Friday, December 31, 2010

Cassie's dress

This is the dress I made our daughter for her Christmas present this year.  I know her tastes very well and could picture exactly the dress I wanted to make for her, but was quite anxious about how to go about it.  Cassie is the most difficult one in the family for me to sew surprises for, for the following reasons:


1. In order for her to like it, it had to fit her perfectly; neither tight or clingy, or worse, saggy and baggy.
2. I wanted it to be a length that made both of us happy.  Once upon a time, not too long ago, if you had drawn up as a simple Venn diagram of preferred dress/skirt lengths for Cassie, comprising two sets representing mine and Cassie's preferences; the intersection of the two sets would have been quite a tiny one.  Luckily she has grown up some and is aware that while barely bum-skimming skirts might be greatly appreciated by guys when a girl bends over to pick something up, that sight of publicly exposed knickers is often a moment of horrified self-awareness for that same girl's friends.  "OMG, don't tell me I've ever looked like that?!!
3. She loves sewing herself, so is always super aware of what I am currently sewing.  She also loves to go through the fabric stash, looking for something suitable for herself, and often wants to come with me if I go fabric shopping.  This makes embarking on a secretive project an extreme challenge.


So, how to make her a secret Christmas dress, that fitted perfectly, and of a length that she would be happy with?
Well of course, it couldn't really be much of a secret in the end.  But she has a sense of humour and we managed a compromise... she stood in the laundry with her eyes shut while I did the fitting.  Again with her eyes shut, a mutually satisfying length was decided on.  The surprise for her was just the final look.
The stretch lace I used for this very simple Tshirt dress is of course see-through on its own, so I lined the dress completely with a soft silky like jersey matched in colour to the dress.  The sleeves are unlined.  I positioned the body and sleeve pieces on the length of fabric so the natural edging edges the sleeves and lower hem.  The seams are all overlocked to finish on the inside.  I didn't finish the lower edge of the lining because it is that wonderful type of jersey that never frays. 
I think she looks just beautiful in it.
And she loves it too, so I couldn't ask for a more happy result!

18 comments:

  1. Oh it is just perfect! It looks so beautiful on your daughter. I had a good laugh at the whole "eyes covered in the laundry to try it on" thing. It's a good length.. maybe too short though? ;) teeheehee...
    Wow.. if you just had 3 under 4 not so long ago, I'm devastated already to think my girls will be teenagers and we'll be having venn diagrams of likes/dislikes before I know it. :(
    enjoy your new years eve Carolyn. Thank you for stopping by with a friendly word. Makes blog world so nice! xoxox MODELmumma

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  2. Really really beautiful on her. And your compromise just cracks me up. I can just picture your fitting. lol

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  3. Beautiful dress & daughter! You made me laugh about the fitting-my teenage daughter says close your eyes?! Lol I like the colour too.

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  4. This is a lovely dress; I'm sure she'll wear it to bits! The eyes closed fittings are a good idea... BTW Happy New Year!

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  5. This is a *fabulous* dress. It looks so cool on your daughter! (But she's lovely, so I'm sure anything would look good on her!) What a great present.

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  6. She's as gorgeous as her mama! I love the fabric you chose and the fit is, of course, perfect!

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  7. Both this and Tim's shirt are amazing gifts. Your daughter's dress looks perfect in every way. And Tim's extra iron on detail took the shirt over the top. Such adorable kids.

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  8. This is really beautiful!! You certainly achieved perfect fit, and the length is quite nice.

    I love your Venn Diagram illustration, I was expecting you to say that the sets were disjoint, and only recently have a non-empty intersection ... he he. Happy New Year!

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  9. Such a fun post. The dress is beautiful on your gorgeous daughter. I will have to use your eyes-closed fitting technique instead of guesstimating!

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  10. Hey this is a beautiful dress and looks great on your daughter. I really love the fabric and I don't think everyone can wear this colour. My son (only 6) loves it when I make him things and I hope he still does when he's older too. Perfect length too!
    www.sewdarntired.blogspot.com

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  11. This is soooo pretty. I love your daughter's sense of style - the clunky shoes with a sweet, feminine dress!

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  12. I LOVE your month by month review and your "on location" photos are beautiful. I have made a resolution (no I don't want to use that word) ... I WANT to get out with my tripod a couple times a week to get some cool shots. Your photos are my inspiration. Great job.

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  13. The dress is beautiful and such a great compromise of the two worlds your daughter is balancing between. I loved your thoughts on trying to respect her wishes while also protecting her from a world that doesn't have her best interests in mind.

    My oldest granddaughter is only five but already we are finding it more difficult to buy ready made clothing that doesn't look like it belongs in a nightclub. I help her build her choices by picking up or making unusual pieces; shawls, vests, boots, gaucho pants, thick sweater leggins, etc. She freely creates unique looks. My hope is that she can hang on to it as she gets older and feels the cultural pressure. She inspires me!

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  14. Fantastic dress. The fabric is gorgeous and it fits your daughter perfectly.

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  15. I LOVE that dress. Seriously I'd wear that in a second.
    And Perth was incredible! I'm totally jealous you get to live there all the time. It was definitely hot but it was a super nice change from the freezing cold weather here in Utah.
    If I go to Curtin, I'd study fashion design! It works out perfectly since that's what I'm looking to study anyways. So next Fall, maybe I'll be back in Perth! I'm loving that idea.

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  16. She is as beautiful as you, the dress was perfect, and it seems like. congratulations.

    Eilane - Brazil

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  17. You made a very pretty dress for a very pretty girl :) It reminds me of Chanel crocheted dresses

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  18. Such a fun post. The dress is beautiful on your gorgeous daughter. I will have to use your eyes-closed fitting technique instead of guesstimating!

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