Thursday, June 10, 2010

Next Up: the Little Girl's Dress! (Srsly This Time)

After much hemming and hawing (haha, get it? hemming?), I'm finally getting excited about this project from Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing. (Can you believe this is project 9 of 14?) As with most ills in life, my ambivalence was cured by a good, satisfying fabric-shopping trip. This little project is finally starting to take shape in my mind.

After our last talk about this project, I was inspired by the two-fabric possibilities of this dress, as modeled by the sassy wee lass with the jump rope above. I suddenly had the image of boysenberry paired with navy in my mind. (Where these things come from, I really have no idea sometimes.) I was contemplating two simple stretch shirtings but couldn't find the perfect thing. Solid stretch shirtings are just so . . . boring. Essential, but a tad boring. I just couldn't get too worked up about them. 

Then yesterday at lunch, I stepped into Paron's and there it was: a navy and white check in a thick, stable cotton and lycra jersey. (A Cynthia Steffe, no less!) I knew it was the one, so I bought two yards on the spot. This will be for the skirt, sleeves, collar, and back buttons.



Then it was just a matter of finding a coordinating fabric for the bodice in a similar weave and weight. With only a few minutes to spare, I rushed into Rosen and Chaddick and there IT was: a boysenberry-ish rayon/poly/lycra doubleknit. Hallelujah! Thank you, Mr. Rosen and Mr. Chaddick!

I'm really digging these fabrics together. What do you think? Have I lost my mind?

I also like that these are knits, and hence very comfy for playtime. I've also just ordered some bag-making supplies from the fantastic U-handbag (recommended by you lovely readers) so I can make a matching bag in the navy check. Of course, a little hairbow might be in order too. This is going to be fun!

In the meantime, I'm still working on a red linen Dior-esque suit for myself and I have some draping practice to do as well. But I think this little girl's dress will be a delightful little detour.

P.S. If you're curious, the plan is to raffle the dress and accessories off to benefit a children's charity. More details to come!

34 comments:

  1. What a fabulous idea, and i think any little girl would go crazy for it if it has a matching handbag. I look forward to seeing how the fabrics look together on the finished dress.

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  2. I LOVE navy with bold colors. I wish I had a little girl to buy it for. I've been thinking of making a deep pink princess shirt with navy piping on some accent areas to go with a navy suit, but I can't decide if it would be too, too. You know?

    I know the little girls dress will be so cute.

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  3. Very sophisticated combo for a little girl. My mom made me a navy skirt and navy/pink checked vest when I was in high school and I thought I was the bomb at THAT time! Little navy shoes and a pink ribbon in the hair - that little girl will be stylin'!

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  4. I really love the plaid and berry together--it's very non-traditional for a girl's dress (which is a good thing in my book!). I cannot wait to see how this one shapes up (as well as that suit you're working on!!!)!

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  5. love it. The juxtaposition between the femininity of the dress, and the sophistication of the fabrics will contrast so beautifully with the casualness of their feel, giving the entire outfit a distinctly modern appeal while keeping true to it's vintage roots.

    I work in the design field - I can spout this kind of crap all day long! :)

    Seriously though, love the choices!!

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  6. Gorgeous! I would maybe make the sleeves, too, from the boysenberry-ish fabric. I love that you're using knits: it would definitely make the dress more comfortable and more contemporary.

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  7. Those colours together will look fabulous. My 5 yr old choses bright and strong colours and would love those colours - I think I'll have to get her something in those colours too.

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  8. LOVE! Online type raffle? For a kindergarten size girl? hint. hint. ;)

    I can't wait to see the finished product!

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  9. Binkydoll: hilarious! I was reading the first paragraph of your post, thinking, "Wow, she really knows what she's talking about!" I'm impressed.

    Belly, interesting thought about the sleeves! I'm going to think on that. Great idea.

    Steph: YES! Online raffle! The pattern is a vintage size 8. I will provide lots of measurements once it's sewn up. :)

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  10. Gertie, I just found your blog last week and I am LOVING what you do and how you write!!!

    I have always loved this color combo and think it's a lovely choice for the sweet dress you are making. Have fun and I can't wait to see it!

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  11. I second using bosenberry (Yum!) on the sleeves too while using the check for the bands or cuffs.

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  12. Luuuuurve the colour combo! I'm excited to see how this turns out!

    And I'm SO enjoying the fact that you're making the dress for a charity. That's very, very cool.

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  13. The color combination is great. It hints at its vintage styling origin but is modern enough to be worn now.

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  14. I positively adore this color and fabric combination. I would like a dress in these materials for myself.

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  15. That combination is a really good variation of the navy print and plain pillar box red combo which is freaking everywhere at the moment.

    It's going to look so, so cute but also with a bit of grown up smartness that little girls love.

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  16. I might be interested in the raffle, too! I have 2 girls, and that looks mega-darling.

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  17. Apparently, these colours are exactly what my outfit was on Monday and Tuesday (maybe in a bit different hues, but that's not of much consequence). They do go together, somehow.
    I second (third? fourth?) the idea of bosenberry sleeves. I think it would look really good and bring out the beauty of the plaid fabric more!

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  18. Hi Gertie
    When you make this darling dress remember the little girl you are making it for - Gertie age 7!!! Go on, go all out and do it exactly how she would have loved it, it'll be glorious.

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  19. Having three granddaughters, I can assure you that the little girl who gets this dress will love it. And her mother will love your having made it of knit fabric. (No ironing!)

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  20. I love sewing for little girls.. mine are all grown up now. I think your idea to raffle it for a charity is a great idea.

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  21. I'm liking the fabrics, too. But one thing, Gertie--they wore 'em a lot shorter than we do now. What you might want to do is to check the finished length measurement before you start, compare it with a modern pattern in the same size, and then add the requisite number of inches so that they're the same length.

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  22. how will you achieve the distinctive full-skirted silhouette with such a drapey fabric, gertie? my tentative steps in vintage sewing so far seem to have pointed me rather distinctly in the direction of crisper fabrics.

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  23. Oh gosh, I love those two fabrics together. I am a sucker for plaid, LOVE IT

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  24. soph: good question! I've found that there are very few fabrics that will give you a full-skirted 50s silhouette on their own. (Silk taffeta being the exception) If you want the real deal, a crinoline is a must. Now, the fabrics I'm using here are pretty stable knits, so they'll have a firm hand, unlike a slinky knit. But still, the silhouette will be more modern and subtle unless the little girl in question wears a crinoline with it.

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  25. Great combination. I love it that it's not a usual combination, that makes it so much more fun.

    I agree with Belly though. I too think that I would make the sleeves the same colour as the bodice. I think that will give it a more balanced look. In the picture on the envelope the solid and check are still the same colour, and because of that the whole view is still 'composed'. I'm afraid that if you make the skirt and the sleeves with the plaid and the bodice with the solid, you risk making it a bit clownesque (is that a word in English? I sometimes so miss certain words in my vocabulary, especially when it comes to things like this, when you want to talk about little details and feelings about colours!).

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  26. Thank you so much for the u-Handbag link.

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  27. Love the colour combination, I kind of like it for myself too. What a chic little girl's outfit, and with a matching purse, too! Too awesome. Seven year old me would have loved it :)

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  28. eeeee i wish my not-as-of-yet conceived baby girl could have a dress like that!! i love the patterns, gertie. i can't wait to see it with a matching bow.

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  29. hi.. i was just browsing the internet for clothing for my lil girl and somehow ended up here.....i love the picture of the vintage lil girls dress and if it comes out lookin anything like it i would love to have one for my girl...i love that era for lil girls clothing...so please email me with the end result cause ill never find the web page again...im a beginner at this...so please email me ......ashleycharlie99@yahoo.com

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  30. thanks , i am vivek .Read your blog nice posting .thanks

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  31. really a good information ,everybody will like it.thank u
    baby girl clothing

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  32. Shopping for a  flower girl dress and finding an affordable one used to be a difficult task.  With the increase of quality online flower girl dress stores, things have gotten considerably easier

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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