Dilemma: what do you do when your children ask you to sew something you don’t want to make?
The Bee has been wanting a Hello Kitty dress for a long time, and although I have nothing against the whiskered critter, she‘s just not my usual aesthetic. Don’t get me wrong – if someone gave her the kind of neon pink ruffled item I think she’s imagining, of course I’d let her wear it. But sewing one is a different matter.
So I was pretty excited when I came across a line of Liberty print fabrics subtly peppered with kitties, and thought I’d found the perfect compromise. The ‘Capital’ print (below) jumped out at me as the Bee has long been interested in all things London. But at £45 per metre?! It was sadly not to be.
But wouldn’t you know, they make the same print as a polycotton bedspread! At about a tenth of the (per metre) price, it was worth a shot. When it arrived, I was a little disappointed; I think I was hoping that, being Liberty and all, it would somehow be amazing quality – but it was just a standard, slightly stiff polycotton. On the plus side, it should be quite hardwearing!
I used the same t-shirt dress tutorial as the Elsa dress, and (as before) gathered the skirts rather than pleating – it’s a great set of instructions and if you’ve never sewn a dress before, this would be a great place to start. It’s so quick and satisfying that I made one for the Smidge too: they love matching clothes, and often ask to be “sister snap” (how could a mother resist that!?).
I cut the interfacing the wrong way for the Bee’s dress: I didn’t realise the stuff was stretchy in one dimension until I tried to use it to stabilise the waistband. Which of course, it didn’t do! So the Bee’s dress ended up being rather wide. Ah well – it doesn’t look too bad, and I learned something new. I cut it the non-stretchy way for the Smidge and it looks much better.
I guess I got a bit lucky with the fabric – I’m not sure what I’d have done if I hadn’t found a reasonably tasteful option.
Postscript: I also ended up making one for the Bee’s best friend as a birthday present, as she wanted to be “friend snap”… Having just made two of them, I thought it’d be a quick and easy sew – only somehow, I cut the fabric a bit too short – disaster! Liesel’s clever ribbon hem method (from Oliver + S’s free Lazy Days Skirt pattern) came to the rescue, and gave just enough length to be viable! And now that’s quite enough kitty dresses for me, I think.