Most of the dresses I had for Miss Z at the start of the summer were standard 4T dresses that were sort of baby-dollish and just to the knee, which caused her to throw a fit every time we tried to get her to wear one. Not because she doesn't like to wear dresses, but because the dresses were not long enough. She wanted them down to the floor. She likes to feel fancy and to dance around in long flowing dresses. She also likes to feel like a princess and princesses wear long dresses, don't cha know.*
So I've been on the lookout for long dresses all summer. I found a bunch at yard sales, but they tended to be size 5 or higher. They're a little big, but they do the job. And then I bought two patterns by The Simple Life Company. I bought Mia's Tieback Dress and Molly's Scoop Collar and Pintuck Dress. I bought them both in early July, I think, and I just finished one of them last night. I'm so slow lately.
The goal was to make one of them out of this rainbow fabric from the Textile Center's 2016 Garage Sale.
Unfortunately, according to the pattern directions, the pieces of it did not really work for the maxi dress. Balls. So I went rooting around in my stash and found a perfect piece of fabric. The bottom one with the blue/green circles. I bought that at the 2015 Textile Center Garage Sale. I have a lot of fabric.
I had enough white to make bias strips and the waist band and some light aqua for the bodice and lining. The white and aqua are pure cotton, but the circle fabric is a blend of some kind. Makes ironing after a wash a little bit easier.**
Here are the three colors up close.
It seems to be less puffy if you compare it to the pictures on the website. A lot of those pictures are for the banded dress, though, and I opted not to do that because a.) I hate gathering and b.) that much sewing would take me two years instead of two months.
That being said, her range of motion did not seem to be limited by the lack of puffiness, as demonstrated by her dance moves:
You can see a bit of the back in the above photo, but here's a better view:
The whole thing was rather easy to piece together. I had a hiccup on two pieces of bias tape (I sewed them together, when they needed to be separate) and another hiccup on the elastic (the pattern said it was 5.5 inches, but that made it impossible to work with, so I just marked 5.5 on a longer piece, sewed it in place, then trimmed the excess). I had a big fat belch when I sewed the skirt to the bodice because I lined up the wrong seams and all the gathers were in the butt area when the pattern clearly said that the butt area would have no gathers. Did I notice that before I sewed it? No. Blah. Other than those issues, the pattern was really easy.
As for fit, it's perfect. I'd almost say it's nearly a bit snug, but she's been wearing size 5's and 6's for a month. I remeasured her after I made it (thinking maybe she'd grown in two months), but I made the right size. I'm going to make a five next AND I'm going to make a dress with the rainbow fabric. As it turned out, I chopped off five inches before I sewed the hem. I really don't think I measured incorrectly (I checked), so The Simple Life Pattern obviously caters to a race of giants. I don't know if it will be as long -- maybe a midi instead of a maxi -- but she will crap her pants for a rainbow dress.
I hope she won't take a literal crap in her pants. Fingers crossed.
*I don't know what possessed me to use the phrase "don't cha know," but I got curious and was informed by Urban Dictionary that this is a Minnesota thing. Hey! Look at that! Does that mean that I am now an official Minnesotan for incorporating that into my language? Probably not, because I can't quite bring myself to use "you betcha" or "uff da."
**I don't really like to iron kids clothes and tend to stick insanely wrinkled things into the donation bag because I just can't deal with that, but I'll make an exception for things that I have handcrafted.