Monday, July 02, 2012

Getting Carried Away

Sometimes, it's fun to get carried away. And when I heard that a sweet friend of ours had a baby girl on the way, I knew that's exactly what would happen. I can't deny that one of my first thoughts was, "Finally, I have an excuse to make some of the cute baby girl things I've been saving to Pinterest!" *wink*

It all started with owls -- aforementioned friend has a charming little owl necklace and a very fun and eclectic style, so I decided to applique an owl onto a baby dress. Despite the fact that I have never appliqued before. And because my life is just not challenging enough, I decided to make the dress reversible, and add some homemade piping in for good measure. Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually tyring to drive myself insane. All in all, though, the project went remarkably smoothly.

Let's just say the seam ripper and I were
inseparable during the applique process...

I used the slip pattern from Simplicity 2900 to make the dress, extending the shoulder straps and rounding the edges to suit my concept for the dress/jumper. And I lined it, of course, but that was rather simple. Finding buttons to match turned out to be the hardest part! Apparently tasteful buttons in peach or coral are not high on button manufacturers' agendas. But some coconut husk buttons (50% off at JoAnn's!) caught my eye on my third or fourth perusal of the button aisle, and the dress was complete.

The finished dress! To make the lining easier, I bound the hem with bias trim.

But I wasn't done. Because what's a dress without matching bloomers (ruffled, of course)?

My favorite ruffle is a bias (or semi-bias) strip, gathered down the center and
then zig-zagged onto the garment. No hemming required, and very little fuss.

And shoes?

More bias ruffles, gathered on the edge this time. And fold-over elastic for the straps.

And a headband?

More fold-over elastic for the headband -- and lo and behold, I had a 
button in my stash that matched the dress buttons perfectly!

And a pacifier clip? (Seriously, what self-respecting baby girl leaves the house without a matching pacifier clip?)

More bias ruffle and some grosgrain ribbon. I find the pacifier
clips with a loop at the end to be the most versatile.

I told you I got carried away. 

It turned into something of a "if I still have fabric scraps, I will press on" type of deal.

Here's the inside-out view, just in case the owl is a bit too much!

For the shoes, I used the Mila Baby Shoe Tutorial with a few changes -- I opted for bias ruffles instead of the more complicated ruffle in the tutorial (with corduroy, I thought it would come out too bulky, as well). I also sewed the elastic strap into the seam between the lining and the outer, rather than stitching it on at the end. It gives the shoe a cleaner look, in my opinion, though it made assembling the shoe a bit trickier. And lastly, I saved the shoe sole lining for last and hand stitched it in to hide the seam allowance inside (the tutorial has you serge the inside seam). This turned out okay, though my lining is a little "bubbly." But for a baby that's not walking, I don't think it's a problem.

The flower headband and pacifier clip were improvised, and I can't remember what pattern I used for the bloomers (it was from one of the baby patterns in my stash). My bloomer pattern had a center back seam as well as side seams, so I sewed that back seam up, applied my ruffles (which were not included in the pattern), and then sewed the side seams together. Otherwise, sewing the ruffles on would have been a nightmare!

One of my thrifted baskets that I really didn't need turned out to be perfect for displaying the dress (why do I give in to thrift store baskets so easily? Why, oh why?). And after some creative wrapping when my one-and-only piece of cellophane decided to tear in an awkward spot, it was all ready for a certain little lady!

Edited to add: I modified the owl template from Juicy Bits for the applique! 


  1. It's all just TOO adorable Shannon! :D I think the little owl adds just the right touch of sweetness to it. :) Beautifully done! I'm sure your friend will fall in love with the set you specially created for her little girl.

    God bless!

  2. Very sweet! It reminds me of something from Boden, which is a good thing in my book. :)


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