Sorry for those of you bored by kids wear but I do have two chickens that I like to dress with fun, funky, unique clothes at times. We have a couple of family functions coming up and wanted to get prepared and make the dresses well before they were required, not the night before as per my usual habit. I came across this Haven Dress pattern from Violette Field Threads and was smitten with a lot of their patterns actually.
There are quite a few variations to the Haven dress pattern but personally I liked the dress with the full coverage top, for modesty, as opposed to the one that ends at the side seam. The fabric wasn’t the best quality but I thought the shimmer makes it special, especially for a little girl, and the addition of the lace at the back makes it whimsy. I cut a size 4, except for the dress length I cut the size 10 as I thought it’s easier to hem shorter than to lengthen later, obviously.
The fabric is japanese tissue lame in rose white (45% nylon, 55% metal). I self-lined the bodice as I didn’t know if the fabric would be irritating to wear and that way all internal seams were enclosed. When my daughter wore this for the photos she said the neckline was itchy, so rather than unpick the neckline bias and sew on ribbon like I originally thought, I cut a strip of thin felt and sewed it onto the underside. I just wanted a quick fix in this instance. I had made self bias binding as per the instructions for the armholes, neckline and ties. This fabric frays like no bodies business and I had to quickly serge seams, and I’m still cleaning up threads from the sewing room a month later. I did use french seams where possible, particularly the side seams and the sash.
During construction, whilst attaching the skirt to the waistband I realised the fabric was a bit transparent so made a lining from stash top pop poplin in light pink (90%polyester/20% cotton), cutting 2 rectangles of 45cm x 52cm and making 2 pleats about equidistant on both front and back pieces. I later hemmed the poplin to the desired length once the dress was complete, about 1 1/2 cm shorter than the dress itself. Because I wanted to continue the lace theme I added a strip of lace to the dress hem from the underside.
I added the included belt loops at the sides and made a matching sash, albeit shorter than the pattern recommended. I felt with the fabric and dress design features I didn’t want a big bow at the waist. I followed all instructions for the construction of this dress. There aren’t pattern pieces provided for things that are basic rectangles but dimensions are provided, such as for belt loops, the sash and back “bodice” pieces.
I find the dress difficult to put on my daughter from over her head, but it’s easy enough if she steps into it. I just hope that this dress withstands the kiddy test and doesn’t tear because it is quite “fragile” and thin. When my husband saw the finished dress all he could say is “It’s shiny”. I made a matching hair clip using some lame scraps, I made a crochet flower, used a stash button and lace, and there you have it.
I’m not the kind of mother that buys her children the same outfit in different sizes so my kids dress the same, not that I see anything wrong with that, but I do like to have them co-ordinated in others ways, usually by colour scheme. I had originally planned a different dress for baby chick but was inspired to make something using lame scraps. That will be in another post.