I'm a firm advocate of the phrase 'Make hay whilst the sun shines'. Though my own interpretation right now is probably more like 'If you're on maternity leave and finally have a functioning sewing machine, get some flippin' sewing done whilst you can!'. So that is what I have been doing. Even though our little lady is still just about in utero right now, both elements of this outfit are actually for a 1 year old. As I mentioned in my nappy-cover blog post, I plan to dress her mostly in jersey until that point.
If memory serves, I bought this vintage Style 1106 pattern (published 1975, Size 1) from the awesome Snooper's Paradise in Brighton not long after we moved here a few years ago. How frustrating must it have been trying to sew for children before multi-sized sewing patterns became the norm? Such a small window of opportunity for each pattern to be of any use to you! This is actually the second time I've used this myself, the first being for my friend's daughter Surayya that I made in Africa wax fabric. When I made that first version I wouldn't have guessed that the second time I'd use it would be for my own little Missy! I also recently leant this pattern to my friend Kate so she could rustle up a birthday present for a mate of her's daughter, thus getting more use from this than it possibly ever got from its original owner!
Kate and I both came to the conclusion that the neck opening seemed a little tight, so we both made that a little wider on our respective versions. I also added a couple of cms to the length, plus only used 3cms of the suggested 5.7cms (!) hem allowance to make it a bit longer. What is up with those crazy-short hems on kiddie dresses of the 1950's/60's/70's?! I'm hoping that Missy will be able to wear it for a longer period of time if the length is a bit more generous. Kate and I also decided to opt for small poppers to fasten the top back opening instead of buttons because we'd narrowed the neck yoke and creating button holes would have been a bit of a faff on the new reduced dimension.
Also, I created a slightly different sleeve shape pattern for this version. I wanted something less frilly or puffy than most of the sleeved versions included in this pattern already so that this dress can be worn with a cardigan over the top (seeing as this outfit should be coming into use next Autumn/Winter).
The matching nappy cover pants are made using the same Newlook 6818 pattern that I blogged about last week. I'm not sure how seasonally appropriate they will be for when this outfit comes into use, it's possible that wooly tights might be in order at that point, but who can say?! Making these nappy covers is so quick and so much fun, and I'm sure she'll get some use from these ones even if it isn't with the dress.
I am one hella lucky mama-to-be because a few weeks ago the super-lovely owner of Sewbox.co.uk offered to send me some fabric to make something for our Missy. As you probably know by now, I try to avoid buying new fabric for my sewing projects, particularly when sewing for myself, but I'm not a crazy person! If offered some lovely new fabric to sew something special for our little baby, I'm not about to pass up that opportunity!
So I told Susan from Sewbox the meterage I'd need for this dress pattern plus some nappy cover pants. I also sent her a couple of links to fabric that she stocked (Liberty Bloomsbury Collection - Woolfe and Liberty Bloomsbury Collection - Dance) that I really liked so she'd get the idea of what kind of colouring I was into, and left it to her to select me something. Susan only went and sent me BOTH of them AND some amazingly cute matching buttons! I really can't thank her enough.
I may have slightly undermined the classiness of this Liberty fabric with the application of some white bobble trim that I found in my stash. I wanted to add something so that the neck yoke and pocket details didn't get lost in the ditsy print. I think the outcome is somewhat more Mexicana/fiesta-time than the fabric designer probably originally envisioned! Maybe Missy can wear this for her first birthday. Jeez that's a mental thought...