here we go again, i’m back one more time with my “signature” look for project run & play season 3! the look evolved from a beachy dress to what is actually a mini wedding dress! i know i know, special occasion week was week 5. but my little gal had a large hand in how this look turned out.
my sister had the great idea to go to the beach for photos if i made it through to the finale as a unique photoshoot idea, so i first designed an ombré dip dyed easy breezy beach dress in bright green to allude to the verdant pacific northwest, in my casual but feminine style, etc. see?
but after i was eliminated…i really didn’t want to buy any more fabric or supplies! i only had fuchsia and navy dye on hand and my largest piece of solid fabric was a super soft old white bedsheet. so i mixed the dyes in a big tub and dip dyed the bedsheet to make this little dress. it turned out a lovely shade of purple!
purple is Em’s second favorite color (she is adamant about her favorite colors and wishes all of her clothing was either pink or purple). it’s got a full circle skirt for twirling, and it’s comfortable and soft. i didn’t plan on making a “fancy dress,” per se, but when i tried it on her she immediately danced and exclaimed “IT’S MY WEDDING DRESS!!”
it actually took me a little while to remember that she has always told us that “when she gets bigger” she wants to wear a purple wedding dress and marry her best buddy, N, who she has known since she was 3 months old. once it dawned on me that i had inadvertently designed the wedding dress of her dreams, i decided to go with the “colorful wedding” theme full tilt.
as the saying goes, she is wearing something old (the bedsheet and a piece of lace my grandma left me in a box of notions when she passed), something new (the plaid sash is an H&M scarf that reminds Em of “elmer the patchwork elephant” and i made her a ring out of a sparkly pink button and a gold pipe cleaner), something borrowed (the necklace my husband gave me on our wedding day which she was beyond thrilled to wear), and something blue…er purple (the dress!). actually, there is blue ribbon on her felt flower bouquet, so it’s all good.
i had way too much fun making her bouquet out of felt, floral wire, ribbon, and hot glue. i think using saturated colors is another part of my signature style, so i enjoyed incorporating lots of color here. i also made her a felt rose hairpiece (we live in the rose city, and i wanted my look to reference portland somehow).
the dress itself has a gathered rectangle bodice encased by a hand-dyed purple band at the top, flutter sleeves sandwiched between purple shoulder straps (i stitched 1/8″ from the edges but will let them fray a bit), encased elastic at the back for comfort and ease of wear, and a long, full circle skirt which i dip dyed for a gradient look, a technique i’d been wanting to try forever. i thought a maxi-dress on a three year old would be pretty rad, and i believe i was right. it’s so dramatic!
so another funny thing is that my plan was to take photos just in her bedroom, sort of ho hum but whatever, this is just for fun, right? i wasn’t making the trek to the unpredictable oregon coast at this time of year unless there were potential prizes involved. but then a friend suggested that i take the photos in front of the red doors of a church nearby. as soon as she mentioned it, i knew i had to do it. nevermind the fact that it wasn’t nearly warm enough outside for this dress…Em was a trooper and we made it quick, with a cozy sweater waiting in the wings. i love the purple dress with that beautiful red door. i think the plaid sash adds some great color too, and i dressed her in stripey tights because i like to play a bit with my styling and wanted to keep it fun, you know?
oh, and does it twirl? you betcha.
so there it is, my final look for project run & play season 3! thanks for encouraging me to make it! i felt freer to try new things (the dye and maxi-length) and also include some elements i might have avoided if i was designing it for a competition (plaid and circle skirts for the third time), so that was nice.
i don’t feel right entering this dress into the sewalong competition since i was an “official” contestant and i don’t quite have the stomach for more public voting/judging at the moment, but i will encourage you to head over to project run & play to vote this weekend for your favorite “signature look” from the flickr pool! as always, i’m so excited to see what everyone has made! being inspired by everyone’s creativity is probably my favorite part of all of this.
and one last time…