Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Birthday Dress

I couldn't let July run out without sharing this dress with you. Things are always busy round here this month what with school drawing to a close, end of year assemblies or plays, birthdays and our anniversary thrown in for good measure. 

I managed to get Boo's birthday dress completed ahead of time and she was hopping mad to wear it before her big day.

I chose the pattern, the Hanami Dress by Straightgrain. There are so many pretty versions of this on the web and despite owning the pattern for a while, I had never got round to sewing it up. So it felt a bit special to choose it for a party dress, and that meant making it as posh as possible.

Together we decided on this floral lawn. Ever since Queen Elsa, she has been all about the blue dresses, but I rather like the colour red on her. It suits her. So I was happy when she spotted this on my shelf. There was just enough left over from a previous project to cut out this Hanami with a full circle skirt.

Beautiful details like the flutter sleeves make this dress uber girly. I was a tad worried they would be too flouncy for me but she loves them and so I am happy.

I wanted to break up the mid-section and ummed & ahhed about using piping, but in the end discovered the perfect ribbon in my stash. Knowing it would end up a tangled and threaded mess in the washing machine, I sewed on thread chains around the waist to hold the ribbon in place, and make it removable for washing.

I sealed the ends of the ribbon with a match flame so they wouldn't unravel.

I liked the look of the crossover back version of the bodice. It adds an interesting twist to the dress. I won't lie, the buttons are a bit fiddly and so she has to ask for help in getting them done up and I also had to add a couple of snaps along the edge to stop the opening from gaping. 

If I made this again, I would have to add another inch to the outward edge of the bodice piece to get the edge to line up with the side seam. I had to bring it back a touch from where it was supposed to sit. But that is purely because I am squeezing her into the largest size her and it would have been too restrictive otherwise.

The circle skirt was a massive hit!

Girls love to twirl don't they?!

She wore this on her birthday and I am happy to report that it survived a trip to the zoo!

There may be a few more little girl dresses coming up soon. Little sister has just inherited all the hand-me-downs in the next size up and there are rather a lot of dresses in the wardrobe on her side now. Boo stood in front of them yesterday and (hands on hips) remarked how many dresses L had while she only had about 4. Then looked at me. Pouting.

I actually haven't sewn anything for a couple of weeks. My machine has been gathering dust. So I fired it up last night and got started on a new dress for little madam. I have my orders......


  1. It's a beautiful dress and the ribbon belt is lovely. Happy birthday to Boo :)

    1. Thank you!
      She loves wearing this, but I hate ironing it! It takes ages!

  2. Lovely dress Katie. I'll have to get on the circle skirt bandwagon as they sure do look like fun!
    The red ribbon belt is perfect to break things up.
    Do a dozen old hand me down dresses really equal four spanking new ones? I always thought the eldest got the best deal. Still, get to your machine and sew! These girls have to be dresses in the manner to which they're accustomed! :)

    1. You should definitely try the circle skirt. It is guaranteed to make you the best mum ever!

  3. So pretty in the lawn. I did not even know this pattern had a crossover back. It is very nice and the ribbon is a perfect touch. I chuckled a bit reading about the pouty counting of dresses. We had a similar situation this spring (complete with a sidelong look at Mama to subtly request a new dress!).

    1. It's a good job we can be counted on to produce some more clothes on demand!
      I have so much to sew and so little time. Mind you, in 4 weeks I will have both of them at school and have much more time to sew!


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