Friday, April 13, 2012

The evolution of a dress

We're off on a spring vacation tomorrow and I have no idea what to pack. One moment it's gorgeous sunshine here, the next pouring with rain. True April showers.

Dress 1
I whipped up this dress for India back when the temperatures were hitting 20ºC every day. Apparently she had to have a sundress for the field trip she was going on in Paris the next day and in a fit of generous parenting I agreed to make her one.

The dress has it's origins in this skirt that I made for myself last summer. It's a Flirting the Issue skirt, a free pattern from Anna Maria Horner. I bought the kit and made it just as the instructions say. I've not worn it much yet, hence no photos of me wearing it but I'm optimistically putting it in the suitcase!

Tunic 1
Once I'd finished the skirt, I was inspired to adapt the pattern to make a little sundress for Florence. I used quilting weight cotton left over from another project and lined it with voile letting the lining peek out at the bottom.

Tunic 3
I made some spaghetti straps using this very helpful tutorial and turned the skirt into a dress. There are three rows of elastic in this version and I plan on letting the elastic out this year so that she can still wear it as a top.

Dress 4
With just one evening to make India's dress, I simplified these two ideas leaving out the lining and turning over 10 centimetres at the top to make the elastic casings. Five rows this time to make the bodice long enough. So far so quick - I got all this done while Keith was putting the girls to bed, but threading all that elastic through took forever! After an hour of threading elastic there wasn't enough time to make spaghetti straps, but I found this cream ribbon in my stash which worked perfectly as a substitute. With no lining to sandwich the straps between, I hand stitched them to the inside of the bodice.

Dress 3
I was ready for bed by this time and India was already asleep so I couldn't adjust the hem. As a quick solution, I sewed a line of stitching two centimeters away from the raw edge and called it a design detail. I was pretty pleased with myself the next week when I found this skirt with the same unfinished edge while window shopping in Zadig & Voltaire. 150 Euros for the Z&V skirt, India's dress, made with a metre of fabric I'd picked up from Eurodif, cost less than 10 Euros!

Dress 2
Stylish enough for a fifth grader!


  1. India is such the stylish fifth-grader, and the dress is perfect for her. I have memories of "sewing" my girls into hand-smocked Easter dresses because I did not have time to make button holes. They laugh now and remind me that they were the only ones who got undressed after church with a seam ripper!

    You can tell that India is so proud of her dress (and her mum).


  2. So cute! You make me want to get back into sewing.

  3. These are all so gorgeous - you're so clever. I really need to whip up some spring skirts for my girl too. Love Florence's the most, those little bloomers are just so cute. You could turn the top back into a skirt when she gets too big for it.
    It's hard to know what to pack as the weather has been a bit weird lately. I just really hope it doesn't rain too much. Have a great trip and see you soon!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Bienvenue chez les Berries!
Your comments bring this blog to life and make me happy.
Let me know you stopped by and I'll be sure to write back.
A bientôt! Nicola

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...