2.02.2014

KCW :: Happy Homemade : Sew Chic Kids - Dress with Frilled Shoulders

For Kids Clothes Week, I had, let's call them soft plans for making a dress or two this past week.  Then, last Sunday, we had some water damage to our floors.  In an instant, sewing dropped to the bottom of the old priority list.  This week our house felt like a mix between Grand Central Station and a zoo.  People were in and out.  Fans were running, a massive dehumidifier was dehumidifying. Baseboards were pulled.  After a day or two, it was evident that some of our wood floors were permanently damaged.  But because of the way they were installed and because this particular line of flooring had been discontinued, almost all of the floors on our main level would need to be pulled and replaced.  So, yeah, this week was pretty much mayhem.

When these things happen, I really try not to get too stressed out about it.  Our insurance compay is covering it.  None of our personal belongings were damaged.  It will all be fine.  Our kids are like sponges, soaking up every drop of the emotional energy we're putting out there, the good and the bad.  It doesn't take long to create a soured emotional environment, which only makes everything so much worse, so much harder.  Dan and I tried our best to set the tone by staying relaxed and positive.  But by Friday, as I was exhausted and looking ahead to spending a weekend of us moving many of our belongings upstairs, organizing and covering/taping things off, all with four kids underfoot.

So, late Friday evening I turned to sewing as a coping mechanism.  :)  I reminded myself that all would be well, even if I took a couple of hours off to sew.  So I did (and it was).  I sewed an already-cut project from Happy Homemade : Sew Chic Kids - A Dress with Frilled Shoulders for Ms. Tarikua.  It was pretty much exactly what I needed to do to decompress after a chaotic week. 

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders

Having sewn a Japanese pattern before, I was more prepared going in this time.  I was careful when adding seam allowances.  I was ready for instructions that left me somewhat bewildered, but then impressed with how much can be understood by simply looking at an illustration.
kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders

I was really happy with how quickly and easily this dress came together.  I think I might just have a thing for these Japanese patterns!

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders


Tia's measurements didn't quite line up with those listed in the book.  She was measuring between a size 2 and size 4.  After making a muslin of the yoke to get an idea of fit, I went for the size 4 and hoped for the best.  

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders

The fit was great, long even.  I ended up taking about 2 inches off of the bottom of the dress before hemming it.

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders

I love stripes and I love dots, but I didn't know I would them so much together.  (Isn't that a longstanding fashion no-no?).  I bought the fabric here.  I haven't found a fabric print that I love this much in a long time.

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders


 It was quite thin - it felt most like a double gauze even though it's a linen/cotton blend.  Also you could kind of see through it, so I (fully) lined it with my trusty cotton couture in soft white.


I cut the yoke so the stripes ran horizontally, the skirt so the stripes ran vertically and the sleeves (or 'frills' as they're apparently called) on the bias.

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders

Playing with stripes like that makes me practically giddy.  I get far too much enjoyment from it.

I was really unsure about how the two button loops would work out.  I contemplated creating a button placket instead.  But I was under these time constraints given the aforementioned issue of having a lot of work ahead of us, so I needed to stick with quick and dirty.  I was really happy with how the loops looked in the end.  I sewed on some red buttons for a little extra color.

kids clothes week : happy homemade dress with frilled shoulders (back)

After reading your very helpful comments on knits, I ordered a yard of a Lillestoff knit fabric on Etsy with aspirations to make a coordinating pair of leggings to match this dress.  I am still waiting for that fabric to arrive, which I guess worked out well given that there wasn't time for me to make them anyway.  Soon, though, I hope - and I will definitely report back!

I like this dress.  I enjoyed sewing it.  Tarikua loved it.  My other kids liked having a (mostly) chilled out mama.  And we still got everything done... with time to spare!  I call that a win all around.
tarikua, my beauty

30 comments:

  1. This dress turned out great! I love that fabric too. I hope the floors and moving things up and down goes well.

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    1. Thanks! We got almost everything moved up on Saturday. It was definitely a team effort. It turned out that at ages 9 and 6, Jude and Indigo were useful little helpers. :) I also took the kids to the park (where I took these photos) and Dan was able to get so much done while we were away.

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  2. Beautiful dress! The fabric is gorgeous. I've been meaning to try this pattern and now I definitely will!

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    1. good for you! you won't be disappointed (as long as your okay with cryptic instructions). :)

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  3. It looks wonderful. Love the spotty stripes!

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  4. What a pretty dress, I love its fluency, looks mega comfi too! And I'm sorry for the stress you've had this past week, big thumbs up for the way you're handling it!

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    1. Thanks, Eva Maria. We're doing our best... which goes farther some days than others. :)

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  5. Oh no! I love your wood floors! I guess at least it was cold so you don't have to worry about deadly mold spores? LOVE this material. And the striped leggings from the previous post. They create such a fun, party vibe!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! About a third of our floors are only about 1 1/2 years old, too! The good thing is we learned a thing or two the first time around (like don't trust them to do all of the taping/covering of your belongings unless you want to spend hours wiping dust off of everything you own!). :)

      I love that M sits like that, too. I would love to take photos of him. He has so much personality. :)

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    2. I'd love for you to take pictures of him, too. :) Your kid pictures are so awesome! Like something from a magazine.

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  6. P.S. The pic of Tia sitting on the tree stump: Markus sits in exactly that pose often when he's playing on the floor... ;-)

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  7. it's SO cute! i've had that pattern on my "to make" list forever and haven't ever gotten around to it. it's adorable though. sorry about your floors - good thing insurance is covering it!!!

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  8. Rachel, we are living parallel lives right now (except for the part that has me in 3 feet of snow and you photographing Tarikua outside in a sleeveless dress!). We are in the middle of a major kitchen remodel - floors torn up, walls torn down - and just had new wood floors laid last week with all the fun sanding to look forward to later this week. Point being, I completely empathize with your need to escape to your sewing machine just to get away from the chaos of it all. A little bit of normalcy in the midst of chaos. And wanted to also say I'm so sorry to hear about the damage to your floors - what a pain:( (thought you display a great attitude!)
    That dress! I've made in once, but without the frills, in a pink gingham and changed the direction on the bodice as well. So fun that way! It looks stunning - what a terrific fabric and of course Tarikua just rocks it in these photos:) Yay for a successful Japanese pattern experience!

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    1. ha! our weather has been cold (for us) here, too. lots of windy days in the 30s and 40s with grey skies. the day i took those photos was kind of a weather fluke and actually, i took them on that day in part for that very reason - i knew i wouldn't have a chance at outdoor photos again for while. :) but i also took all four kids to the park when i took those, which gave Dan time alone at home to get a lot of stuff done. he's a machine and wow, it's amazing how much anyone can get done in a house without the kids around, right? :) But he is particularly efficient.
      as much as i know it falls squarely under 'first world problems' - boy, remodels are really hard. we did a kitchen remodel in June of 2012 that turned into a much bigger remodel as a plethora of problems were discovered. kind of like a classic episode of an HGTV (nightmare) remodel. gas leaks, dry rot in two of our bathrooms, a plumbing error that caused our bathtub to leak gallons of water through our ceiling, not properly draping when jackhammering our tile causing us to have a layer of white dust on every single thing we owned. it was supposed to be a 10 day remodel (max) and ended up taking over a month. it was actually really, really stressful. i tried to have a good attitude but by the end, i was totally baked. my attitude definitely needed some work at that point.

      i hope your remodel goes much better than ours did! :)

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    2. I chuckled with your "first world problem" comment, as that's the exact phrase I've been using when my friends ask how I'm doing with the remodel. It feels so selfish to be complaining about remodeling our kitchen, as we're blessed to be able to do so. But wow - it's a pain! We're having the floors sanded and restained this week, and consequently have to all move to the basement for three days (our bedrooms are on the main floor that's being done). Yipee - family sleepover:) I'm so sorry to hear of your disastrous remodel! Was it worth it in the end? Hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in it, but hopefully you now love your kitchen and those icky days are but a distant memory:)

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    3. i think our remodel was a different situation than most. our appliances were on their last leg(s?) and we knew the kids' bathrooms had some dry rot, but we didn't know the extent of the problems. it was my husband who really wanted to do the remodel and i was just along for the ride. but the problems were far worse than we thought and one contractor ruined our upstairs floors, too. we pretty much ended up doing a whole house remodel, which was not in the plans. one week turned into one month, in which we lived in a tiny apartment, in 100 degree weather, with four kids ages 7 and under, including a baby who didn't sleep well... it was very hard. then, for the next few months people were in and out of the house (seemingly coming RIGHT at the baby's naptime, waking her up - always!). so yeah, i definitely would not recommend that to anyone, unless they were 100% behind it. but if i had been at a different stage where my kids were older and doing something like that might have been fun - (as fun as it can be), then it would have totally been worth it. and the results were very beautiful. i am sure your experience will be much better than ours!

      happy sleepover! :)

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  9. So sorry to hear about the water/floor issue... 2 weeks ago, the hose to my washing machine mysteriously popped out of it's hole and flooded our (brand new, as in 3 months old) play room and bamboo floors. It was kind of hysteria as we gathered every towel in the house to clean it up. Luckily there was no damage, but we had fans running for days too! Anyway, back to that adorable dress- it's perfect! I love the dot and stripe combo, and I especially love the closure at the back. Really sweet, Rachel!

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    1. oh man! i am so glad you were able to get it all cleaned up! about 1/3 of our floors that are being replaced are pretty new, too - about a year and a half old. the good thing is we're more prepared this time, having just had them replaced and all. :)

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  10. The dress is adorable- love those frills! I was a little worried about the buttons too, but ended up loving them! And hope things are returning to normal in the house. You have a great attitude and I need to do a better job not letting my worry creep into my parenting.

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  11. Oh, that stripe-and-spot print is just adorable. Sorry to hear you've been having a hectic time, I hope the floors are all fixed soon.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your home! I hope everything gets fixed soon.
    I think you already know that, like you, I am a big Sew Chic Kids fan. But, what a coincidence, I have also that exact same fabric on my etsy wish list. Now I think I will have to buy it (as soon as the shop opens again)...

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    1. Marta, she's back from vacation now. And it actually looks like it's less expensive now than when i ordered it. woot! :)
      hugs!
      rachel

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  13. I love the dress. the fabric is gorgeous and Tarikua looks perfect in it. I've got this book to and can't wait to make it. I have the English translated version which I'm sure makes things worse as the I'm better off not understanding the instructions at all, rather than cryptic brief ones.
    Sorry about your house, good on you for finding time to get some enjoyment in and I think you know what I'm going to say about that husband of yours....;)

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  14. Love the dress...as I love all the things you sew. PLEASE, PLEASE tell me where you got Tia's shoes. Hsin-Hua must have them!!!

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    1. Hi Heather! Thanks so much! I bought those shoes on Zulily for only $10! I've looked to see where you might be able to find them, but I can't find them anywhere online anymore. They are called Brown Mause Mary Janes. (Mouse spelled Mause - that's not a typo). :) Good luck! And thanks again for the kind words, too. :)

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  15. I'm so sorry about your water damage, although it seems like you kept a really great attitude throughout. Kids sure are sensitive to our emotional responses! I just love Tia's dress! Such a sweet pattern, and that fabric is adorable! I love stripes and spots too ;) Sewing is so therapeutic. I've been missing it in our transition to life here, but we have basically no furniture, so it's a bit difficult to sew. Also, I left my fabrics behind, and the busy prints here take some getting used to. Lovely, lovely dress! Xoxo

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