Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chloe's Second Bunny Dress

Once You are real
you can't become unreal again.
It lasts for always.
Margery Williams The Velveteen Rabbit

I seem to have a big desire to see my friend Kaye's little girl, Chloe, in bunny themed outfits!  I made her first bunny dress 3 years ago (blogged HERE) (which she was able to wear for two years) and recently I made a detachable bunny apron outfit for her (blogged HERE).  Each one has been unique and a lot of fun to sew and to see Chloe wear.  This pink dress was made two years ago when Chloe was four.

Dress Pattern:  Simplicity #1208 (Designer: Ruby Jean's Closet).
Dress Fabric:  teddy & bunny print over toile by David Textiles and pink gingham. 
Bunny Pocket Applique':  Adapted from Mary's Patterns "Pet Pocket Jumper", remnants from my fabric and trims stash.

Back loop closure.
The cute bunny hides a pocket behind her skirt!  Lift the arm/bodice flap and you have a place to carry a hankie, candy, or a little toy.  Chloe loved this pocket!

The sleeves on this dress are so sweet!  They have the perfect 'puff', are lined, and tie so that the lining makes a cute little bow knot.

In the Spring a bunny came down the road.
He was going to find a home of his own.
A home for a bunny,
A home of his own,
Under a rock,
Under a stone,
Under a log,
Or under the ground.
Where would a bunny find a home?
A Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A Little Southern Charm for Avery

Signature Style for Project Run & Play Sew-Along

"Charm is more valuable than beauty.
You can resist beauty,
But you can't resist charm."
Audrey Tatou

This sweet little baby dress is for Avery, a darling little 1.5 year old who is the daughter of a former kindergarten student of mine.  Megan's mother, Jill,  was the speech and language specialist at my school for over 25 years.  I had the pleasure of teaching all of Jill's children in my kindergarten class and she taught my daughter.  (She had a lisp.)  Now I have the pleasure of working with Megan as she is the occupational therapist at our school.  Megan has very similar tastes to mine.  She loves smocking and embroidery, lace, and vintage styling.  She loves the southern style bonnets little girls in the south wear in the spring and summer months.  I very much enjoyed making this for Miss Avery!

In my last post (HERE) I discuss my two signature styles.  This outfit is obviously The Classic Children's Clothing style.  It has nearly everything:  hand smocking, lace, vintage buttons, a bonnet, hand hemming, heirloom pattern and techniques, and a longer hemline.
Outside & Inside of Front Bodice:  hand smocking, min piping, antique lace, glass beads, hand stitched facing.

Avery's Dress & Bloomers:  New Look #6501 size 19-21 pounds (Medium) for the dress and the bloomers.  This size was chosen because the pattern seems to run 'large'.

Materials:  I used a soft tiny blue and green floral cotton print from my stash from Concord Fabrics, Inc.  The selvege says that if is designed 'By THE KESSLERS' and crafted with pride in the U.S.A.  A piece of vintage Irish crochet, mini piping from Farmhouse Fabrics, an antique shell button, and tiny blue glass beads were the notions used.

Adaptations:  I widened the front skirt width to 3 times the width of the bottom of the bodice piece to pleat it for smocking.  I also added a couple of inches to the width of the back skirt piece and cut it on the fold.  I lengthened the hem to give a more traditional 2 inch hem,  I completely changed the back skirt placket in order to make a more dainty heirloom style placket.  I made narrow bias for the underarms (instead of using purchased bias tape) and hand stitched it down.  I hand stitched the linings, as well. I used French seams on the sides of the dress.

Avery's Southern Bonnet:  Petite Poche "Le Petite Enfant" (size 18 months), the tiny floral print, mini piping, antique shell buttons, white cotton sateen, woven interfacing, and a bit of elastic were used to make this adorable bonnet. 

Bloomers & Bonnet
The back of the dress.
A tiny running stitch for 'ease' was sewn on the A-line back hem to bring in the fullness when making a deeper hem.  

The heirloom placket is nearly invisible from the front and is neat and tidy on the inside.

Smocking Plate is part of 'Spring Riot' by Julia Golson.  Crocheted lace was found in a basket of trimmings at an antique store.  It was nearly teddy bear brown with age and dirt but a good soak in a Biz bucket restored its beauty.

I am very pleased with the way this bonnet came out and look forward to making more of them!  I actually have a reproduction of an antique baby bonnet collection pattern that includes this very bonnet with a slightly deeper brim.  There are several companies that sell this style bonnet for rather steep prices.

Unbuttoning the bonnet for laundering makes this bonnet much easier to care for than you might think.  There is a little bit of elastic in the bottom back that causes it to curve a bit there but otherwise, you iron the bonnet sections flat.  Buttoning the brim to the back causes the fluting/ruffling around the crown.  

I hope that you have enjoyed looking at Avery's Southern Charm outfit.  I will be linking up this post to the Signature Sew-Along at Project Run & Play HERE.  I think that you will enjoy checking out all the other wonderful outfits there.

"The South....
Our tea is sweet
Words are long
Days are warm
And faith is strong."

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