Saturday, January 12, 2013

Holiday-ish dress

Pattern: Burda 9/2012 #152 Cap Sleeve Dress
Fabric: Denyse Schmidt Chicopee Simply Plaid Lime
Cost: ~ $17.00
Size: 122 cm
Age: 8

[Cardigan: Target (little girls size 5); Shoes: Target; Hairpin and Tights: Target]

Ok, so I had bought Monkey Pants a holiday dress at Costco for under $20 bucks.  I didn't love the style, but it was nice enough.  However, I didn't really want a dress that she's only going to wear once and then outgrow by the time she can wear it again.  In my trips to a local quilt fabric shop, I kept eye-ing this green plaid quilting cotton but I just couldn't picture what to make with it.  That is until I got the 9/2012 issue of Burda magazine.  I paired the Cap Sleeve Dress and this fabric together in my mind for a bit of a vintage-y feel. My thought was that it would be cute enough as a holiday dress, but casual enough to wear any time.

Here it is paired up with a sparkly, hot pink cardigan from Target.  I'm still clinging to the little girls section as I find the styles so much nicer than the older girls. Monkey Pants was so little and skinny that until recently she could still fit into the largest size, a size 5 in the little girls, but not anymore. However! I did find that this little cardi fit just fine and even if the sleeves get too short, it can be a three-quarter-sleeve cardi. Yes! I didn't do so well with these light grey, sparkly tights though. The crotch was riding pretty low.  But that was Santa. Not me.

Sometimes people get a little fed up with me when I'm taking their picture.
I was concerned the bodice would be too lose on her as the dress in the Burda photo shoot looks like it's not really fitted and Monkey Pants has such a tiny waist.  But I was relieved to see that it turned out just right.  It's such a simple dress, but the overall look of the cap sleeves, pleated skirt and fabric turned out the style I was going for.

The dress is not lined as it is meant to be made from a thicker fabric.  Since I intended it as an every day wear type of dress, I thought I could get away with just the facings around the collar and under the arm holes, but I realized the quilting cotton would not have enough form on it's own so I lined it. Geez! Why am I lining everything now.  It's not like I really now what I'm doing. It was fairly easy to sew, aside from my inexperience with lining and tulle underskirts.

I had noted that an inexpensive dress from holidays past had a simple lining with a bit of black tulle at the bottom that barely showed past the skirt. I decided to add that thereby making things harder for myself by having to do a lot of arithmetic to figure out how much to shorten the lining by, accounting for the hemming and overlap of the tulle on the lining. But unbelievably, it turned out.  I even got to use my gathering foot on the tulle which can be a blessing or a curse. I think this gives the skirt just enough body without turning it into a party dress.

And voila! That's how I got Monkey Pants into a dress!


  1. She looks absolutely adorable! Great fun pics too! Great dress mom.

  2. I love the dress and reading about how you did it. I am little afraid of my gathering foot. Now I want to try making my daughter a holiday dress for next Christmas - I better warn the grandparents not to get her a dress.