How calm the child looks! Wistful, even! A lazy day, a tree swing, a new dress. And a cocktail for the photographer.
Wait, child. I don't think I like that look on your face...
LISTEN KID THIS CAMERA IS BRAND NEW
MIND THE COCKTAIL!
Thank god for oscillation.
And for inanimate subjects.
This little beauty (yes, I am talking about the rambunctious child and not the docile doll) is my friend Olivia, and we spent a good chunk of a September weekend running around her yard.
She was pretty happy to be dressed up just like her "Marcydoll", which was presented to her a few years back. Marcydoll is done up in a Betsey Johnson jersey print, and years later, I still had enough for a matching dress. (Honestly, I think I bought about 10 yards when I came across a bolt in my beloved Janky store. I also have a Marcy sized two piece ensemble out of it.) Although the pattern doesn't recommend jersey, for this energetic kid, the combo is a winner.
BUT WHAT IS THE PATTERN AND WHY ARE YOU MAKING CLOTHING FOR CHILDREN, you ask? (I imagine you're asking it in all caps. It's more fun that way.) Well! This is my version of the dress from Oliver & S's newest book, The Building Block Dress: A Sewing Pattern Alteration Guide, and I'm
the last stop on the tour (eta: there are more stops next week!). Olivia is graciously modeling her variation, which includes the customizations of Cap Sleeve, Peter Pan Collar, Flared Gathered A Line Skirt, and Keyhole Opening. (The more experienced among you will realize the err of my ways in thinking I could get flat detail shots of the dress after giving it to her. Once on, Olivia was having none of taking the dress off again, which I took as a seal of approval.)
The book includes a block dress pattern (size 6M to 12) which is super cute right out of the gate. But it also includes detailed instructions for customizing the pattern to make ridiculous amounts of versions. I imagine if you've got a permanent kiddo, and want to sew as she grows, this book is gold. Having no kiddos myself, and knowing my past experience with sewing for the younger set, I suppose you're still puzzled as to why I'm talking about this book. I confess, I was confused when Liesl reached out to me, too! There are several reasons I wanted to climb on board, and several reasons why I love this book.
One: I'm becoming ever more aware that the young ladies in my life are getting to the age where they actively choose what goes on their bods--and 99% of the time they're choosing technicolor. (The other 1% is for screaming through the house naked after a bath. True story.) HAPPY TO HELP. Happier to do so with one customizable pattern that can easily change and grow with them!
Two: I was intrigued by Liesl's suggestion that this book would be useful to my own garment sewing as well. She was right. What's great about making these child sized dresses is that you can practice pattern customization on one small block--and the size of the pieces makes the manipulations super quick and manageable. Liesl's instructions also make these customizations foolproof. Before I knew it, I was addicted, and made 3 dresses of different options, hollering inappropriately to Rob all the way: CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW CUTE THESE FRIGGING THINGS ARE. Slashing & hacking up the kid sized block pattern is great fun, and great practice. You suddenly view all those adult sized patterns with a customizable eye. I’ve used the instructions on sleeve manipulation for myself already.
Three: Woman gave away a kidney. THAT'S RIGHT. Strange reasoning? Well, I thought, there are people out there who willingly give away organs. Mebbe I can find the time to try and MAKE A DRESS FOR MY NIECE. (And I did-- two in Ankara, which you'll see soon.)
Basically, what I'm saying here is that Organ Donation is akin to Sewing For Children.
My logic there *might* be flawed.
As part of the tour, I was gifted a copy of The Building Block Dress Book (not an affiliate link) and honestly, I enjoyed the hell out of it. I cackled at every little fluttered sleeve and ridiculously cute collar that came out of my machine, and I love all my little customized patterns! I'll be making more, so long as these young ladies continue on this most righteous path to an Oz closet.