A birthday dress

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Isn’t this fabric beautiful? It’s Amy Butler’s Tumble Roses, and I’ve been saving it up for something special. Something like, hmmm, a fourth birthday dress! The Bee asked for a twirly dress for her birthday, and I’ve been wanting to crack open my copy of Emma Hardy’s ‘Making Children’s Clothes’ ever since making up her sweet and simple corduroy skirt pattern last year. So out it came, spine bleached from too much sun and too little use, and the Party Dress looked worth a try.

The Bee is usually a size 5 in clothes as she’s tall for her age, but the size 4-5 bodice pieces looked (even to my *very* untrained eye) huge, so I took a deep breath and – eek! – took a little off the side seams: alteration number one. The Bee beamed and twirled during fittings, while I scrunched up my nose and worried about the largeness of it all, but she assured me that it would be “good for growing into”. Then, part way through one fitting, she spotted a piece of fuchsia pink cotton. And I learned that there is no explaining to a pink-obsessed nearly-four-year-old that I can’t just change the colour half way through making a dress… So, softie that I am, I added a large bright pink hem band, and then some matching waist ties to cinch it in a bit, should it turn out too large (it did – good decision!), making pattern alterations two and three.

My main issue with this pattern, apart from the size, was that I couldn’t understand how to make the back fastenings – is it just me, or is there a step missing? – so I was grateful for the amazing Made By Rae Geranium Dress pattern that I’d just finished making, which I gratefully followed to create the back fastenings for alteration number four.

All those alterations were a teeny bit stressful as this is only the second dress I’ve ever made – so I really was holding my breath until the end, hoping it would work… The dress still looked very large, and I’m annoyed that I attached the waist ties too high as they pull the dress in just *above* the waistline, which looks a bit odd. Although as I’d never made waist ties before and was making it all up as I went, I’m still going to call it a win! 😉  And it was finished, ready for the big day, and The Bee loved it. Phew!

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