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Watching as the girl that made me a momma gets older is both exciting and nostalgic. I live vicariously through my children’s birthdays and want to make them as special as possible. My birthday was always a highly anticipated event as a child, and now that it comes and goes without the fanfare of childhood I guess I like to channel that energy and love for birthdays into my children. At the same time it’s hard to see your baby get older and know they won’t put that baby fat back on, or mis-pronounce those cute words anymore. Their growing independence is both a relief and a disappointment. They no longer need me as much, but then again having three kids three and under has been a challenge and I kind of like that this one is becoming more independent.
For her birthday dress I wanted her to have as much input as possible. Thankfully I think she has an eye for fashion and I could get on board with her choices. So as we were driving in the car one day she told me she wanted a purple glittery high-low dress with lots of ruffles. I immediately thought of the Patricia dress by Simple Life Pattern Company. I wanted to know she was sure though, since she changes her mind a lot. So I sketched the options of dress patterns that I have for her to pick from. I colored them on child-like croquis that I got from this Usborne book because normally when I show her the modeled pictures of dress patterns she can’t separate the dress style from the fabric combinations and she tends to choose her favorites based on fabric. When I showed her my sketches she picked the Patricia dress without hesitation so I was confident we could move forward.
I didn’t have any purple glittery fabric though so we went to Joann’s. Initially we didn’t find anything that fit the bill and we were about to settle when she wondered off. Within moments she came running back to me with her face lit up exclaiming that she found it and I should come quick. I was just as excited as she was when I saw how perfect it was. Joann’s has this glittery knit in lots of colors in case you have glitter loving girls.
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The Patricia pattern is designed for woven’s and knits and comes in tunic and dress lengths. I made her two tunics here, but not the dress length yet, and I also hadn’t tried it in knit. I knew I should have sized down since the pattern doesn’t have separate bodice pieces for knit or woven, but I didn’t. Because of that, and possibly the type of knit we chose, it does fall off her shoulder sometimes. Another option would have been to line it in woven and that probably would have helped but I didn’t think of that in time. The only ruffly sleeves in the pattern are the long versions, and with summer as hot as it is here I knew we couldn’t make those, but I still wanted her to have ruffly sleeves so I just freehanded a cap sleeve just like a circe skirt. I basted it in first to see how it looked before committing and I was happy with it. The other change I made was to add clear elastic at the waistline. I did it after the fact because it was pulling funny. I think in general I need to do that with any knit dress that has a high waistline so it lays nicely.

I bought two Soft Cactus dolls back when it was her sister’s birthday. I already shared Emma, and I’ve been saving Lotta until now. Just like I did for her sister I made her doll a dress to match. I cannot say enough good things about these dolls and my girls love them dearly, especially now that they each have one.
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For her birthday we also got pedis, and then went out to take pictures. It was a fun day spent together and I’ll cherish the memory for a very long time.
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  1. mamidesofiona Reply

    I love the idea of the little figures to draw outfits on. My oldest would have pages of those filled in no time! And I’m so glad she found her fabric!

    • It was fun, I ran off several copies, so we all colored some at the same time 😉 My daughter kept going back to her drawings all week.

  2. LOVELY! Love the dress, the images, and your daughter is precious! Great idea to sketch to help the little ones visualize ‘their’ dress; I may have to borrow your idea. 😉

  3. I really love the little drawings you did, makes it such a special process together! Lovely dress!

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