The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Bi-Annual Sewing for Girls

As I've confessed before, I don't do much sewing for my girls. They have a ton of clothes already - a benefit of being one of the last of my age group to have kids, plus having a MIL who loves to shop. I don't even do much buying of clothes for my kids. I can remember purchasing a winter jacket (one season the hand-me-down goddesses let us down) and a summer jumpsuit (just cause I liked it). That's it. But I do make a birthday dress for each girl in time for her party, and the non-birthday girl gets a skirt from the leftover fabric.

The usual process is that The Birthday Girl looks through my pattern or my fabric stash and comes up with a design, and they've become pretty good at spelling it out ("I want the sleeves from this pattern, the top part just like this dress, and a swooshy skirt like your summer dress.") This year I drew a little sketch for Belly so that she could see the fabrics together, but of course said sketch is now buried somewhere in the house, and likely won't be unearthed until sometime next spring.

Belly turned 7 in August so it was her turn to design and command. She picked out her fabric in an Outlet store we happened upon when we visited friends in PA early in the summer. I will admit that my first (internal) reaction to this fabric was to cringe and shudder. I made some small effort at encouraging her in a different direction, but then thought, "Hey, it's her birthday, deal with it control-freak."

I did hold out some hope that she might forget about it or become enamored with something else, but Alas, this was THE ONE.

Pattern: Bodice/sleeves from Simplicity 1435, skirt a self-drafted circle skirt 'cause a girl's gotta have twirl.

Fabric: Neon pink sequined highly synthetic monstrosity from a fabric outlet store in rural PA (not sure how they ended up with this stuff, as most everything else looked bound for an Amish household), knit tricot lining I think from, AND some gorgeous RPL that definitely came from and had previously been earmarked for a fall dress for myself (sorry, Ann!). Luckily I didn't need to use much for the bodice so I should hopefully have enough left for that dress.

Belt: 1.5" elastic from They have some lovely decorative elastics - I bought this one to use on a knit skirt for myself. I also made a plain white one that you might see in some of the pictures.

Construction notes: I attached the sleeves in the flat and hemmed (with coverstitch) the sleeves before sewing the side seams (I know, bad form, but it would have been difficult to get the wee sleeve in my serger to coverstitch after the fact). Attached necking binding as per pattern instructions. Added casing to the waist seam and 1/4" elastic. Hemmed with a serged rolled hem as there was no way those plastic sequins would fold. I didn't bother to hem the lining. For the belts, I folded down the ends and sewed with a zig zag stitch. I used velcro on the white belt and trouser hooks and eyes on the decorative belt.

And Happy Birthday to my oldest baby! (What follows is a round of gratuitous proud mama birthday shots. Indulge me, please.)

I have no idea where she learned this move.
Happy with new bike.

Birthday dinner choice? Sloppy joes made by Dad.
You can see some of Mooper's skirt in this shot - a circle skirt with elastic waistband.

The birthday girl also gets to choose their cupcake. These are ring pop cupcakes.
Somebody loves their bling.

2 comments on "Bi-Annual Sewing for Girls"
  1. How cute is she! Love that you let her pick out the fabric. I think I will have trouble with that one day, too ;)

    1. Thanks, Liza Jane. I did "suggest" that we use something different for the bodice when she wanted to have the whole dress made out of that fabric. I wish you lots of happy sewing for girls as Baby Jane gets older!