A lot of my creativity stems from my inability to follow directions. I mean, I could just follow the directions on the patterns without taking creative license, but what fun would that be? Rather than just sticking to the rules, I have to gussy things up. A lot of my creative embellishments stem from my mistakes. Forget to cut out the pattern piece for the lower sleeves? Short sleeves it is! Accidentally snip a small hole in the middle of the skirt? Let’s stitch an apron on top of it! Miscalculate the amount of fabric needed for the dress? Turn it into a blouse! However, sometimes I just deviate from the patterns because, let’s face it, they’re kind of bland. Take, for example, this one:
It isn’t bad. It’s a sweet, basic, dress, but not exactly the kind of thing to make a little girl excited to get dressed in the morning. When I was small, I would have gone to school in my dress-up clothes if my mother had let me. My favorite dresses had aprons and flounces. I liked to pretend I was some sort of Alpine princess, like Heidi, but richer and with no goats to take care of. (Goats’ eyes freaked me out. Still do). So, when it came time to make dresses for my nieces, I kept that in mind. Here are the dresses I made Bekah and Lilian:
Lilian’s dress is on the left. She is almost 1 1/2, so she hasn’t developed a strong fashion sense yet. Knowing she wouldn’t care if she was beribboned and beruffled, and being crunched for time, I kept it simple. I chose a vividly colorful print from Jennifer Paganelli’s Happy Land collection, to bring out the electric blue of Lily’s eyes. I widened and elongated the bodice pattern piece to make a short dress, and skipped putting elastic in the sleeves. It was easy as a wink.
The dress on the right is for 3 1/2 year old Bekah. Bekah loves poodles. Bekah loves pink. Bekah loves ruffles, lace, tiny dolls and all things girly. Bekah is a girl after her Aunt Rachel’s own heart.
There are several prints from the Happy Land collection in this one. Jennifer Paganelli gave me some beautiful precut fabrics at her holiday show. (Remind me to blog about how amazing that was. “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to cover it). They have been such a pleasure to work with, I ordered some more online. I used the photo on the front of the pattern package as a guide, though I never even cut out the skirt pattern. I just eyeballed it and gathered up a long rectangle to make the top tier. For the bottom tier, I stitched on some pre-gathered eyelet lace. A vintage table runner was cut in half and turned into an apron. And voila! Two cute, unique items from one generic pattern.
Thanks for looking! Have a great day.