No, we're not spending summer in Paris unfortunately, however I realise I need to up my game in naming my creations, à la Dolores's auntie Rehanon. This is the first make from the batch of sewing patterns that were kindly sent to me from Adey from The Sew Convert. I stated in my last blog post that I was going to attempt to use each of the patterns sent to me by Adey, Catherine and Jenna, so I'd best get on with it! But don't get me wrong, I don't think that there's any point in making clothing for her just for the sake of it. She has plenty of clothes for her current size, however she doesn't have a 'special dress', if a baby needs such a thing. We were invited to lunch a couple of weeks ago and that provided the catalyst for getting this make completed.
I used the pattern pictured below, Newlook 6718, view B omitting the contrast lower band. The pattern was already cut to the Small size, which according to the pattern envelope should have been almost too small for Dolores in terms of weight and definitely too small for her in terms of height, but the final garment actually came out quite roomy and may even span two summers. Win!
As you can imagine, this pattern sewed together very quickly, particularly because I left off most of the faff and frills. Unusually, the dress fastens with buttons on the back, kind of like a backwards pinafore, so I chose the flattest buttons in my stash so hopefully they won't be uncomfortable when she lies down. I did add a single strip of lace from my stash along the top of the front yoke for a little bit of extra interest, and to make it clear that I HADN'T put the dress on her the wrong way round if people were to notice the button fastenings being on the back! The only part of the construction that I changed was the method for binding the armholes. I preferred to trim away the seam allowance and apply the binding to cover the raw edge, making it visible rather than tucked away on the inside creating lots of bulk.
I've recently reorganised my fabric, putting the pieces that are too small for adults' garments, but large enough for a child's garment, or at least part of one, in a separate storage tub. This is the tub I plan on mining for Dolores-projects and this awesome Eiffel Tower and birds print cotton sateen scrap was residing within. I originally bought a long length of this fabric about a squillion years ago from Goldhawk Road, before I started this blog and before I realised that the circle skirt style I'd made from it wasn't for me.
I think I donated the circle skirt to a friend, but I still had some fairly substantial leftovers, enough for this project. Aside from being an amazing print, it makes sense to use it for a garment for Dolores because A), despite being cotton it doesn't crease very much, and B) it's red which is the colour of her favourite foods (strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes) so I won't need to soak stains out of this garment, unlike every other garment she owns. In fact, remind me going forward to make everything for her in red and dark colours with busy prints!
I have firmly got the children's-clothes making bug, which is pretty handy when you think about it, eh? Making things for babies/toddlers/children requires less time and less fabric, which is perfect at just the time in life when you have reduced amounts of sewing time, and reduced funds to spend on sewing projects. It is my aim to dress Dolores as far as possible in handmade clothing, and for it to be made from my stash of fabric and notions as much as I can. But it is also my aim for those clothes to be beautifully made and stylish. That way she will hopefully look back at them and feel proud of her mama for making them for her, and also so that they will have further life after Dolores has grown out of them when other children wear them.