First of all, huge thanks to everyone who commented on my Google quilt, either here or on Twitter or elsewhere. Seriously, you are too kind, and that felt awesome. Thank you thank you.
On to another fun project. My five-year-old daughter has expressed some interest in learning how to sew. I’ve been trying to let her sit on my lap more often when I’m sewing, and otherwise involve her in the process. A few weeks ago, she decided that we should make a dress together. As luck would have it, Oliver + S sent a coupon for 50% off of their paper patterns, so I let Becca choose a few (as long as they were rated no more than two scissors for difficulty!). Number one on her list was the Ice Cream Dress.
She watched the mail for days, and was thrilled when they arrived. We went online together to order the fabric, which she also chose herself. She helped cut out the pattern pieces, cut the fabric, pin and iron. Actually having her do the sewing was trickier, but she still really felt like this was a project that the two of us got to do together.
I am happy to say that the dress came together fairly easily. I was a little nervous, moving up in the world from one-scissor difficulty to two. But my good experience with the Oliver + S pattern holds. The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow, even for someone like me who doesn’t make clothing very often.
Of course, I did stay within my comfort zone for fabric and stuck with my beloved quilting cottons. Other types of fabric, frankly, make me nervous. Maybe some day I will take an actual class in which someone sits me down and talks to me about the other options out there, but for now, I’ll stick with the devil I know. Becca chose the fabric herself – from the Once Upon a Time line by Alexander Henry.
It’s a little chilly here in Massachusetts for a short-sleeved dress (note the goosebumps on her arms!), but it’s pretty generously sized and she could wear it with a long-sleeved shirt underneath if she really wanted to. And clearly it will still fit the next time warm weather rolls around. For my relatively petite 5-year-old, the size 5 was a bit generous and the 4T would likely have fit her better. However, the 4T was the largest size in the smaller version of the pattern, and the 5 is the smallest in the larger version. I felt like I would rather err on the side of getting the bigger pattern and being able to make it a few times, rather than immediately growing out of the smaller one.
So, if you’re new to or nervous about garment-making, like I am, I still highly recommend the Oliver + S patterns for making kids’ and babies’ clothing. The Bedtime Story Pajamas were the first I ever made, and are still a favorite. In fact, I think I may have to make a set for my kids and their cousins for the holidays… yikes, better get sewing.