Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First post: Flapper dress for my niece!

Sorry, many weeks behind on my first blog! Finally posting from Isleworth (an hour's radius of London, UK). When I asked my niece to pick a color on spotting my favorite super soft, silky bamboo jersey fabric on sale, she quite predictably chose fuchsia pink. Once in hand I started my small-scale first attempt at a dress. After collecting loads of lady-sized, draping Grecian designs) and inspired by memories of my favorite 80's ruffle-waisted dress (like the absolutely ADORABLE ruffle skirts in imyourpresent's Etsy Shop), I took to something I hoped would be very different from the boxy designs girls' dresses seemed relegated to in my browsing.

My mother taught me how to navigate an old Brother sewing machine, but almost a generation later I was expecting to produce a lopsided poncho only a happy-go-lucky little person might not mind donning. It surprisingly turned out not too shabby, and I happily agreed when one friend noted that it was a pretty sophisticated dress for a 6-year old. While my niece wasn't a fan of the flapper look (despite my best attempt to explain what that was to her), she humored my request to wear her matching rose headband (which she preferred as a necklace) in the mode. She wore the dress two days in a row despite her mother's advice, and it amused her to go around showing everyone the rose growing out of her head, and telling them that she got her new dress at a store. Little did she know- she was the last to know, as everyone else had seen the dress in progress. Haha =) They played along.

People asked most about the roses, but the fabric that eventually became the headband rose was an afterthought. Here it is freshly folded into its new floral form instead of the originally intended frilly wide band. I sewed the custom-oriented left-handed button behind the large main rose (inspired by the Mayflower Dress in sarahseven's Etsy Shop). It was a bit roomy when she tried it on, but a ruched back collar fixed that.