Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Melissa's Blue Dress

I made this dress for my favorite then-nine-year-old niece (incidentally, my ONLY niece) last July. She needed a dress to wear to a wedding and an exhaustive search for the right one in the right color and in the appropriate style yielded nothing. Melissa is too large for regular kid's sizes and too young for teen styles. They also couldn't find the blue that was the color theme of the wedding. The wedding was days away and her parents were getting worried, so I volunteered to make the dress.

I used something called Italian Taffeta in a beautiful iridescent blue, some cotton lace I had in my stash to edge the neck line and sleeve hems and two packs of white bias tape for the hem. The taffeta was thin so I underlined the bodice with flour sack cotton (I know, it sounds like it's rough and scratchy like burlap. My friends were kinda horrified when I told them, but the cotton was soft and absorbent. I love it and I want to make a blouse out of what's left of my stash someday)  

The pattern I used for this dress was the Girl's 1780 Portrait Dress Pattern by Sense and Sensibility Patterns. I thought it was the perfect style for her and really appropriate for the wedding. It's age appropriate, it's modest, it's versatile and most of all, it's historical! I love that e-patterns are now available for people like me who don't have access to paper patterns that seem to be so ubiquitous in the States. Printing them out and putting them together is fun and hardly takes any time (but your mileage may vary. I ENJOY putting e-patterns together. I have a system and everything. Derp.)

Miss Juliana Willoughby by George Romney 1781-1783
Sewing this dress was easy but it had its challenges. I had a little difficulty with the sleeves because I'm not used to the way the sleeves were drafted. The shape was strange to me because I'm used to modern sleeves, but I was able to figure it out. Other than that, it was a pleasant and easy pattern to work with. The instructions were clear and straightforward. 

Melissa had a lot of input while I was making this dress. She approved of the fabric, picked the fabric color and had the idea of putting that particular style of cotton lace on the neckline and sleeves. She asked me a lot of questions about sewing and construction and was as patient as a saint while I was doing her fitting. She also decided to omit the white sash we planned to tie around her waist.

My Melissa looked lovely wearing it. 

She's on her way here from Manila as I type. I cannot wait to see her and work on another dress!


Jan Mitchelle said...

Hello there pretty! :)
I am having my first giveaway. :) You might win awesome COSMETIC ORGANIZERS! ^_^
I am hoping for your participation. ^_^
Here is the link: http://thepiinkrouge.blogspot.com/2012/11/novemberrific-giveaway.html
Thank you so much! God Bless :)
Follow my blog. Will SURELY followed you back!<3 :)

Much Love!

Mahala said...

Eeeeeee, Mochi is the prettiest princess.

Wendy said...

Oooh what a beautiful dress and such a beautiful little girl! Just adorable! :)

Lyra said...

Thank you so much, ladies! <3 She is an adorable little girl, I love her to pieces! <3

Manohar singh Jodhpur said...

Hell yes! A poorly written cardboard sign! I assume that its accuracy isn't inversely related to the level of penmanship. Better write the BBB and my congressman right away. Bollywood replica outfits for men