1.25.2017

The Janie Dress

I have a tendency to underestimate how long it will take to do pretty much anything.  Pack for vacation for a family of 7? I'd estimate that would take me about 45 minutes. Sewing Christmas nightgowns for each of my girls? An hour a piece.  And so forth.


I might even go so far as to say I radically underestimate how long it will take me to do just about anything.  I mention this because most of the sewing I have been doing this winter has been using fabric and project ideas I had from last winter, but never got to.



And so it was with this black and gold striped dress with a maroon collar.  This time it worked to my advantage, though, because over one year's time a pattern was released - the Janie dress - in exactly the idea I had envisioned.  This meant I didn't have to draft my own dress, working off of my existing patterns, which always makes things infinitely easier.


I was short on fabric because another thing I chronically underestimate is how much fabric I will need.  This often requires serious ninja skillz when cutting out my patterns. (I feel like I use similar logic when loading my dishwasher, never wanting to waste any of the precious and limited space.)  So I opted out of cutting the circle skirt, which I think was the best choice anyway given I was working with stripes.  Also Indigo is older now and isn't drawn to twirly anymore.


I left the hems raw because this fabric curled a lot, and I felt it worked!

Earlier in the week, I had a dress laying on my sewing table to be mended,  Hazel had wanted to wear it, but the button was broken.  It was one of the first dresses I had ever made for Indigo, when she was only 2 years old.  (I wrote a blog post about the dress here.)


Indigo saw it and held it in her hands and said, "Mom, I remember my childhood in dresses.  As I've gotten older, I have a hard time remembering what it was like to be really little.  But when I see the dresses I wore, I remember.   I remember wearing them. I remember being 2 again."


I shared this story on IG but wanted to share it here, too, because it was so powerful to me.  It amazes me that the fabrics and dress patterns we chose today are shaping future memories.  How cool is that?





14 comments:

  1. Oh, what a lovely story. It's because of that that I save a 2,5-2,5 inch piece of everything I sew for my daughter. One day it will be a Quilt to remember her childhood... and I will sew and finish it in about 3 hours. I swear! Ninja skilz included.
    The dress is lovely. What a beautiful fabric! And the pattern pairs so nicely with it! I'm so sorry that my elder daughter is growing out kids pattern now. No Janice Dress for us over here in freezing cold northern Germany...
    Love your blog! It's such a joy to me when I hop over and find a new post!

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    1. That quilt is such a cool idea! I'll have to keep that in mind for when I have kids myself.
      And about the fabric cutting / dishwasher loading: Rachel, we are so alike! Making the puzzle fit is my source of happiness ;)

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    2. That is amazing! What a treasure that quilt will be someday! Brilliant!

      And thank you for the kind words about my blog! It brings me so much joy to read them! <3

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    3. Eva - You go, girl! And yes, making the puzzle fit! I almost said those exact words in this blog post! {{high five!}}

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  2. I am currently sewing a skirt I was going to make last year 😉 I too think I can whip something up in one evening and then it takes me a week, a year later 😆 Indigo's dress turned out lovely. You obviously possess awesome ninja and sewing skills. Good call on the skirt.

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  3. I love this dress on Indigo, it's the perfect mixture of elegant and sweet just right for her age!

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  4. I love this dress and the fabric you chose! I want to make one for blandine and hope to tackle it during winter break. I loved what Indigo said about her dresses. Isn't it so moving? I think it is so true and I think it is one of the reasons why I love sewing for my family too. Fabrics, colors, textures and the love that it takes to make clothes or quilts will never be forgotten.

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  5. This is a really nice post. I often think about the positive energy I put into my garments, and I love when I pick up other people's makes and feel their energy. They invoke memories. It's also why I store my mother's knitted gifts: I can feel her with me when I hold them.

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    1. That is so beautiful, Heather! Thanks for sharing! <3

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  6. What a perfect dress!! I love the burgandy collar! It's an unexpected but very elegant color. The fabrics are very understated, overall, something that you do so well!

    Ah, that makes me feel a little guilty about passing all of Maggie's dresses onto friends instead of keeping them! But we don't have a basement or garage for storage, so I just don't have the space to keep them. Maybe photographs will serve as a similar reminder. Indigo is a wise young woman.

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  7. Such a beautiful dress with the perfect collar. And lovely to know that the things we make can hold memories for our children......

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  8. This dress is perfect for Indigo! (who is turning into such a lovely young lady!!) I am awful about estimating as well. A girlfriend told me that the proper formula is to take how long you think it will take, then multiply by 9 and that should be about right ;-) I don't think I am normally *quite* that far off though... I love that what you've sewn for her can help remember who she was and how she felt when she wore it. Precious!! I recently joined instagram - I will have to find you there :-)
    many blessings ~ Tracy

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  9. This is a lovely dress! Those colours really float my boat. I'm with Inder, in that I photograph and document everything but just can't hang on to it. I love the idea that my hand me downs are making memories for some other kids somewhere.
    I remember dresses from my childhood and there's a few I'm itching to recreate one day...

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