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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Knitted party dress for Florence

Earlier this year I finally completed the lace edged dress I was knitting in the caravan in May 2013.  I had put the knitting down for at least 6 months and it was only over Christmas time that I picked it up again and finished the dress.  Florence has been wearing it with her party tights and a pair of ice skates (during Dancing on Ice).  She wore it to the tea party to welcome Laura home, however yesterday I decided it was high time I took proper photos of her wearing the dress before she changed into spring time clothes.  The pattern is the lace edged dress by Andrea from The Doll Works.  I have started knitting it again in a different colour, however once again the knitting has been put down because I was sewing the dress for my younger daughter, sewing a few other small items and have the voluntary project (plus full time job, family and garden) to keep me occupied.

Florence in her knitted lace party dress
close up of the back showing the lace knitting and the bow
French plait in her hair (done by my younger daughter)
Today, Easter Day, it has rained since lunchtime and we didn't manage to get the dolls changed in time for an outdoor photo shoot before the rain set in and it was too dull indoors for photography.  So I'm glad I got these photos yesterday when the weather still felt spring like!

Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Feliz party dress

At the beginning of the year, former Sasha collector Trish posted on Sasha Mart that she had some Mary Engelbreit fabric fat quarters for sale.  I was lucky enough to acquire 4 pieces from her (4 different patterns but thankfully ones which work well together).  At Christmas I was given a book called 'Sewing Clothes Kids Love' by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn and was keen to sew something from this book for my younger girl before she outgrew the desire to wear quirky styled children's clothes (my elder girl would often say in her early teens that she hated the fashions for teens and wanted to stay in her age 10/11 clothes as they were much more fun and funky).  After studying the patterns and pictures in the book for some time and weighing up the various fabric remnants I had and the fat quarters from Trish, I chose the Feliz party dress on page 123.

It was quite a complex dress to sew, there were various stages which absolutely had to be followed in order otherwise the dress would not have worked, and it took me some time of studying the pattern and instructions before I had worked out what to do.  I had the added complexity of working out which fabric combinations would work together best and how much of each pattern or plain fabric I actually had available.  The dress is 2 layered - it has a full underskirt and an apron/pinafore type skirt (using the same pattern pieces) over the top.  My photos don't show that it has a bow at the back of the bodice.  I made the underskirt all in the same fabric and the overskirt was decorated with three of the Mary Engelbreit fabrics and a decorative ribbon.  The shoulder straps were meant to be cut to shape fabric however I opted to use the same wide golden coloured ribbon I used for the bow.

The bottom of each skirt is decorated with gathered fabric frills one of which I edged using a scallop stitch (I love my new sewing machine, it has so many decorative stitch choices).

The skirt is the kind of cut that floats out when spun around, much to my daughter's delight.

My girl wore the dress to church on Mothering Sunday which is when these photos were taken, however I have been entirely occupied in the evenings with a major voluntary project so have only just had time to edit the photos and write this post 3 weeks later.
Feliz party dress with Mary Engelbreit fabric
close up of the outer skirt (the inner skirt is pale yellow)
Update: Easter Day
Cutting flowers for our Easter Day table arrangement

Sunday, 13 April 2014

A small green dragon

My girl was so delighted with Clemence the Bramber bear sent to her by Dee and the Village Clan when Laura returned home that she decided to make them a doll-sized glove puppet.  This was inspired by the large collection of finger puppets (and stage) we have gathered over the years since my elder daughter was small.  I showed her how to design the puppet and how to stitch it, she did all the making herself, with a tiny bit of help from me.
Sewing around the basic shape, Clemence and Laura watch
Most of the finger puppets we have in the collection,
spot the one which inspired the puppet for Dee
Trimming around the edges after sewing
Stitching the eyes 
Laura shows off the glove puppet
You can read what Mossy and Ginny thought in Small, green and bossy - we thought this was hilarious.