Category Archives: red

Miss Seven’s birthday dress and her all time favourite makes

With the exception of the odd t-shirt, and winter coat, I sew pretty much everything else my daughters wear these days. Thankfully, they are all still at the point where they are delighted with anything and everything that Mummy makes, but there are always clear favourites that get worn day after day, literally until they are fraying at the seams. I always find it interesting to see what emerges as the winner, and why.

The big winners over the past six months (based on frequency of wear) are (working clockwise from the top left): her Twirl to Me dress (I can’t help but feel a little chuffed with this choice),  her recent yellow cartwheel shorts (these surprised me!), the Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress (that retained it’s winning status even when I had to convert it into a skirt), a simple self-drafted cotton maxi skirt, an Oliver + S Ice Cream dress, her Rosie Assoulin knock off, a Go To mini Jaywalker maxi, and finally, that Oliver + S Hide and Seek dress as a skirt and Daddy’s old Ralph Lauren sweater refashioned. My personal favourite is the Rosie Assoulin bow dress. I can’t help but watch her all day when she wears that.

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So what got me thinking about her favourite makes? This Ice Cream dress by Oliver + S. I made Miss Seven a new version for her recent birthday. Her earlier version really needs to be retired, and that’s saying something, because quilting cotton is hard-wearing. The dress is such a practical and comfortable design for kids. It covers the shoulders and yet doesn’t restrict play. It’s also a super easy sew and has become her go-to school uniform.

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I used some beautiful charcoal linen and a little remnant of a floral linen/silk blend that I was lucky enough to find on the remnant table at Tessuti Fabrics many, many moons ago. I miss my weekly remnant shopping excursions. I had quite the stash of Tessuti remnants when I arrived in Kansas a year ago, but they are starting to dwindle now.

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Little red drop waist dress

We’d only been in the neighbourhood for a few months when I started hearing about this little street party that is held annually on the Fourth of July. Apparently, there is face-painting, a ticker tape parade that begins in our cul-de-sac and ends in the next, bagpipe playing, lots of fireworks and much merriment that runs late into the night. I was warned that it starts in the morning, and that everybody dresses in red, white, and blue.

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of costumes (says the woman who just made three Elsa dresses for her girls). Well, to rephrase that: I don’t like making things that will only be worn once or twice. So my first action was to investigate the girls’ cupboards. Miss Six was sorted, or so I thought. Until she informed me that her perfectly suited (cool and comfy) red jumpsuit was not an option. She was going to wear her blue Elsa dress, and it fit the rules because it was blue. Okaaaaay, so I can’t actually argue with that logic.

I chose this option for Miss Two, but of course, it was also kicked to the curb in favour of the blue Elsa dress. Of course middle child also had to join the Elsa party, so at this point, the Fourth of July outfits in this house are all Elsa dresses. I’m wondering if I can add some red ribbons to their hair.


So in order to bring a little balance to this party, I decided to make something for myself. I had a little bit of red ponte left in my stash, purchased from Tessuti several eons ago. I love ponte knits and Tessuti fabrics often get the most delicious prints in from Italy. But I quite like their solids too. Ponte is insanely easy to sew and very flattering to wear.

I used the pattern I drafted for my first Jaywalk entry, but because I was dealing with a more stable ponte knit rather than a more stretchy jersey, I had to make some changes. I slashed the front to add bust darts and widen it a tad. I also added an extra 2cm in width along the entire length of the CB.

 

This was a quick make and intended for a only few wears, so I didn’t take much time to work out the fit with the new pattern changes. I think I need to add a couple of fish eye darts in the back to fix those back wrinkles. The length is barely acceptable at the front, but I simply didn’t have enough fabric to make that flounce any longer and I wasn’t willing to compromise with a different fabric. It’s ok for a day…as long as it isn’t windy.


I quite like this little red dress paired with a crop top. I’ve mostly been wearing this top as a vest over my Jaywalk dress, even though I originally made it to pair with it’s matching Esther shorts. There’s a little bit of blue and white in it which I think will give me a pass by the costume department for our street party.

The big SIX Salme birthday jumpsuit

This year, my big girl celebrated her birthday in Spring. It probably didn’t mean a great deal to her. Spring in Kansas is still a LOT colder than a Sydney Autumn. But despite this, I still took it as a great excuse to make her something summery to wear for the days ahead. We may have had a little glitch in our Spring a few days ago (snow!) but the sunshine returned on her big day, which gave us the perfect photo opportunity. I should also point out that I don’t have a great say in her styling. Just check out those fuschia sandals and headpiece!

I’ve made this sweet little Salme Kimono jumpsuit before. Last summer, I stitched it up in some gorgeous Liberty print for Coco. I loved it on her and surprisingly, I think she loved it just as much. The simple style of this jumpsuit is perfectly matched to a pretty and lightweight Liberty cotton. I know it must have been a favourite, because I saw myself hanging it on the clothes line every second day!


It was such a perfect fit on Miss Six last year that I knew I’d be making another for her very soon. I passed her old version on to Miss Four in the slim hope that it will be loved as much….but I have serious doubts that Lady Ballerina Tutu will give it a second glance in her wardrobe.

For this version, I lengthened it to size 9 (the largest size) but graded both the bodice and the shorts width down to an 8. I was generous in my estimation for her, because I didn’t want her to outgrow this one as quickly as she did the last one. You can see that the fit is roomy, but not overly so. The torso length was the part that Miss Six outgrew first, although it is worth mentioning that she is currently on the 90th centile for height. So if you are using this information to choose a size, Coco’s height is roughly equivalent to that of an average seven year old, but she still quite lean. I would suggest going up one size for age in this pattern.

I used some beautiful cotton from Tessuti Fabrics. I purchased it months ago, specifically with Coco in mind. Her ONLY favourite colour back then was red, and this lovely Liberty-like fabric just grabbed me. I can’t remember it’s origin. It might be Japanese…but it feels and behaves a lot like the tana lawn that is used for Liberty of London (but without the same price tag!).

So on that note, I would like to wish my one and only big girl with the amazing curls, a very happy SIX birthday. We all love you to bits! x