Monday, May 27, 2013

Birthday Beach Outfit


She's 6!!  Her party was lots of fun, and totally exhausting!  Two days later, I'm still recovering from the all the work, chaos and kids.

She got a lot of presents, but her big present from us she will not get until summer, because she wants to go to the beach and also visit the aquarium, so we will be camping on the coast for one or two nights after school lets out.

It was quite a while ago that she decided she wanted to take that trip, so I decided to make her a beach outfit.  She had already picked a dark pink cotton out of my stash, it is covered in tiny butterflies.  I found a matching dark pink and burgundy (and lots of other colors, too) cotton sateen with a diamond print on it in my stash, and also the perfect pattern, Simplicity 5540.


It included a button front dress with elastic pockets, shorts, and a hat, all perfect for a walk on the beach!

This pattern is pretty well designed, though I had issues with the hat.  not a single notch or marking matched up, not on the crown, top, or brim.  I did make it work though.
I added a self made hat band and a much larger bow than the pattern called for, because she asked for a big bow on the hat.  I think it turned out pretty cute on her, and it will serve it's main purpose of protecting her face and eyes from the sun.

It is somewhat adjustable, which I love in kids clothing. With the tie in back, she has room to grow.

Overall, very happy with the dress, also happy to make her something more practical that she will (hopefully), get a lot more wear out of than the "dressy" dresses I have made her in the past.  Hurray for cotton!
This is a really great pattern (sans hat markings), with a lined bodice, well designed button bands and adjustable shoulder straps, and I will keep it for when she is older.  I can see her wearing a larger version of this even up to age 9 or 10.  So this pattern is a winner, and a keeper!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New summer dress, new sandals!

This is my new summer dress! Mom Pat got this fabric for me last year, and I am really glad to find a good pattern match for it.  I entered it into the Accessories Inspiration contest, when I saw the red and gold gladiator sandals, this is the fabric that called to me out of my stash.

The draping class my husband bought me last month really did teach me a lot.  I made 3 new darts in the bodice of this dress to get such a great fit around the bust and armholes.  In the past, I would have let little fitting issues like that slide, now I know how to fix some of these things, and it really shows!
The only area I did not know how to correct was the back.  The pattern has gathers at both the top of the yoke and at the waistband, which makes lots of room for movement, but also makes the back a bit pouchy near the waistband.  If I ever make this pattern again, I think I will redraft the entire back to use a box pleat on top, and be more fitted at the waistband.
Since the inspiration for this dress was a pair of shoes, I wanted to show off my new sandals!  They are not red, but instead a dark salmon, but they do have gold!  I found them on sale for only $5 on clearance, and couldn't pass them up.
I do wonder if I should have raised the hemline about 2"....but I have developed some modesty about my legs as I get older.  Still, this length makes me look shorter, I think.  But besides that, I am extremely happy with this dress!  Something pretty but also practical (did I mention it has pockets?) to wear this summer.  Some of my dresses are too dressy for daily wear, but I could see myself grocery shopping in this, which is perfect. :D