Fireworks Fourth Dress

Posting only 2 weeks after the holiday! Our life has just been too busy lately. With what? If you’re interested, you can visit our family blog here.

I’ve never been a big one for holiday clothing. I like looking at it, I just don’t tend to make things for one specific day.

Except when my sweet 3 year old begs me and I happen to have all the supplies already in the house and 3 free hours before we have to be at a party. Then I’ll make an exception!

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It’s a fireworks dress! This is PERFECT for the fourth! Which is good, because it was completely NOT perfect for what it used to be – a shirtwaist dress for me that I’d tried and tried and tried to make perfect but just couldn’t make work. In the words of Project Runway, it looked “tortured.” It was technically finished except for buttons but it was never going to be worn anyway so I saved myself the trouble and made something for Grace.

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As soon as I saw this little flutter sleeve sundress pop up during 30 Days of Sundresses, I knew I would be making it. Probably a dozen times! It’s a simple peasant style dress with elastic at the waist. I added lace on the sleeves and hem to at a little detail. The red bow is safety pinned in place so I can remove it for washing.

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She’s a little ambivalent on this dress, mostly because it doesn’t have butterflies OR flowers on it. That’s basically a crime in her universe. This girl… she has an opinion! She’s currently in a 4T so I was able to use the PDF pattern available in the post instead of drafting a pattern myself (adding 3″ of length). Next time I’ll need to lower the armhole a little; she was tugging at it telling me “it BOTHERS!”

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This isn’t a look of pain, I promise! She’s singing some song and twirling in a circle, which is how she spends most days lately. It’s the best way to spend summer ❤

Details

Pattern: Girl’s flutter sleeve sundress from It’s Always Autumn

Fabric: navy print quilter’s cotton from Joann’s (in 2009); white cotton lace trim from Fabric.com

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Roller Skates Come in Pairs

So many good things come in pairs.

Pants.

Shoes

Twix bars.

Mittens.

Chopsticks.

And… ROLLER SKATES!

Back in the day, the Skate Corral was The. Place. to be. We’re talking the epitome of grade school coolness. For just a couple bucks you could spend hours skating in a circle inside a somewhat smelly cinderblock building that had essentially no ventilation with all your other cool seven year old buddies. And maybe popcorn if your mom sent an extra dollar.

Oh, the memories. The “classic” skating time where you could chat. The dice game that I still don’t understand, but someone won a soda. Partner skates (but NEVER with a boy. Boys had cooties). Hokey Pokey. Backwards skate. And that crazy skate that may or may not have had a name when they turned the lights off and the music loud, then ran the smoke machine and the disco ball.

In honor of all those nights (or afternoons… we were seven after all), I made Grace a pair of Roller Skate Dresses for spring. Just like that plain cinderblock building (which has since been bulldozed into a Lowe’s parking lot), this pattern may not look like much. Until you get started! I’m in love. It’s simple to sew with super clear directions – a given from Oliver + S. But once you get going there’s so much potential. Something as simple as fabric choice changes the look completely.

The “Classic” Skate

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This dress is straight from the pattern – view A, no changes except length. Any more, if I’m going to make a dress for Grace I’m going to make it really long. She’s growing like a weed!

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I love how regency-inspired this dress turned out. If anyone knows me, they know I’m more than a little fascinated by Jane Austen and the culture of that era. I’ve spent longer than I will confess to studying the fashion history of Regency Britain. I hadn’t started this project intending to make Grace a regency dress, but hey! The Roller Skate pattern skates that way, too!

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The outer is a white eyelet from my stash – I’m pretty sure it’s 100% cotton but I didn’t do any tests to confirm that. The baby blue lining is broadcloth, 65% poly 35% cotton. I’m crazy about the way the blue shows through the white. My plan is for this dress to be Grace’s church dress through spring and summer.

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Oh, and shorts out of leftover broadcloth. Because she’s a preschooler and thinks her tummy is cute and the whole world needs to see it.

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The “Crazy” Skate

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Same pattern, completely different dress. Introducing: view B with several key modifications. First, I added a hem band at the bottom. This serves two purposes – to lengthen it a little in a different way, and to keep me from having to hem. I don’t know why I hate hemming so much. It also makes the hem very strong for when she does things like this:

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The other big modification is that I only lined the bodice of the dress. This is a summer play dress. Our summers get pretty hot and extremely humid. I decided that one less layer would make Grace a happier girl. To achieve this, I cut the pattern off 1/2” below the lower casing line. I turned that ½” up with my iron then sewed the casing per pattern directions, which placed the lower line just at the edge of the lining.

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Grace picked the fabric, can you tell? It’s from Anne Kelle’s Urban Zoologie line. I’ve had it around for about a year but couldn’t decide what to sew with it. The dress is crazy bright, but so is my little girl. Never a dull moment around here!

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There will probably be more Roller Skate dresses in my future. I started out just wanting to get my use out of the pattern before Grace outgrows it but now I’m in love. It’s easy to sew and easy to wear. I’d love to make her a tunic version to wear over capris, but Grace is still in her hating pants phase. That’s ok – dresses are awesome anyway 🙂

Details

Pattern: Roller Skate Dress from Oliver + S. White – view A. Cats – view B

Fabric: White: Eyelet from unknown source. Blue broadcloth from Joann’s

Cats: Anne Kelle Urban Zoologie Cats in Spring colorway, from Fabric.com (not available). Pink quilter’s cotton from stash