As soon as the Juliette dress pattern was released, I knew I wanted to make one for Iris. It's not often that I sew with Liberty lawn, but for this dress, it just felt right. But before the fabric arrived, I realized that, of all of my girls, Iris had the most dresses. So I tabled the dress (literally and figuratively) and decided to make a few outfits for my other girls first.
I always have lots of ideas brewing about what I hope to accomplish and had a long list of summer sewing goals. But my kids were sick a lot this summer - not all at once, but one at at time. Nearly every week, one of my kids has been sick. Combine that with the fact that Hazel gave up naps about a month ago, and my sewing time has been sparse.
I have found knitting to be a more practical and calming hobby during this season of caring for my little ones (and sick ones!) with a spirited, non-napping toddler always by my side. I can pick it up and knit a row here and there, without having to worry about Hazel grabbing my pins or rotary cutter. Learning knitting has been an exciting discovery in its own right.
Now it's already August and this fabric and pattern that I purchased back in May did, in fact, finally get made into a dress.
Iris is a string bean which means always modifying patterns to fit her long and lean body type. She's almost 6, but I cut the size 4 in width and then used the slash-and-spread method to add the length of the size 7.
I wanted the ruffle to be less gathered, so I cut the size 3 ruffle. I also wanted it to be a bit longer than the one I saw on the pattern, so I added an inch to the length. If I were to make this dress again, I'd like the ruffle to be even less gathered than it is, especially in the back. I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to making pattern modifications, so I'm not sure how I would make it less gathered while maintaining the curve and shape of the neckline. Do any of you sewing whizzes know how I'd do that?
The pattern came together beautifully. I love the addition of the pockets and the bias binding at the neckline. I chose the bias ties as my closure method (vs a button loop) and I love the charm of this method. I had previously never finished a neckline in this way.
The sleeveless version of this dress has facings. I appreciate the option to finish a garment without having to line it. It's cooler for our hot summers here in Texas. Also, I find dress linings can be a pain to iron. But I'm personally not a fan of underarm facings. They never lay right for me and are so difficult to iron even though I understitch them. So I ripped the seams and changed out the facing with bias binding instead. I had forgotten how much love the look of seams finished with bias binding. (Here's an example.)
This summer, Indigo and I have been taking weekly(ish) knitting lessons. While we were away last Sunday afternoon, Dan was doing some organizing and found a floral crown making kit that I had bought for one of the girls for her birthday. They were so excited by this discovery and immediately got to work making their floral crowns.
Iris has been wearing hers ever since.