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A Rainbow Dress That Twirls

January 17, 2011

Back  in October, Anika and I had a conversation in the car about a “rainbow dress that twirls”. It was an amusing discussion but for her, the idea really stuck. She kept coming back to the idea of making a rainbow dress.

One day in November I asked her to draw me a picture of her rainbow dress. This is what she came up with:

We discussed the merits of several different rainbow dress possibilities, and ultimately came up with something similar to what she had originally drawn, only the “rainbow” would be confined to the skirt, and the stripes would be vertical instead of horizontal.

Actually sewing the dress ended up being a kind of last-minute project for Christmas – it was always part of the “plan” but I needed to get some other things done first and got down to the wire on it (of course).

I made the dress by kind of smushing together a pattern I’d made based off of one of her long sleeve t-shirts with the circle skirt pattern. To make the skirt I basically cut my original circle skirt pattern in half (the original pattern was a quarter circle), and added a small seam allowance to the long edges. I also lengthened the skirt a little bit, and adjusted the waist circle to be a little smaller because I was making this skirt out of stretch fabric.

I cut the pieces out of different colours of jersey and arranged them how I wanted them.

I serged the striped pieces into a circle skirt, which came together really easily. Then I made a t-shirt out of the brown jersey. I just hemmed the neck with a zigzag instead of putting any kind of cuff onto it, and I put a little bit of elastic into the ends of the sleeve to gather them to her wrist a little bit.

Then I added about a 2″ wide sash over the join between the brown fabric and the rainbow skirt to smooth out the transition between the two pieces.

And there we have it – a rainbow dress that twirls.

And jumps.

And does ballet.

And twirls some more.

The dress isn’t perfect – there are actually a few small adjustments I’d still like to make to the top of it (I love how the skirt came together; it’s great). I think the same thing happened to the neck on the dress as happened to my mom’s shirt – it just stretched along the bias as I hemmed the neck a little bit, so it’s a little loose – it’s not sitting flat. But I think I can take the same dart at the shoulder seam that I took with my mom’s shirt and that ought to fix it. Also, the sleeves wound up being a little short – I’m not altogether sure how I managed to do that, but anyway. I think I may actually just shorten them to 3/4 sleeves that aren’t gathered, and that will take care of that problem.

Fortunately, Anika doesn’t care even a little bit about these details – she loves the dress. I am impossibly grateful – I’m pretty sure she won’t always be this easy to please.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Hubby permalink
    January 17, 2011 8:22 pm

    I can’t believe you omitted the second drawing she made with my help. It looked like the finished dress.

    Doesn’t that count as prior art? Can I trademark “Impossibly Grateful”? 😉

  2. Angela Quesnel permalink
    January 17, 2011 10:19 pm

    That is a great twirly rainbow dress! How could she not love it!

  3. Cal / Gran permalink
    January 18, 2011 5:58 pm

    Omigosh, that’s cute! However did you get these pictures?? She LOVED the dress, that much I know for sure, and I’ve seen her twirl! Good work….:)

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