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Ani’s Dress

August 31, 2011

A couple of days ago, Anika and I hauled out all of my fabric bins and started going through them, setting aside fabrics to make some school clothes from. I still need to go through her fall/winter clothes from last year and see what still fits her, so I know for sure what I need to focus on for her – but I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything to reacquaint myself with the stash and see what was there. (There’s the problem with the sewing room being a shelf in the basement – all of my fabric is in rubbermaid containers that I can’t see into).

Needless to say, the fabrics *I* was gravitating towards for my special snowflake were *not* the same ones she chose. In fact, if she has her way, she will head off into the world wearing nothing but chiffon, tulle, and that pink glittery fabric I made a butterfly Halloween costume out of once. (Hint: No.)

Thus began some intense negotiation, at the end of which I had a few fabrics that are reasonable to make her some shirts and things out of – and this.

This was the compromise. In case you are confused by what you are looking at, that would be a really sort of slinky dark gray jersey adorned with a whole lot of glittery sparkles. To be fair, the sparkles are sort of subtle – we’re not talking Mariah Carey here – but still. Sparkly. This is fabric I bought a couple of years ago when I was pregnant to make a maternity dress out of to wear to the company Christmas party. (It was a lovely dress, and the fabric was WHOLLY APPROPRIATE for that occasion).

We discussed options and I figured we could tone things down with some plain yellow jersey. Plus she agreed to put down the pink glitter fabric in exchange for a dress made out of this stuff.

The pattern I used was this pattern of Dana’s. I’ve looked at the pattern for a while and never quite got around to doing anything with it – it’s a really sweet little dress. I enlarged the pattern a little bit but in the end I probably didn’t need to – I ended up bringing it in some. That’s probably mostly because of how stretchy my jersey was.

Honestly, the whole time I was sewing it all I could think was “Oh great, I’m making a skating costume.” That is totally what it felt like. The fabric is just…not little girl.

But by the time I finished adding the flowers to the bottom of it, it actually grew on me a lot.

Then she spent the day wearing it – she LOVES it of course – and now I actually am really fond of it. I like the style; I like the way the yellow jersey pops against the dark gray. It’s true I could still do without the sparkles but they aren’t too overwhelming. Hopefully they will kind of wear off a bit over time.

The flowers were a really easy way to embellish the dress. I didn’t get pictures of the process (boo) but basically all you do is take a strip of jersey (I went with fairly narrow ones – about 1-2cm wide by about 30-40cm long), and just start folding it in a loose circle, sewing as you go. I started by folding one end over in a triangle and tacking that down with my sewing machine. Then I kind of folded them around, twisting the strip a few times, and following it with my machine. In the beginning you need to stop a lot and lift the presser foot to reposition your fabric, but as your flower grows you won’t have to do that as much. You can roll the strip as much or as little as you like – more rolling will make for a tighter flower shape; less will be more abstract but will sit flatter against the dress. I wanted a really scribble kind of rose shape, so I left them looser (less rolling) and even spaced some of the curves so that there was a little of the gray jersey peeking through from underneath.

Pro Tip – if you are embellishing a knit, like I was in this case, make sure you use some fusible interfacing underneath your embellishment. Otherwise the thin fabric you’re sewing the embellishment onto will pull all out of shape.

Overall I like the dress. Not the fabric I would have chosen, but it’s cute. The pattern is great – definitely recommend checking out Dana’s site for that one. I’m glad Ani’s happy.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    September 1, 2011 8:58 am

    She’s adorable – nice colours too! Love the yellow accents. Going out on a bit of a limb here – (haha, get it? Ani taller, thinner.. 🙂 – could you perhaps see this belted? Maybe add a matching yellow ribbon belt? I think the straight lines could benefit from a bit of shape that a belt might add…what do you think?

    During winter months, it could also be cute as a jumper!

  2. September 1, 2011 9:28 am


    I seriously love it… it’s so cute. You could find this at Anthropologie; I’m not even kidding. Even the colours are hip and cool (gray and yellow? Hi, Queen West anyone?).

    Mom, love you but disagree on the belt – the yellow spirals are more than enough, and with the accent at the neckline pulls it together. Just put it over leggings with a yellow or even lighter gray cardigan for fall. ❤

  3. Maryann permalink
    September 1, 2011 9:47 am

    Love this! It’s so cute! The yellow flowers are adorable. I love Ani’s poses.

  4. Angela Quesnel permalink
    September 1, 2011 2:22 pm

    Love, love, love it! Great pics:0)

  5. September 5, 2011 7:50 pm

    Love it! She’s so cute!

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