Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter Playtime Dress.

Sometimes, you just drop everything to make your little girl an Easter dress. Because spring is in the air and your step-mom is handling the holiday festivities (thanks Mimi!) and your blog feed is full of gorgeous little girls in sweet little dresses.

Last Saturday was just such a time. I had cut out a big project for myself (more on that soon!) but I found myself powerless in the face of Easter-dress urges. I am still keeping my sewing journal/"rota," where I doodle and organize my ideas for items to make, but over the past month, I was feeling a bit dragged down by all of the unfinished projects I have yet to check off in the journal - I have a tendency to do the more "fun" projects on my rota first, leaving the less appealing ones for later. But then I end up with a bunch of blah projects to slog through. Sewing "with intention" is nice and all, but sometimes I need a little spontaneity in my sewing!

I bought a yard and a half of this gorgeous Cotton + Steel Bespoke double gauze (in coral "Spark") with Maggie in mind a month or two ago, and I wanted to make a long sleeved dress from it. The double gauze is light but quite soft and thick, making it a nice weight for a transitional garment.

Meanwhile I have been seeing some really great Playtime Dresses showing up in my blog feed recently (at Stitched Together, Frances Suzanne, and check out this Probably Actually version that came up after I sewed this, but it's incredible!). A friend just learning to sew (and really just learning to sew knits) asked me for a good leggings pattern and I loaned her my larger size range of the Playtime Dress and Leggings pattern to try out a while back. After conquering the leggings, she made the dress for her daughter in jerseys, and it's so cute - I think she's sold on Oliver + s patterns! So this pattern has been on my mind. I think the slightly dropped shoulder and topstitched facings look even fresher this year than when the pattern came out! (Liesl is ahead of the times!)

I have only made the Playtime Dress once before, and I skipped the pockets and topstitched facings on that version, so I decided to make the dress as instructed this time. I debated whether to use three or four buttons on the back, since my wooden buttons were smaller than what the pattern calls for. I posed the question on Instagram and got more comments than I've ever gotten on a single post! Ha! I love my sewing friends! Most people said four, but there were quite a few "threes" as well. After accounting for the loss of seam allowance on the bottom of the bodice, I decided to go with the three for a simpler look and I'm happy with it, although I think four would have looked really cute too! I will take sewing controversy over tedious election coverage anyday!

Double gauze is easy to sew with and gathers beautifully. This fabric reminds me of a beautiful gauzy Indian sari! Very pleasurable to sew. The final result is a casual everyday dress in the most saturated and beautiful coral.

I made it up in size 2, and the size is just right, with a bit of room to grow. It has been a long time since I made a dress for Maggie that was so bare-boned (no piping, no trim, no modifications) and I really love it. For once, sewing under a tight deadline worked out absolutely for the best. This pattern lets the fabric really shine. Sometimes I need a reminder to "keep it simple" and then I'm just delighted with the results!

We had a little egg hunt at my Dad and stepmom's house. The weather was gorgeous and the Easter Bunny generous. My kids call my stepmother "Mimi" and she goes all out for the holidays and loves to spoil the kids! Needless to say, they love her and had a great Easter at her place! I love celebrating the holidays with my kids, but I love even more that I can rely on family to help create holiday traditions for my kids on some of the big days (freeing time for me to sew more dresses!). I feel very blessed to have my Dad and siblings pretty close by (of course, my brother is just down the hall!) and Steve's sister only an hour or so away. (I wish my mom was closer, but c'est la vie.)

This dress has all of the characteristics Maggie looks for in a piece of clothing - soft fabric, pockets, gathered, full or twirly skirt, and PINK PINK PINK. She's a fan!

Perfect for blowing bubbles in! Very, very serious bubbles.


  1. Love it! Maggie looks radiant in her new dress. Double gauze is one of my favorite fabrics to sew. Looking forward to making my baby girl some pretty gauze dresses!

  2. It's really cute. I bet she loves wearing that comfy double gauze. Also, I was one of the "four" votes but I wash' thinking about seam allowance and you were right to go with three. It looks great!

  3. I'm almost tempted to go back and see what my button number vote was! 😉 (3 I think)
    Gorgeous dress and man has she got a cute smile.
    You're so very right about simple shapes making pretty dresses.

  4. I love it Inder. Maggie is so squishy and cute and has the dearest little button eyes. Zara looked over my shoulder and wanted to know if she was a 'real girl' I agree, she looks like a dolly.

    Beautiful dress.

  5. This dress is so, so good! The double gauze was a great choice. I wondered how this pattern would look in a woven fabric. Yours looks awesome. Also, I have to tell you that I couldn't agree more about your comment about the dress seeming fresher now. I remember when the dress first came out, I just couldn't get on board with the dropped shoulder. To me, it looked liked like the fit was off or that the sleeve hadn't been set correctly. But now, I really love the look. And Maggie is such a doll!

    I finally got your package off to you and I forgot to write in my note that Indigo made bracelets for Joe and Maggie. Pink for Maggie, of course. :D

  6. I love it! The fun fabric / simple design combo is one i always come back to, and this fabric is so pretty in person - it almost glows doesn't it?? She's just adorable. :)

  7. In the 6th pic where she's pulling up the sides it makes it look like the front comes to a bit of a point. That would be a pretty variation. My favourite though is the look on her face blowing bubbles:)

  8. Adorable!!! Love the fabric, too.

  9. Maggie's dress is so pretty in double gauze. I never would have thought of using this fabric, and it's genius.

  10. Aw, what a luminous little sprite she is! What a face! What a dress! Well done, mama!

  11. Awww, this dress is so adorable! I have some of that double gauze in the natural color in my stash. It is just sooooo soft and dreamy. It is such a good color for Maggie. This was a great spontaneous sewing decision!

  12. What a cute dress, and Maggie looks adorable in it! I love that coral print, too. Yay for fun sewing!


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