Picture Day Dress

I made my first oliver + s Fairytale dress for E's 2nd grade pictures. I've made three since, so you could say it's a favorite. The pattern actually sat in my queue for almost a year before I finally splurged on just the right fabric. Which was Cotton+ Steel Mustangs, purchased from fabric.com. I hesitated to buy it because it's a) quilting cotton and b) expensive. My general inclination is not to use quilting cotton for clothing, as it's heavier and more stiff than say, a cotton gauze or lawn. For kid's clothes, though, one can get away with using quilting cotton. Which is fantastic, given all the lovely choices these days. Oy. Remember the days of only being able to find hideous quilting cotton at JoAnn? Anyways, Miss E adored the fabric and I'm glad I indulged her. Those Cotton + Steel folks make one high quality product.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. I made a straight up size 7 and it was wide on her slender frame. There were a few instructions that I found time consuming (like hand stitching the lining to the zipper. You better believe I used my machine.), but overall, it's a fantastic pattern. Just size down and add length if you have a string bean.
She hates her modeling, sadly.

Client work: 2 Going Away Dresses

Last May, a sweet Brazilian needed a Going Away Dress for her wedding. The bride had an idea of what silhouette she wanted, but as a tall, long legged girl, she couldn't find any RTW dresses in a sensible length. Her mother-in-law is a dear friend, so I offered to make her a dress.

After they sent me these inspiration photos, I went on the hunt for a pattern with similar lines.  Simplicity 1873 was very close and the client loved it. (side note: Cynthia Rowley patterns are fantastic) After wandering around JoAnn, we decided to make two dresses using view A. One out of a cotton twill and another out of a sateen. 

First, I made the cotton twill, using the pattern with no alterations. This turned out to be a beautiful dress - the twill made lovely, crisp pleats and hung like a dream. Unfortunately, I only have shoddy smart phone shots of it. I rushed to finish the first dress in time for the wedding, then took my time with the second. Oh well.

Of course, the navy sateen gave me a giant head ache. It did not want to press at all. So, I ditched all the pleats from the pattern and gathered the waist and arm seams instead. Which actually turned out to be lovely. I photographed the dress and sent it to the client, only to find out that it was too short! We had purchased the remaining yards on the bolt, so I couldn't just add on or redo the skirt, and the dark black navy was impossible to match. In the end, I added 4" bais tape hem out of white sateen. Not my first choice, but it worked. (I took pictures before adding the length to the hem.)