As I’m gearing up for Me Made May ’16 I decided to take a break from adult sewing to whip up a little dress for a little person.
This dress is for Mya, the daughter of my assistant at work. We have a daycare at our office complex and one day Mya’s mother was telling me how cute it was to see Mya over there painting in her little smock during arts & crafts hour. That got us talking about how she maybe needed an apron to wear when she was at home messing around in her play kitchen. Eventually I wound up saying I better make her one myself. Like I do.
As with most projects of mine, I intended to make one thing and it grew into another… case in point: a little apron turned into a little sun dress that’s kind of like an apron.
I had these two fabric remnants I bought at Purl Soho in New York City, two coordinating prints from Liberty of London…here is another thing about me sewing for kids: I do the mom’s a favor of using inappropriately expensive or difficult to care for fabrics. If they’re good enough for me, why not them?? Let’s start the unrealistic social coditioning for little girls early! I make corduroy overalls that my nephew can get dirty and play in, while I make a precious dress for every little girl I know…
Actually this dress isn’t as bad as I make it sound. It is just cotton after all, which is what I normally say to talk myself out of buying Liberty prints in the first place, though they are expensive for good reason. This is their tana lawn, a fine, light cotton that is so smooth and flawless that it’s almost silky, which my inner fabric geek can’t help marveling over. Early in my fabric development career I had a boss and mentor who would always remark during appointments with our Italian mills on how beautiful their cotton poplins and sateens were, which at the time I thought was bizarre. I could get excited about gold brocade or silk velvet but plain cotton poplin? Was she kidding?? But 10 years later, I get it. There are so many problems and risks involved in the fabric making process, from the raw cotton fibers coming from the plants, to the way the goods are rolled up and packaged, to the climate of the shipping containers it sits on going to the factory. A pristine, uncontaminated, smooth length of fabric, evenly dyed, perfectly finished, every yarn aligned exactly on grain…for someone like me, it’s the equivalent of birthing a healthy baby. The fabric is only half of the point in buying a print from Liberty, though.
The other half is the printing. Both the complexity and perfection of the printing execution and the distinct aesthetic of the exclusive artwork is what drives the cost upward of $30 yard at retail. It’s the sort of thing you could live your whole life not being aware of, but once you see it you can’t help comparing it to others of lesser quality.
Ok, back to the project… This is a little reversible sundress from Sew Baby #F726. I used little pearl snaps so it could be truly reversible and not just contrast lined. I also used the print to make a binding on the underpants instead of just a folded over casing for the elastic. It’s an all-in one half circle wrap, which I actually had to cut on the cross grain and put a seam down in the middle because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it normally. Here it is laid out flat on my work table.
And below are some front and back views of it, sans Mya. I hope her mom can get me a photo of it on Mya, which is actually a very rare thing for me to have of my projects for the kids in my life.
As the title of this installment suggests, I am about to post a series of projects I’ve made for children, not just this feature on Mya’s dress. I wanted to wait and see if I could have more pics of the kids wearing them, but I figure the timing would cause a crunch with other posts leading up to Me Made May. I am working on posting some projects on my BurdaStyle.com page, a website that sells downloadable sewing patterns and also serves as a sewing community with tutorials, contests, etc. I use a lot of their patterns, most which I have already featured here, and also others I didn’t wear for Me Made May ’15 or have completed since last year. It’s a lot to keep me busy, but also plenty to be excited about!