Hello! My name is Catherine and I blog over at www.cathgrace.com, I am a mother of 2 who lives in S. Korea with my military husband. I absolutely had a blast during my season on PR&P, and "met" so many awesome people, I always jump at any chance I get to visit over here! Thanks liZ and Elizabeth for having me again, you guys rock!
For my theme I chose spring formal wear, since my daughter and I love anything elegant (fun to sew, fun to wear, win/win :) )
I'm finding my sewing is evolving as my daughter grows; she is only 11 still but wears about a size 14, so making a connection between her growing body, but her little girl's mind, is constantly a challenge!
For Emmie's spring formal wear dress I began with 2 yards of the most stunning cotton lawn, in an Amy Butler print. The fabric is so soft, and drapes so beautifully, I knew simple was going to be better as far as the design was concerned.
The dress has a high waist, with a 1/4" ruffle at the neck, and side ties that cross over in the back to turn into a sash and bow at the front.
The skirt is only made out of one width of fabric, so it is not overly full, which I think helps add to the big girl look of the dress. As an aside, Emmie's figure is starting to change, and I'm stuck in the middle somewhere where princess seams draw attention to any...... development, but a flat body doesn't quite work either, so I have to be careful to accommodate her, without drawing extra attention, this theory extends to fabric placement too, I very carefully made sure to have a center motif, rather than centering a flower over each side of her chest.
The small ruffle adds a lot of detail I think, without competing for attention with the heavily patterned fabric.
I love this dress for a big girl spring dress, it still reads "child" to me, while not being a princess dress.
The bottom of the skirt has a wide double fold hem, and has a single pintuck, honestly because Emmie just learned how to sew pintucks, and she's now obsessed with having them on stuff :)
She's pretty pleased with her dress :)
I like that it is washable, that she can add a cardigan or undershirt to change the look, which is really practical (my motto with children's clothes it that it HAS to be practical, or it will honestly never be worn.)
The dress is my own pattern, and was mostly made on the fly, to the point where the sash is hand sewn on, since it evolved AFTER the whole body was already sewn. I am going to put the pattern for the bodice up on my blog soon for anyone who is interested, it will only be in size 14, but hey it will be free :)
You can't see it, but the dress closes with a hidden side zip, so it is easy to put on.
I love that this dress is all about the fabric! (I realize I should have made her take her watch off....)
Did you notice the shoes?
They are actually some I replicated from a company I love (Joyfolie,) I made these to be a knockoff of their Londyn shoes (as seen in this pin on pinterest) A. because goodness were the originals expensive for my budget, and B. because sadly, my little girl's feet are a size 8 now, yes, in WOMEN'S sizes..... so no, the Londyn shoes don't come in her size.
I glittered the shoes, and made the beaded detail on the top,
which makes them look like a VERY near match to the Joyfolie shoes I was knocking off.
Would you like to make your own glitter shoes?
I began by finding the closest pair of t-strap shoes I could on amazon (we do a lot of amazon shopping here in Korea) I got really lucky and found this pair in royal blue fabric for $18.
I also ordered fabric Mod Podge at the same time since there aren't really any craft stores here in Korea to speak of.
I began by pulling the ankle straps out, and spreading the Mod Podge on the shoe. I was careful not to go onto the sole rubber, or inside the shoe. I used a beautiful Martha Stewart ultra fine glitter, to get such a great color match.
After coating the whole shoe in glitter, I set it aside and let it dry, I also coated the straps in glue and glitter.
Next I painted on a second coat of Mod Podge, and gave the shoes a second coat of glitter, I wanted to be EXTRA sure they were covered well enough. after letting the 2 coats dry, I used the brush attachment on my vacuum, to vacuum off all the loose glitter.
For the beaded accent, I began with small felt circles, placed on top of a stretched piece of cotton,
I sewed through a large turquoise glass bead, through a small gold seed bead, and then back down through the turquoise bead again. (using a clear nylon thread.) I knotted between beads in order to make sure it was very secure, and that everything wouldn't fall off or come undone if a strand of the thread snapped.
I pretty much packed as many as I could onto each felt circle. Then I cut as much of the cotton away from the back as I could, without cutting any threads. I used Aleene's tacky glue to spread allover the back of the beaded circles, and then pressed them onto the top of each shoe and smoothed them down nicely (enough glue to firmly hold it, but not squirt out the sides.
I really like that the original shoe was blue, so if any of the original shoe showed through, it won't look bad, (and really if she rubs a big spot through, it would be pretty easy to just re-glitter it.)
The glitter is really secure though, and you can rub your hand over it, and not get any glitter on your hand. I really LOVE how these turned out, and Emmie is over the moon, that she gets to have such pretty little girl shoes, especially since they are hard to find in adult sizes.
Thanks again for having me liZ and Elizabeth! I hope you like my take on spring formal wear, including VERY fancy but budget friendly shoes :) I would love it if you would come and visit me over at cathgrace!