Lil turned 7 on Sunday. It was a weekend of celebrations, with little girls over for a birthday party, crafts, games and lots and lots of cake!
For months Lil has been asking me to make her a dress that touches the ground. I thought a birthday dress would be the perfect opportunity to grant her wish and I let her loose in my fabric stash to choose any fabric she wanted. I wasn’t expecting it to be so classic and floral. Apparently when you turn 7 flowers are very important – particularly roses. I bought this fabric (Tilda by Norwegian designer Tone Finnanger) half price when my local fabric store recently closed down. It is beautiful, but not my usual style so I was surprised when Lil choose it and tried to sway her towards something else but she wouldn’t budge!
Then I spent an evening looking through my patterns and Ottobre magazines trying to find a maxi-length dress with no luck when it dawned on me that I could easily turn my Wonderland pattern into a maxi dress! I’m not sure why I haven’t made more of these dresses for Lil – the last one I made for her was when she was 4. I think I must have forgotten about it, but am planning on making a few more soon. It is such a sweet dress, a little bit fancy but not too over the top. Quite a quick sew too, the bodice is fully lined and the sleeve edges and hem of the dress are niftily hemmed using a ribbon or other trim. We choose this pink crocheted lace. Lace, too, is apparently important in the eyes of a 7 year old girl.
To turn the dress into maxi length: first, I made the bodice and tried it on Lil. Then I measured how long I wanted the skirt to be from the bottom of the bodice to the floor and added seam allowances. I decided to gather the top of the skirt instead of pleats and sewed the skirt onto the bottom of the bodice using the regular method of attaching a skirt with right sides together instead of attaching the skirt to the outside of the bodice as the pattern instructs.
After I had finished the dress, I thought it would look nice with a strip of lace around the bottom of the bodice too, so sewed that on. And to make things faster I opted for snaps down the back of the dress instead of buttons!
Lil is over the moon. And the dress actually looks a lot cuter than I thought it would to start with. A bit “Little House on the Prairie” but I’m happy that she looks like a little girl and prefers to wear clothes like this rather than styles that are meant for teenagers!
To kick things off there was a birthday party on the weekend with her school friends and a couple of cousins. We had 13 little girls here and they were so cute and lovely to have around. We decided on a “make your own jewellery” themed party and thought it would be fun for the girls to do some crafting together.
This free printable from Willowday was perfect to set the theme for the invitations.
I set up lots of beads, buttons and jewellery supplies on the table and after a game of pass-the-parcel the girls sat and made necklaces and rings. I also had a bowl of fruit loops with some twine to make an edible necklace – which was more popular than the beads! The girls didn’t spend as much time crafting as I thought but didn’t want to play any more games and were happy just playing together and snacking on party food for the rest of the time.
Lil wanted a strawberry cake so I made her a very pink cake (mixed a packet of strawberry jelly crystals into a butter cake) and swirled icing “roses” with a piping bag then Lil sprinkled hearts, pearls and coloured sugar over the top.
We always have a cake for Sunday night family dinner at Mum and Dad’s house and she wanted more strawberries so I went crazy with a quadrupole layered sponge filled with strawberries and cream to feed the troops. Yummo!
And that wraps up another birthday in the Coward family!
Lilsy posed before church this morning wearing another version of Wonderland. I was a little unsure how this fabric would look sewn up and still think it has a bit of a Polynesian feel to it but it’s always nice to see little girls dressed in not so much pink/pretty/floral!
It was a little chilly this morning so we went with our old trick of popping a white top underneath. I really do love this dress, it is pretty and cute and girly without being too grown up.
And for everyone who left an “isn’t Lil the best little model” comment…here’s the truth:
In real life it isn’t always as sweet and happy as the photos look! There was a LOT of pouting and grizzling and complaining on Lil’s behalf and coaxing and bribing on mine! Including statements such as “when we are finished lets go to the supermarket and you can choose ANY treat you want” and “look happy for five more photos and then you can have a turn taking photos of Mummy.” It felt like a lost cause for awhile, but we got there eventually!
I’m feeling well overdue for a brand new pattern release, so am pleased to introduce you to Wonderland 🙂
The Wonderland dress is destined to be loved by girls of all ages. A dress with a more formal approach, Wonderland is suitable for a special occasion…think birthday parties, weddings, special dinners.
The sweet ribbon trim on the dainty cap sleeves and skirt hem adds a gorgeous touch of detail, allowing you to use a more subtle fabric and let the ribbon shine!
With pleats galore and buttons down the back, Wonderland will be perfect for any fancy-do!
I am SO pleased with this gorgeous little dress. My motivation behind it was that I needed something a little bit fancy – but not to fluffy and over the top. I didn’t want the dress to be one that hung in the cupboard and was only every now and then because it was too “special”. Wonderland is the perfect compromise!
The entire skirt is pleated around the top, which makes it look a little more classy and topped off with little cap sleeves and a neat row of buttons down the back, I think it is the cutest thing ever!
Wonderland is avaliable in two size ranges:
6 months-5 years and
6 years-10 years
so none of your little girls will miss out on this one!
If you would like to purchase a copy of Wonderland for yourself, they should be popping up in retail stores very soon. Ask your favourite store to get one in for you!
I’m giving away a copy of Wonderland (in your choice of size range) to one lucky reader – leave a comment on this post to be in the running! (Please make sure you leave an email address with your comment. Giveaway will close Tuesday 29th March and winner will be drawn via a random number generator.)