I landed on this pattern, Burda Peter Pan Collar Dress #138 to try first.
Did you know that Burda has PDF patterns? And they're only $6 each.
The pattern prints in a way that you don't have to cut away any paper edges to tile them. That's pretty slick! You can tape the pattern together in no time. But you do need to add seam allowances. Not a huge deal, but a little inconvenient to have to tile a pattern and add seam allowances.
I sewed the dress in a linen from Joann's. After trying out a lot of different kinds of linen, I have come to the conclusion that Joann's is the best. It's soft, unlike some linens which get hard or even scratchy when line-dried. Also, they don't wrinkle as much as some of the other linens I've tried. I have a tendency to leave my clean laundry in a basket for a long time before folding. So much ironing. When will I ever learn?
Joann linen isn't cheap (price or quality). The main fabric was $19/yard, but Joann's almost always has 50% off coupons (mobile ones, too) and the yardage is much wider than the typical 42-44" yardage that you get when you buy quilting cottons. So it's definitely worth it and really, a great value. I'm thrilled Joann's is carrying high quality linen that lasts. (These napkins are still going strong!)
You can't tell from the photos, but the fabric stripes came topstitched with silvery metallic thread. It gives the dress a beautiful but very subtle shimmer that reminded me of being on a white sand beach. I paired it with brown linen for the collar because the linen reminded me of a coconut which seemed to suit the light, airy, beachy feel. :)
And check out the drape of this linen.
It lays so beautifully. Alicia Paulson mentioned that adding a wide 3-inch hem helps everything hang right, so I decided to give it a try. That may have been part of it. But this linen really is spectacular. It almost feels like a double gauze.
I keep meaning to mention how much I continue to love Wondertape. I use it to keep zippers in place before sewing them on, and man, that stuff is magic! The zipper stays perfectly in place and I can be sure the top stops are even and that the zipper isn't twisted before I sew it in place. I have definitely had to rip out and redo my fair share of zippers, so this is an amazing discovery for me. :)
Indigo and I went to take photos by a fence in our neighborhood when we discovered this field of wildflowers in bloom. Incidentally, the very same thing happened last year.
Indigo is a a nature lover and spends hours outside every day, building fairy houses, working in the garden or just playing. She loves flowers, so she was in heaven being surrounded by all of these bluebonnets. She could have stayed here for hours. I just sat back and quietly snapped away as she did her thing.
It felt enchanted, really. Like something out of a fairy tale.
Kids are so awesome. We adults might give the wildflowers an appreciative glance whereas kids just get in there and enjoy and experience them.
I've read that some people feel blog or Instagram photos make life seem too perfect. I disagree, in part because I know that no one's life is perfect. But also because I feel almost the opposite is true. I believe it's actually quite difficult to adequately capture the beauty and sentiment in these everyday moments on camera. It takes lots and lots of practice. I've been working at it for 3 1/2 years and I still often don't get it right. The camera just can't see like the human eye (or heart). And yet I'm thankful for the opportunity to try.
Have a happy weekend!