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Posts Tagged ‘sewing for kids’

swingset tunic -- probably actually

It’s been hot hot hot around here. Time for some summer clothes.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-6

Seeing Lucinda’s latest Swingset Tunic in all its summery, polka-dot glory got me thinking about Swingset pattern, and then in walks that awesome Abe Lincoln Swinget Tunic that only Tara could’ve come up with. And despite the fact that Lila has a closet full of Swingset Skirts (1,2,3,4,5), I had never really considered trying the top. Why?? I dunno, but there was no time to waste, because this pattern maxes out at size 5.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-8

I’ve been having these moments of panic lately about Lila sizing out of almost every single pattern I own, especially my Oliver + S patterns, which I’ve spent years collecting in the smaller size range. If only I could magically trade them in for the bigger sizes. I feel the need to make everything one last time, (or for the first time, as the case may be) before all is lost. Dramatic, I know.

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I chose this little floral print called Ladylike Black Tea from Pat Bravo’s Carnaby St. line (purchased here). I’m pretty much basing all of my summer fabric choices on these yellow Saltwater Sandals.

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The bodice is lined with Michael Miller Cotton Couture, in Citrus I believe.

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Speaking of the lining, the only thing I didn’t love about this pattern was how the bodice was finished inside – it wasn’t quite as neat and tidy as other Oliver + S patterns. I really like the top though – I can’t believe I waited so long and missed out on years of Swingset Tunics. Clearly Lila is in despair over it, too.

swingset tunic -- probably actually-5

The good news is that the size 5 came out pretty roomy, so maybe it’s not the end of the road for this pattern after all. Kids mostly grow up and not out at this age anyway, right?

a swingset tunic -- probably actually

Okay, that’s it for now.

I leave you with two kids in a tub of rainbow rice.

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And in other news…

Last week’s Make It Perfect pattern giveaway goes to #91, Patricia! Toni will be in contact soon to hook you up with your free pattern.

And if you’re fabric shopping this weekend, LiMa Sews has a 20% off sale going on through July 21st with the code “JULY2014″ – good stuff over there, check it out!

 

 

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MIP mini poppy -- probably actually

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have a long-time affinity for Make it Perfect Patterns. Over the past several years I’ve made the Uptown Girl Jacket, the Serendipity Coat, the Frothy Skirt, the Mini Shearwater Kaftan, the Zip-It, and now the Mini Poppy. See? I’m a fan! When Toni asked me to join her pattern parade, I knew I wanted to make the Mini Poppy – I’ve had the pattern traced and ready to sew for over a year, so this was the perfect opportunity. Of course now I had to trace the next size up, but luckily it’s just four pattern pieces!

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-4As the “mini” suggests, this pattern is based on Toni’s Poppy Tunic pattern for women. And if I ever sewed for myself I’d make one of those, too.

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Once again I used Andover Chambray, in Navy this time. I’ve now sampled four of the 25 colors and have no plans to stop there. The contrast fabric is Sprinkles in Indigo from Dear Stella’s Oh Happy Day line, purchased at Bolt. I love those sprinkles – Lila still wears her Sprinkles Swingset skirt and I had no idea this print came in another color until I saw it on the shelf. Pretty much any fabric covered in colorful spots is right up my alley, so I had to have some.

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This is a size 5, and it’s pretty roomy, but I think it will make a nice fall dress with a shirt and leggings underneath. Unfortunately I mixed up my tracings and cut a size 4 skirt, so I moved the hems around a little to add some length, but it will certainly work as a tunic as she gets taller. Like most of Toni’s girls’ patterns, this pattern is available in two size ranges: 0-5 and 6-10.

MIP mini poppy -- probably actually-8

So I think the reason I sat on this pattern for so long is that I have a bit of an aversion to making bias tape, and there’s quite a bit to be made. It always ends up being worth the effort, but I kind of hate the whole process – I find it tedious and time consuming and it just fills me with all-around dread. Those Clover bias tape makers do expedite things, though – I have them in two different sizes, but not the size I needed for this project. So I made it the old fashioned way, with burned fingertips, and in 90 degree heat. But I really do love how it looks – it frames the yoke so nicely, and the front ties are awfully cute as well. Don’t be scared off. :)

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Would you like to try a Make it Perfect pattern? One lucky winner can choose any PDF pattern from Toni’s vast collection. To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post (you can tell me which pattern you’d choose, or whatever). The giveaway is open through this Friday, July 11th, and I’ll pick a winner sometime next week.

((Giveaway is now closed!))

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For lots of great Make it Perfect pattern inspiration, check out the rest of the tour, which is going on through the month of July.

MIP Pattern Parade Button

The Make It Perfect Pattern Parade Virtual Catwalk introduces…

 

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Did you sew along last week?

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I’ve had my copy of Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids (the English version of Happy Homemade, Vol.2) since Christmas, but despite the translation, I’ve been too chicken to try anything. The hoodie was number one on my list, and as with every new pattern I make, a thorough inspiration-seeking Flickr image search was performed. I discovered through some comments that the neck facing had tripped a few people up, so I emailed Shelley of Bartacks and Singletracks for some pointers. She kindly passed along all her helpful notes, and then a week or so later, Cherie and Meg announced they’d be hosting a Happy Homemade Kids sew-along with that very pattern. And so, no more excuses, here I am.

I actually sewed a little bit each day, right along with their schedule. It’s rare I sew that way, but I really enjoyed pacing myself.

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I wasn’t sure I could sell Lila on this pattern, so I made the hoodie for the less opinionated of the two.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-9

The fabric is from Dear Stella’s Sunburst Stripes collection. I really like these stripes – the range of colors is great, and basics like this are so useful. Mine came from LiMa Sews, where you can find four of the colors – I used Smoke.

Both Meg and Cherie added kangaroo pockets to their hoodies, and they obviously know what’s up, so I did the same.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-5

I cut the pocket with the stripes going in the opposite direction, but it’s not very noticeable since they’re so thin. Please go ahead and notice it, though, because the whole thing came out a little plain in my opinion.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-6

The hood didn’t end up being all that functional – it doesn’t come forward far enough to fit properly, and it pulls at the back of the parka when it’s up. Meg angled hers forward for more coverage, which I’d recommend if you want it to serve as an actual hood. I don’t so much mind a decorative hood, though – it looks pretty cute just hanging there.

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-7

I probably would’ve lined my hood had I used some other fabric, but I couldn’t come up with a good match for the stripes. Plus, I finally got my serger going (another Christmas gift that went too long unused), so at least the inside is properly finished.

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The patterns in this book are made for kids aged 3-9, but the smallest size (2) fits Oscar, who’s an over-sized 19 month-old, relatively well – it’s definitely on the big side, but totally wearable.

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I love the designs in this and other Japanese pattern books, but I have to say, I’m not a huge fan trying to make sense of sparse directions – I’m pretty sure Liesl has completely ruined me for sewing with Japanese patterns! And I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why any pattern wouldn’t include seam allowances. So yeah, I’d have to be really motivated by a great design (of which there are many, admittedly) for this type of sewing to become a regular thing. Or maybe I’ll just join in on another sew-along – hopefully there are more to come!

happy homemade hoodie -- probably actually-2

Anyway, thanks to Cherie and Meg for walking me through my very first Japanese pattern! Check out the Happy Homemade Kids sew-along if you’re like me and don’t want to bumble through these cool patterns on your own – it was really helpful and fun to join in!

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Lila graduated from preschool yesterday.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually

It seemed like a pretty big deal, so I made her a new dress.

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It’s her second Oliver + S Hide-and-Seek dress – we’re both really fond of the first one, which has been in heavy rotation since March. This is very much that same dress – chambray, size 4 (this time I added a 1/2 inch in length), short sleeves, no notch – it all seemed to work last time, so I didn’t want to risk it by making too many changes.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-15The fun thing about this pattern, though, (besides the genius welt pockets) is that you can do something special with yoke, which is framed so nicely by the side panels and skirt. The yoke on this dress was pieced from a striped shot cotton (Kaffe Fassett’s Broad Stripe in Bliss), which I purchased at Bolt a few months ago with this very dress in mind. Rather than cutting the front yoke piece on the fold, I cut two pieces on the bias (with an added 1/4 inch seam allowance on either side) and pieced them together to form the V.

1 rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually

Now, I’m no quilter, and while I suppose point matching isn’t rocket science, I did manage to butcher my entire 1/2 yard trying to get those stripes to line up just right. My first attempts were laughably off, and even when I got the pieces cut out correctly, they didn’t especially want to match up – shot cotton has some stretch even on the grain, so it wasn’t terribly cooperative on the bias. But I tried, tried again, and it all came together well enough in the end.

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-9And happily I was able to use the few remaining scraps to eke out some striped pockets.

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I used the same Andover chambray as the last dress, this time in Denim. There’s so much to love about this fabric – the weight, the drape, the texture – it’s great for clothing and I pretty much want to use it to sew all the things. Luckily it comes in so many great colors that maybe nobody would notice if I did? The thought has crossed my mind.

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So that’s it. Lila’s career as a preschooler is officially over. We went from this, her first day of preschool two years ago:

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To this, her very last day:

last day -- probably actually

She had such a happy year at school, and is so ready for Kindergarten, whether I’m ready for it or not. And no graduation is complete without a cheesy senior portrait to commemorate it all. It would’ve been better had she been peeking out from behind the tree (or maybe side lying with a tuba), but this one will have to do…

rainbow hide-and-seek -- probably actually-8

 

 

 

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lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-2

As you may have heard, Rae‘s lovely new line for Cloud 9 Fabrics, Lotus Pond, is now available in all its glory!

LotusPond-600-wideThe prints and colors are so happy and summery, and I had (and still have!) so many ideas for what to make. But in the end I couldn’t get the bucket hats out of my head. I mean, picture a kid down by the pond on a summer day, catching butterflies and snails and frogs, and try to tell me you don’t see a bucket hat on that kid’s head. Right? Anyway, there was that, and the fact that both of my kids happened to need new summer hats. So there you go.

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-4

The weight and feel of this fabric is perfect, and Cloud 9 prints on organic cotton which makes me feel all happy inside. I chose two of the larger scale prints, which I like for hats because you don’t have to worry about anything matching up at the side seams or the print looking straight along the curved brim. And I love those blues together.

There are some fabulous boy-friendly prints in this line. I went with Lily Pond for Oscar.

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And Lila’s is Meadow Blossoms in Blue.

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-3

The pattern comes from Liesl Gibson’s Little Things to Sew book, but it’s also available as a free download on the Oliver + S website. I’ve made it year after year (Lila’s hat from two years ago still fits, but a new one was in order) – it’s quick and easy and fits well. I widened the brim on Lila’s, same as last time, by one inch all around – inspired by none other than Jessica of A Little Gray. More sun coverage and more big sunhat floppiness. And I’m a big fan of avoiding hand sewing whenever possible, so I used the “look, no hand stitching!” technique (Jessica again!) to construct both hats. A pleasure to sew, even two in a row!

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-12

Another nice thing about the pattern is its reversible-ness. Lila’s hat reverses to Andover chambray in Mustard (same stuff I used for her Hide-and-Seek dress), and Oscar’s to good old Essex yard-dyed in Denim. I love that you get two hats in one with this pattern – one fun print, and one neutral solid.

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually-5

lotus pond bucket hats -- probably actually

And Oscar is wearing Lila’s first pair of Sailboat pants – finally a usable hand-me-down!

Okay, visit Made by Rae this week for lots of Lotus Pond inspiration – there’s a Lotus Pond Extravaganza in the works! Thanks to Rae and Cloud 9 for having me along!

 

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shearwater kaftan -- probably actually-3

Okay, it’s technically still KCW according to Pacific Standard Time, so I’m squeezing in this one final project – a Mini Shearwater Kaftan from Make it Perfect. Toni released this pattern (it’s a kids’ version of her Shearwater Kaftan pattern for women) a couple weeks ago and was kind enough to send me a copy.

shearwater kaftan -- probably actually-2

This is a comfortable, breezy shirt, perfect for spring. The sleeves can be worn long or rolled up and secured with sleeve tabs, which are my favorite part. It’s a digital pattern and comes in two size ranges (0-5 and 6-10) – I made a size 5, which was a good fit for Lila.

shearwater kaftan -- probably actually-6

Toni suggests something light and airy such as double gauze (like her beautiful Nani Iro version), voile, or lawn, and the minute I saw the pattern I thought of Palos Verdes voile from Cloud9 Fabrics. I’ve been drooling over this line for quite some time, and seeing and feeling it in real life only confirmed my belief that it’s positively divine.

shearwater kaftan -- probably actually-12

It was hard to choose from all the beautiful prints, but I went with Malaga Cove (from LiMa Sews – she has the whole line in stock). And if you’re looking for Palos Verdes inspiration, the new Oliver + S Lullaby Layette was made up in this voile for the pattern cover. It’s perfect.

shearwater kaftan -- probably actually-14

I was happy to discover that last year’s chambray Class Picnic Shorts still fit – they turned out to be a nice match. I think a pair of Sailboat pants would be awfully cute with this top, too.

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Incidentally, the weather has been glorious here. See? Sun.

shearwater kaftan -- probably actually-8

Bye KCW, see you this summer…

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silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually-7

I made this shirt two weeks ago, so it’s technically a cheater KCW project. But Liesl of Oliver + S just announced her collection of digital t-shirt patterns (kids’, women’s, and men’s – you can outfit the whole family!), and I was a tester for the kids’ version, the School Bus T-shirt pattern. I sewed up one for each kid, so I thought I’d share Lila’s today.

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually-10

The School Bus pattern is a basic t-shirt that comes with several options – three different sleeve lengths and two neckband widths. This is View B, with a more feminine, capped sleeve and a narrow neckband. Views A and C are your standard short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts. It’s so nice to have basics like this from trusted sources like Oliver + S – you always know just what you’re getting into, and it’s always something good. And as with all great basic patterns, the options for customization are endless.

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I sewed a size 5 and was really happy with the fit – it’s relaxed but not overly roomy, and the capped sleeves and narrow neckband definitely give View B a girlier feel.

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The silver dot knit came from a sale rack Old Navy tee. I don’t know if it was the fabric or the fact that I skipped the walking foot this time, but it sewed up like a dream.

silver dot school bus t-shirt -- probably actually

If you want more info on any of these new T-shirt patterns, check out Liesl’s introduction post on the the Oliver + S blog. Each pattern is available on its own, or you can purchase a “Family Pack” that includes all four (men’s, women’s, and two size ranges for kids). I’m looking forward to trying the women’s Metro T-shirt myself. After KCW, of course.

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Okay, Lila and I have collectively changed our minds. This is her birthday dress:

a hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually

She’s actually come around to her Garden Party dress and has agreed to wear it with a sweater, but she declared a strong dislike for its sleevelessness early on. I knew she wasn’t a fan of what she calls “half-quarter sleeves”, but I had no idea that a lack of sleeves would cause such heartache. Luckily, a Hide-and-Seek dress, complete with proper sleeves, was already in the works.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-13

I really enjoyed this pattern. For me, the Garden Party dress was the easiest to love at face value, but I could tell the Hide-and-Seek had great potential and I was excited to play with it.

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The dress has a contrast yoke with a gathered skirt, which together attach to side panels that run the length of the dress (or tunic, which is another option). You can choose short sleeves (shown here) or cuffed three-quarter sleeves. These sleeves were amazingly easy to set-in – hardly any easing necessary. I think it’s the first time in my entire sleeve-setting career that I didn’t have to bust out the seam ripper even once. It was glorious.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-23

One of my favorite features of the dress are the side seam welt pockets. I love how they look, and they were surprisingly simple to construct.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-6

2hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually

Like Liesl suggests, the yoke gives you a great opportunity to highlight a special fabric. I used a Japanese print from a line called Muddy Works by Tomotake for Kokka – it’s called Large Orbs and the color is an interesting mix of purple and gray. I found it locally, but all three colors of this print are available here. It only takes a half yard of fabric to accommodate the length of the yoke pieces, and you’ll have most of that half yard left over, so it’s not such a big deal to splurge on something special.

2hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-2

The mustard chambray is from Andover Fabrics. I’ve mentioned before that I’m always on the lookout for great chambrays – they are such versatile garment fabrics and have been a favorite of mine since I started sewing. Just about everything looks great made from chambray, and the available selection seems to have expanded quite a bit. LiMa Sews recently stocked the entire line of Andover chambrays – 18 different colors. I’ve seen them all in person and can attest to their loveliness. They have a nice weight to them, not too flimsy, but still plenty soft. It’s really good stuff.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-7

I know solid yellow probably isn’t the most practical choice for a little girls’ dress, but I loved the shade. Nice for almost-spring.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-5

And yes, this pattern was designed with a notch at the neckline, but what can I say – I think I’ve omitted the notch in almost every pattern that’s had one. It’s lovely with the notch, but you can easily leave it out – just a matter of preference.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-3

I sewed this dress in a size 4 – Lila is at the end of the height and weight range for a 4, but this one has a more relaxed fit, so I think sizing down was the way to go. I added an inch to the length as a precaution, but it ended up too long, so I took it back up an inch after hemming.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-26

Sorry about all the photos. The light was nice last night and I took too many. Plus, she only has six more days to be four years old.

hide-and-seek dress -- probably actually-10

Again, thanks to Liesl for providing this pattern, it was a pleasure to review!

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The spring Oliver + S patterns are here! And I couldn’t resist sewing all of them – they’re sooooo good! There are two dress patterns in the mix, and their arrival happened to coincide nicely with birthday sewing this year. Lila will be five next week, and like every year, a new birthday dress was in order.

garden party dress -- probably actually

This is the Garden Party dress, a lovely little party dress with a gathered bodice and skirt. It’s another a beautiful, clean design from Oliver + S – fun and girly without any crazy frills. Perfectly suited to my style.

garden party dress -- probably actually-9

The dress can be made sleeveless or with cap sleeves, and there’s a blouse option as well. The construction was simple and straightforward, and true to Oliver + S form, everything came together beautifully and without a hitch. I made a size 4 and lengthened it by one inch – I think it turned out roomy and long enough to fit for a good while.

garden party dress -- probably actually-8

The back has a keyhole opening, and the button closes with a thread chain. This was my first attempt at a thread chain – there’s a tutorial on the Oliver + S blog, but if your brain is anything like mine and needs a visual real-time demonstration for all new skills, this video did the trick for me.

garden party dress -- probably actually-2

Also – it you’re going to make the sleeveless version, I might suggest hand finishing the bias-bound arm holes rather than edge stitching them by machine (both are listed as options in the pattern). I had trouble getting around the tight curves without puckering, and I’m sure it would have looked much nicer finished by hand. I may even rip out my edge stitching and ((ask my mom to)) stitch the binding closed by hand. Someday I hope to have more patience for hand sewing…

garden party dress -- probably actually-4

And the fabric…oh, how I love this fabric. It’s Summer Grove by Day from Leah Duncan’s new line, Meadow – I picked it up from LiMa Sews where the whole line is available. Leah Duncan’s designs are among my very favorites, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Meadow’s release. Each of her prints is a like a beautiful work of art, and the canvas is Art Gallery Fabric‘s super smooth, high-quality pima cotton. Art Gallery’s tag line is “Feel the Difference” and I have to agree – their fabrics are far superior to your standard quilting cotton, and the soft drape is really nice for apparel.

garden party dress -- probably actually-5

For the bands and yoke I used a textured solid from In the Beginning Fabrics – Modern Solid in Coral.

garden party dress -- probably actually-7

Of course, Lila will not be having a garden party for her March birthday – Oregon weather does not allow for such things. Sleeveless in March is pretty unpractical around here as well, but that’s what cardigans are for, right?

garden party dress -- probably actually-6

Check out Kristin’s Garden Party dress, too – also in Meadow! And stay tuned for the Hide-and-Seek Dress, which turned out to be my surprise favorite of the three!

Many many thanks to Liesl for the advance copy of this pattern – as always, my opinions are my own.

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roller skate dress -- probably actually-5

I wanted to make something for Lila to wear on Valentine’s Day. It was supposed to be pink or red or covered in hearts, but try as I might, nothing brilliant came to me. So instead I just finished the Oliver + S Roller Skate dress I cut out and abandoned during Kids Clothes Week. I had major trouble getting motivated for this round of KCW – I guess sometimes you feel like sewing, and sometimes you feel like watching bad TV.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-3

Anyway, it’s my second try at this pattern, and I really like the Roller Skate dress. It’s simple to put together, very customizable, and uses only a yard of main fabric for a size 4 – it’s really rare to be able to make a dress with just a yard anymore. I made View B with the neck facing but left out the notch, much like I do on just about every pattern that includes a notch.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-4

She’s about to size out of the smaller range in most Oliver + S patterns, but this size 4 actually came out pretty roomy. I like the fact that it can be worn with a shirt underneath, too.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-13

The fabric is a chambray stretch shirting from Robert Kaufman (available here). It’s very lightweight and drapey, and I think it worked pretty well with a lined dress like this one. I’m always looking for good chambrays, and I’m hoping this one will wrinkle less than Essex linen.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-7

And those colorful half-square triangles are Gem in Mango from Helens Garden by Tamara Kate, which I bought to make a skirt but decided I could spare a little bit for the facing. It doesn’t take much, and I wanted to use something that would stand out since the dress is otherwise very simple. I added the ribbon (another option in the pattern) for that reason, too – it just needed a little extra color.

roller skate dress -- probably actually-8

That’s all. Many more dresses to come, I hope.

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