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Flip Flop Dress!

March 10, 2011

I made a dress for Anika, and there’s no other way to describe it really. It’s a mishmash of ideas and patterns and all kinds of awesome!

I started with Leila & Ben’s Sweet Dress pattern, and an old shirt that used to belong to Brandon’s brother. (Yaaaay, because Brandon’s brother wore extra-large shirts – so lots of material baby!).

(Just as an aside, I have no actual in process pictures of this one – I was kind of figuring out bits and pieces as I went along, so I didn’t really pause to take pictures).

My vision for the dress was kind of based on this AWESOME dress that Katy did for one of her daughters. I am so very in love with it – the colours; the execution – just gorgeous. Anika saw the picture and immediately said “Oh mommy, can you PLEASE make me that?” (Extra noteworthy, since the dress is not actually purple or pink.)

So I liked very much the buttons going down the back; the contrasting placket; the belt…and I thought I could possibly pull something sort of similar together using the shirt and the Leila and Ben pattern.

My original plan was to actually replace the placket with a contrasting colour one…but I ultimately decided that was too much work on a re-purposed shirt (what do I do with the existing placket?? If I just cover it up it will be way too thick. Etc.).  Also, after examining some button possibilities I decided to use the contrasting sleeve fabric scraps to cover buttons instead.

To make the dress, I simply cut the sleeves and collar off of the dress shirt and used the rest to cut my body fabric pieces. Then I used contrasting fabric to make the sleeves.

I will say that the colour combination wasn’t necessarily my first choice…but I’m kind of committed to letting Anika have her say in design decisions for lots of things that I make, and she really loved the bright pink butterfly fabric with the gray, so we went with it!

Once the dress was done I wanted to make a belt. I liked the belt on Katy’s dress (linked to above) but I kind of felt like the dress I was making was a little blah and needed more of a pop. So I kind of combined the sash from Katy’s dress with the pattern she provided in her Girdy belt tutorial and came up with this!

I used fabric that I reinforced with fusible interfacing to make the base and the top of the belt, and used some eyelet to make the ruffles. The ties were some eyelet trim that I found on sale at the fabric store.

And the end result is truly a flip-flop dress. Anika can wear it any way she wants to! With the buttons going down the front and the belt tied in front…

(Here it is from the back, when the dress is tied in front)

…or without a belt at all….

…or with the buttons going down the back and the belt tied in the back!

(Here’s the front view when the belt is tied in the back.)

There are lots of options, and she is delighted with it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 10, 2011 4:23 am

    These are the BEST pictures yet. Love the belt!! Miss A. is lovely. 🙂

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