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Ballerina Primavera - Soleil Dress

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We test for lots of people and very few times do we take the chance to sew the same patterns twice. I helped Al sew the Soleil Dress (for a full review of the pattern click here) for Ty and I knew instantly that Boston needed one as well. Knit is Boston's preferred fabric though she loves everything girly and pretty. The Soleil Dress Pattern is a great pattern for dressing up without loosing the comfort & simplicity of knit.
I had several ideas for directions I wanted to go with the Soleil Dress, but nothing really stuck. Once the Ballerina Primavera idea came to my mind, I knew instantly that it would be a home run hit with Boston. I luckily had all the right materials on hand so I instantly went to my sewing machine and started sewing.
For the front I used 1 layer of ivory double knit & 1 layer of white stretch organza. I sewed the two pieces together to make construction easier.
For the back I used the little bit of stretch lace I had left from this project and added some of the stretch organza to the back. This gave the lace a bit more structure so that it could stand up to the weight of the skirts. I stitched them together so that it would be easier for construction.
The Skirt was made with 3 layers of stretch organza and 1 layer of double knit. The bottom two skirts (the double knit and one layer of stretch organza) I used the skirt pattern and for the top two I used the full width of the fabric.
I sewed up the size 2 with the size 3 skirt length. I left the bottom hem unfinished so that the skirt wouldn't have any weight to hold it down from flying.
The pattern calls for knit ribbing but I chose to use Fold Over Elastic instead, because first I had it in my stash and second I loved how the blush pink worked with the ivory and white tones. In doing this I made this sew a bit more complicated for myself. There is a very good reason why Lauren with Selvage Designs suggests that you use ribbing over FOE I had a very hard time getting the fold over elastic tight enough that it wouldn't flop down. So keep in mind that it might take you more time in adjusting if you disregard this suggestion. The neckline and arm holes are the areas that I couldn't get quite right but it ended up being good enough so I moved on.
I originally planned on making a stash to go around the waistline but once I sewed the skirt to the bodice, I was annoyed at how much I had stretched out the bottom of the bodice the weight of all the gathered skirts. The FOE ended up being an easy solution to this problem. I made a very tight belt that sucked it all in, then I matched the bottom of the FOE with the seam edge and used a narrow zig zag stitch to attach it.
The moment it was finished Boston wanted it on and she wouldn't take it off until she reluctantly surrendered the dress at Bedtime. I tried to hid the dress until I had time to photograph it but every time she would find it. She has worn it to church several times since it's completion which was a welcome gift since the church's AC has been on the fritz and we are the 4th congregation to meet in the chapel. Her sensitive skin often times leads to heat rashes so the coolness of this dress has been welcome relief.
The other day I was over at my parents as I was packing bags in she found her dress. Snatched it up and showed it to my dad by saying, "Look pa-pa, Peta (translation Pretty) Dress!" She showed it how it flies when you spin it and the lace in the back or at least that is at least I think she is saying between the excited gibberish and pointing.
I am not sure that she will ever really be a ballerina, if she has my lack of grace probably not. But it is fun to dream. And it is always fun to create something that she loves.
I have to admit that I am brainstorming another Soleil Dress with another variation.  A couple weeks ago Al & I were browsing knit section at our local fabric store. Boston wouldn't let go of some fuschia knit, I wasn't there with any money just merely there for moral support for Al as she spent her whole months sewing budget. Al purchased a little of fuschia, but much to her dismay I didn't purchase any. Make note the next time I went (without her) I picked up more than enough to make a Soleil Dress with a fun flip.  But first I have promised Ryder a ninja costume and today we picked out the pattern for the bottoms.
Do you ever try and guess of what your kids will be when they grow up? My kids are still so little but their momma's interest in textiles & photography always makes me giddy. That said Ryder has a strong interest in cars and motorcycles like his Dad. Boston has such great coordination at this point and when she gets super excited she runs into a room doing cartwheels. Until they decide I will keep expanding their dress up tote and give them every reason to keep dreaming. I know that I am lucky enough to have parents that still support me as my dreams morph from chasing one star to another. It is my prayer that I can do the same for them. 

Fabric: Ivory Double Knit from Walmart $2/yard section, Stretch Lace from & Stretch Organza was a gift from my mom a few years ago but I think she got it from Hancock
Elastic: Was from my Mom's stash which probably means it is about 20 years old. 
Shoes: Natty Shoes Pattern from Delia Creates (not an affiliate link, just really love the shoe pattern and these shoes were sewn specifically to match this dress, I have a few more planned to sew before writing a full review but while you wait just know I love this pattern)


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  2. The dress is gorgeous Sarah! Can't wait to see your sons ninja costume!

  3. Oh my. This is just too precious! It's so feminine yet also fun.

  4. Too pretty! She looks amazing and the dress is beautiful :)

  5. I love how this turned out! It's so precious. Great job!

  6. It's beautiful- I agree the brushy pink compliments the fabric so well. And almost looks like a sherbet color in photos. Gorgeous dress and little girl!

  7. Stunning dress! You sold me! My little girly girls would adore this dress. Oh, they would love this flowy fabric as a hi low of maxi dress too.

  8. I LOVE this dress! I think I will have to buy the pattern! Every version I've seen of it is so cute! I love the lace and the ballerina look, I know a little girl who whose ballerina dreams might come true in this. ;)

  9. Just adorable! Beautiful girl and beautiful outfit!

  10. I love how floaty that skirt is! And the lace on the back bodice is gorgeous. =)

  11. Wow, this dress is so pretty! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Sews at PiePie Designs!

  12. So pretty! I want one for myself! Love the blush foe and that you have and stick to a sewing budget.


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