy, the perfect weight for summer. I ordered mine from Miss Matatabi on Etsy. Frances stocks the biggest and best selection of nani IRO that I’ve seen, straight from Japan. And her customer service is top notch.
The pattern for the first dress is the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. This is a great dress pattern with lots of sizes and options to mix and match. I made this in a tunic length with faux cap sleeves and gathered skirt. As a beginner, I found the pattern to be relatively easy to follow, with lots of picture details to guide me. In the end, I’m really happy with how it turned out!
The pattern called for lining on the bodice, and not the skirt. I decided to line both as the fabric was just a hint too sheer without it. I used a solid cotton voile for the lining.
I kept the selvage on it as a detail on the hem.
This fabric was a lot of fun to play with. I tried to position the pattern in ways that included the cute details of the checks. I also did my best to line up the front and back piece so it matched up on the sides. It’s not 100% perfect, but I love it all the same!
Whew! Still following? Okay…on to the second dress.
The pattern for the second dress is the Sunshine Dress from ShwinDesigns. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it on my feed. It is so cute and fun. Another great pattern for beginners. The dress itself can be worn with the drawstring drawn tight (I used twill tape) to make the skirt bubble, or loosen up so it a regular gathered skirt, like in that picture up top.
I followed the pattern almost exactly for the front of the bodice, adding the lace detail. Buttons on the back of both the dresses. Another first: sewing button holes with my machine. It was so quick!
I used nani IRO Colorful Pocho for the skirt and just a solid quilting cotton from our local fabric store. I had some similar colour Kona Cotton in my stash, but I decided it wasn’t quite soft enough to be paired with the nani IRO and a little too “crispy” to be used for the bodice.
All in all, it was really nice to be back on the sewing machine after a little bit of a break. Nothing quite beats the thrill of turning over your finished project for the first time. I sewed these dresses up simultaneously so it was double joy for me. Gosh, it also made me realize there’s so much more I’d love to sew for little girls. Hmmm….. :)
Here’s the birthday girl modelling one of the new additions to her closet. Lots of action going on, so the image is a little blurry. Too bad we were only able to put this dress on her before she was swooped away and passed around. I didn’t get a chance to see the tunic on her. I’m still waiting for her mamma to send me a pic!
Happy birthday to my sweet Caidence…and happy blogger-versary to me!