I picked up a sweet little dotted print at JoAnn's a few months ago (an impulse buy -- I know, I know!) with the intention of making a play dress for Rosa. At the time I was thinking it would be long-sleeved, but now that our weather seems to be making consistent strides toward Spring, I opted for short sleeves. A little cardigan can easily warm it up if needed!
I also opted for a pattern that's been in my stash for at least a decade (never used!), because it's frankly ridiculous to have a pattern and never use it. Even though I've cleaned out my pattern collection extensively, there are a few unused patterns lurking in there.
The pattern is Butterick 4176, marked "Fast & Easy."
I like fast and easy! The dress came together in less than a day, so I'd so their claim is well-justified. I cut out the size 4 even though the size 5 measurements were more accurate -- I assumed there would be too much ease, and apparently I was correct because it fits Rosa beautifully!
I love the simple, pleated/tucked style! Though, of course, I did change a few things. I lengthened it a few inches (three, perhaps?), gave it a slightly beefier hem, changed the neckline finishing by drafting facings (I loathe the "sew on bias trim and press under" finishes!), and added a button tab to close it in the back (which worked perfectly with my added facing). Oh, and I sewed the sleeves in before sewing up the side seams because children's armholes are so small and fidgety. Then again, I didn't really consult the instructions after I read how to sew in the tucks! I haven't made a commercial pattern in some time, so it was a bit odd using 5/8" seam allowances.
When it came to choosing buttons, I pulled out my vintage collection. Two green buttons immediately caught my eye! Not what I was thinking of at all, but I love them. One for the back, and one for the front, flanked by two vintage mother-of-pearl beauties (sewn on with green thread, and arranged perpendicularly to the green button -- I was in a quirky mood!)
Rosa seems to love whatever I make her -- an attitude that I am not taking for granted, since it may not last forever! She wore this the very next day to the local gardens, and it was such a joy to see her frolicking about (she was frolicking, truly!) in her new frock. I think there may be more "fast and easy" in my future...