A few weeks ago I was thrift store shopping with my mom and the moment we walked into the small thrift store my eyes immediately zeroed a polyester kimono, that had beautiful tangerine poppy print. As I approached I was devastated when I saw several large spots on it and a 5 dollar price tag (if it was going to be that much I would have loved for it to be in perfect condition). My mom came in a few minutes later and saw me eying it she decided that I needed it and she purchased it for me. When we got it home I scrubbed it to get any dirt or stains out of the fabric. One scoop of Oxy Clean and a wash cycle and I was in business not a single stain!
I looked through my inspiration board on pinterest and I decided that I wanted to make a dress with a high yoke, flutter sleeves and a high contrast between the top and bottom textures. I drew up a few different options but they didn't feel quite right. I tried to pair scraps of material with the polyester but everything seemed the wrong scale, wrong color or too overwhelming until I remembered about Point D'Esprit Lace.
|Point D'Esprit Bridal Lace available at Joann's for $4.99/yrd. regular price|
I did the math and I figured with 1/8 of a yard of lace I would have just enough to use it for the sleeves, the yoke and an unlined band near the bottom of the dress. To do it again I would have bought 1/4 of a yard because 1/8 was cutting it incredibly close and the closest Joann's is 30 minutes away and none of the other stores in town have much fabric beyond simple quilters cotton.
When we were at Joann's I found a set of fun tangerine buttons that were juvenile but still classy. I loved that they were in scale to the dots on the lace.
Boston is incredibly slender (at her 9 month appointment she was in the 6% for weight and the 67% for height) so I usually have her in a onesie or dress one size smaller than her size and then on bottom she has leggings that I have made her from knee high socks (Trick my friend Becky taught me) and/or circle skirt. I knew that I didn't have the time or the patience for a commercial pattern not to fit right so I took one of the dresses she looks best in (it is a Carter) and copied the yoke. For the sleeves I used the sleeve pattern from Simplicity 3854, instead of hemming it I decided to double it over and decrease the height of the sleeve. For the skirt I made it 1 1/2 times her waist measurement and so after putting it together it would be knee length, so it would be easy to craw in. I gave her a little more room in the back yoke so that it will fit for a while.
Should we ask her how she likes her new outfit?
|I'll take that as a Yes!|
Like I said I didn't have much of the lace fabric so when I cut my front yoke a lot too wide in the middle, I was figuring out how to save it. I pulled out a pintucking foot (which is a little naughty because it is a Christmas present) and went to work until it was just right. I loved how much depth and texture the pintucking gave to the yoke.
A few of my favorite things
|The whole dress is lined (except for the lace cut out)so it will be soft against her delicate skin.|
|The tangerine buttons against the white yoke.|
|Yet again I have to say I love the pintucking it was such a fortunate accident.|
Accounting for growing & accessories
It is always sad for me when I work on something for the kids only for them to grow out of it a month later. I knew I would be putting quite a bit of time into this project I made it so that there would be extra room in the back as she gets larger all I have to do is move the buttons over a little bit and she will be able to wear it as a tunic.
As a dress I felt like it needed a pair of leggings so her legs wouldn't be exposed to Idaho winters. I used some of her sock leggings as a pattern adding a little extra room to the sides so they would like satin pants and not leggings. The leggings were made out of a 1 way stretch knit that looks like satin (found it last year at Walmart for $1.50/yd) and added a band of stretchy lace so that when they get too short to be pants we will be able to be bunched higher.
Just one more picture, okay two, before I let you go.