My little 3-year-old Ami is obsessed with princesses, mermaids, and evil queens/witches (she was Maleficent for Halloween!). Her wish for Christmas…..to look like her favorite princess, Sofia the First. She’s even growing her hair out to look more like Sofia.
My guideline for our family Christmas gifts is:
- Something you want,
- something you need,
- something to wear…
- and something to read.
The something to wear is always my favorite part of the gifts. This year I made matching crazy (patchwork) pants for Nigel and his daddy repurposed from Vic’s plethora of dress shirts. I’ll be sharing those soon-just need some pics! And for Ami a very time intensive Sofia inspired dress. You can see my planning post with links to my inspiration here.
After gathering inspiration I decided I wanted to make this dress in a knit. Ami is really picky about what she’ll wear lately and it’s basically been narrowed down to shades of purple and pink sewn in knits. I’ve made some lovely pieces for her in wovens but she rarely will wear them. Her skater dresses are still her fav’s. She also has a huge selection of lovely hand me down clothes from her cousin so she really doesn’t need me to sew for her.
I wanted something wearable even if it’s a dress-up dress and as I love Alabama Chanin’s style I thought I’d try my hand at some reverse applique. I originally planned on hand sewing with embroidery thread but I knew if I wanted this done in time for the holidays it needed to be machine sewn. Also I worried about Ami playing and pulling out stitches too easily. I went with using a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I have a Singer Stylist which has tons of stitches that I really don’t use much. I originally bought it for kid’s and craft sewing before I started sewing more for myself. I can’t wait to make some handsewn applique for myself now!
self drafted dress and slip – I’m happy to share the pattern if anyone is interested in a tutorial?
Organic Interlock Knit in Orchid Purple and White from Organic Cottons Plus
For my self drafted pattern I went with a simple bodice and a slightly puffed short sleeve as well as a 6 panel rounded skirt. The bodice and skirt are sewn with the orchid and white fabrics sewn together and then turned right sides out with the orchid on top and the white underneath. I gathered my skirt before attaching to the bodice and the sleeves are just a single layer of the orchid. I then designed my cut out’s and chalked them onto my fabric. After stitching around my outlines I cut away the interior to show the white underneath. The only change I would make is to narrow the waist a bit more as it was difficult to gather the skirt with double layers since the interlock is quite thick.
The sleeveless under slip is the same basic pattern with a narrower skirt lengthened to the floor. I finished my edges with white serging and then machine embroidered a bow pattern onto the bodice and hem in a variegated purple and pink silk thread. I like that she can wear this as a separate dress if she wants. And the main dress can be worn by itself for play with the shorter length.
My biggest challenge with this dress was getting Ami to wear it for photos after Christmas. She just didn’t want to wear it which had me really bummed after spending so much time on it. I finally figured out that was waiting to wear this until Spring to wear it ???
Luckily it was in the 80’s last week, I LOVE Florida, so I told her it was Spring now. It does feel like it lately. She immediately agreed to put it on and pose! She was thrilled when I pulled out my bag with all her princess accessories: pink tiara, princess heels, and jewelry!
I have to say I love these pics so much because this was one of the first days Ami was back to her happy little storytelling self after being sick for so long with a bad cold followed by double ear infections. What a difference it made to see her like this again!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! Happy Sewing!
I love the full story that goes along with this dress. That’s what makes home-sewing so special, memorable and loved. You’ve done our Princess proud!
Thanks Mom! :)
Beautiful costume! I love that it isn’t scratchy poly organza :)
Thanks so much Kelly! Ami wanted the dress in the store, but that fabric is just too gross. Glad I have extra yardage for another make, this fabric is really lovely.
Such a cute dress! Great job on all the stitching. Love the photos!
Thanks! I do love how the stitching turned out. Can’t wait to try it out on a piece for myself.
How precious! Wonderful dress and she looks so happy. The appliqué technique is special — I am filing that away for a project!
Thanks Annie! It’s such a great technique. :)