We made it to age five! When the tough parts were tough, I would chant to myself, make it to five, make it to five. It helped. Although now that I’m here, I need a new goal.
Since this is the signature style challenge, I’m going to try to boil down my aesthetic into a handful of words. (with the help of my friends, because I have never really put my aesthetic into words.)
Special occasion, fun, wearable, whimsical. It also has to photograph and my kids have to be excited. I like subtle themes, like an elegant take on a loud theme, or mixing up my seasons, or giving an impression without going costume.
Just like every previous birthday, I sewed up something for the birthday girl. It’s a mixture of their current self, my taste, and what we want to do for a photo shoot, and as a bonus it’s easy to buckle around in a car seat. I’ve also slowly moved toward more earth-friendly practices. This outfit is the most organic so far, but also the toughest to track down!
First, the pattern. I saw this dress on Pinterest. It was everything I was looking for – pockets, long sleeves, football colors (the stars from the NFL logo, and the neon green for the Seahawks). Emmeline actually designed a dress on paper for me, and this was close to my interpretation.
What a goose chase though! The Pinterest image had no link, but I was able to track down another website with a similar vibe, and in a foreign language. I almost gave up after Google Translate gave me several dead ends, but I high lighted a few phrases and kept searching, using Google Image mostly. And then, bingo! I found the blogger who had made it. But….it wasn’t her pattern, so I dug though her old posts to see if she had a link to the pattern or a name, and she did: the Antoinette. Only to find out it was a limited run on the pattern a year before. *facepalm*
The pattern maker had others with a similar element, and I toyed with patching them all together, but that didn’t sound fun at all. Then I really looked at it. I could make this without a pattern…or rather, I could make up my own! I had done it before with pants using fabulously free and informative online tutorials, so I broke it down to what I needed: a long-sleeve top, a collar, horseshoe pockets, a gathered skirt, and bias tape. I had a pattern for a collar from the Josephine Blouse via Violette Field Threads. I had a bias tape tool and a tutorial, and I was on my way.
Next, the fabric. I wanted to duplicate the stars fabric, but I just couldn’t find anything that with that exact size and spacing. So I went to Spoonflower to see if someone had a similar fabric they designed. There were a lot of star fabrics, so just for fun I changed gears and looked at Lego fabric. The kid loves Legos as much as she loves Seahawks, so I thought if I couldn’t find a subtle, yet football-inspired fabric, I would try Lego. Then I found it! A Lego fabric in Seahawks colors!! Who knew this even existed! I ordered two yards in the organic cotton knit. Main fabric, done.
Onto…the pants fabric. I own a fabulous pair of posh pants from Texture Clothing in Bellingham. And they’re this beautiful tea green color that I wanted. They also sell the fabric they use, but when I checked, they were all out of this particular green. I usually struggle with fabric for Emmeline, but usually when I find what I want, I just order it. Not so here. I used every ounce of research skills I had to get a yard of this fantastic hemp/cotton/lycra blend fabric. I used Make-It Love-it’s leggings tutorial.
Lastly, shoes. I really did pull this together from all over the United States. The trouble with waiting until January to buy shoes is that the major holiday sales have depleted a lot of the sizes, especially in the older kids. And out of all the silver shoes on See Kai Run and Pediped, I had to have a particular one from Pediped. And every website was out of her size. It took me a lot of searching to find a store in Alabama that carried them, but when I ordered the pair I wanted, I found out they were out of the size, but had the next size up. Thank heaven for fiberfill! I was able to stuff some in the toes of her shoes for a nice fit. The shiny and matte grey and the flower gave the whole look a nice texture, and reminded me of the grey numbers on the Seahawks jerseys. Little sister is wearing See Kai Run Kanoa in blue. She calls them her “hee-hock” shoes.
I love how these pieces turned out, and I even had time to sew sleeves onto a consignment shop top for little sister with some leftover piece of the hemp/cotton/lycra green tea fabric. It makes me so happy that after two months, Emmeline still reaches into the closet for her ‘Seahawks Lego dress’.
Don’t mind the face; they actually love their clothes. :)
Notes about this outfit:
1) the bricks fabric is dyed on one side only, so it showed every stitch I put into it. I had to ladder stitch part of the skirt to the bodice, so it wouldn’t show.
2. My new favorite stitch is triple stretch with a double needle. I discovered it by accident, and it’s so strong and stretchy with my regular sewing machine, that I top stitched her side seams and shoulders with a neon green just to show it off, especially when she throws her hands up for a touchdown.
3. This was my first time with horse shoe pockets, and I love them. I attached the skirt so the top is seamless with the pocket. The top actually extends down and acts as a long undershirt and pocket backing. I didn’t want to break up the fabric there, and it was worth the extra work, especially since it keeps her warm. They also store Lego minifigures really well.
4. This is my most practical creation so far: there are pockets for treasures and cold hands, slightly shorter sleeves to make hand washing easy, no closures in the back, so she can put it on herself and lay down comfortably, extra bodice length for warmth at school, shorter skirt for easy potty breaks and car seat maneuvering, and it’s a thicker fabric, so she can wear it without a coat.
Update! The internet is truly an awesome place. I was looking at the other signature look sew-along entries, and what do I see? Why it’s the Antoinette by A Nest Full of Eggs. And at the bottom of her blog post, she offered the pattern/tutorial! So because of the generosity of the original pattern maker, and the community of Project Run and Play, I now have the Antoinette dress!