Ashley and Emily, the sisters behind the blog Francis Suzanne, are hosting a year long series called Flip This Pattern. If you haven't visited yet, you need to go check it out!
I love the Oliver & S book Little Things to Sew, but I have never actually purchased and sewn any of the Oliver & S individual patterns. So, since the flipped pattern this month is the Rollerskate Dress, I figured this was the perfect opportunity :)
As I was designing, I tried to maintain the basic silhouette of the Rollerskate pattern, but make it undeniably my own. I kept the cut of the bodice (especially the cap sleeves which I love,) the elastic waist and the aline shape. I modified a few things like changing to a front opening, adding two 1" tucks around the hemline, and adding piping pretty much everywhere :)
I started sewing about 15 years ago when my oldest was born, mostly
Halloween costumes and basic quilts. Then, about two years later, when Ruthie was born, I discovered heirloom sewing.
I fell in love with the intricate designs and details that are found in
heirloom garments. After I had my third, then forth, and so on :) I
realized I didn't have much time to dedicate to the finer sewing
techniques, and entirely hand sewn heirloom clothes were just not
possible. So I chose to embrace modern (i.e. everyday rather than
special occasion) clothing and I try to incorporate some of the
techniques I learned into each thing I make today.
For this dress, I decided to use piping wherever possible including in the tucks at the bottom of the dress. This took a little bit of math to accomplish, but the end result is worth the brain sucking feeling that comes whenever I do math nowadays. I swear I used to be good at it, but not so much anymore :) I also fully lined the bodice and skirt as called for in the pattern although I used a different technique since I made the skirt and bodice separately. I chose to use elastic on the sides of the dress only because I thought it looked better with the revised front opening. Overall, this is one of my favorite dresses I have sewn in a long time!
Just as an fyi, if you are planning on using this pattern, I would pay careful attention to the sizing chart. I cut a size 2T for my first attempt since Mae wears 24 months or 2T in ready-to-wear clothes. Big mistake! I'll be lucky if it fits her next summer! The next time, I cut 12-18 months (with a little extra length,) and to be honest, it's still a little big. But I really want it to fit in the fall, and I think it will be perfect then.
I think I might be raising the next generation of tree huggers! Seriously, every time we go for a walk, Mae wants to stop and touch every tree. It's so cute when she "jumps" to reach the leaves. I think her feet may actually get off the ground just a little bit :)
It turns out this dress is good for more than just roller skating! Mae had a ton of fun swinging in her new dress. And that's a good thing because I'm not about to put her in roller skates any time soon. She trips over her own feet several times a day as it is. I don't think roller skates would help the matter any :)
These are the first and last pictures I took yesterday. I lured Mae outside with the promise of playing once we were done taking pictures. Once we made it to the back of the yard where the slide is, she took one step on the pea gravel and headed right back inside to get her shoes :) She got her little toes up on the ledge by the front door and yelled for someone opened the door for her. Then the shoes went on (the wrong feet btw) and the fashion show was done. But you will be happy to know that the dress works great for sliding down the big yellow slide as well!
Gray Polka Dot - Gray polka dot from Joann's (sorry no name on the selvedge)
Lining - Rainy Days and Mondays by Riley Blake
Bow - Maroon cotton broadcloth
Buttons - from Joann's
Piping - Mini piping in white