my final vintage may guest is danielle from my sparkle. i found danielle’s blog when she made a beautiful secret garden romper for no big dill during katy’s once upon a thread series. i clicked through to check out her blog and freaked out a little, because she and i had so many things in common it was almost creepy (like down to our children’s birth stories, ages, and parts of their names). i emailed her feeling like a weirdo, but she wrote back declaring us kindred spirits! we’ve been friends since. she encouraged me to start a blog and was actually the “final straw” that got me to take the leap!
danielle is super creative with great taste. she shares cute tutorials like this matryoshka ornament, and she won season 3 of project run & play! remember her every color in the box dress? her great boy look? how about the gorgeous crewel work on her finale outfit? after she won, she wrote the perfect recap post (those little faces!). she is a great, honest writer, making her blog a pleasure to read…now if she’d only sew more often! YA HEAR ME, DANIELLE?!
today she’s sewn a beautiful vintage-inspired dress for her little gal that MY little gal has already requested a copy of. here’s danielle!
Hello! So happy to be here! I think my favorite thing about vintage fashion is the simple classic silhouettes. I tend to gravitate towards simplicity when it comes to clothing, and this baby-doll style is about as classic and simple as it gets. I actually created the pattern for this dress using a basic bodice, but I know you can find an almost identical pattern for this style.
My daughter has kind of unusual proportions so I often just use a bodice I know fits her well and alter it to make exactly what I want. In this case, I simply slashed the bodice pattern midway down the armhole, then spread the lower part to the fullness I wanted (I just made it as wide as my width of fabric…that’s generally how those decisions work for me), and added length.
The back was slightly more complicated as I curved the yoke a bit, but its the same process. Once your pattern pieces are done, don’t forget to add back seam allowances.
I used cotton voile, (actually the exact same one that Rae used for her dress) but I gave it a quick dip in a purple dye bath to change it from pink to violet. I love sewing with voile. It’s got such a crisp light feeling to it.
To add a bit of a modern touch, I added suede patches at the shoulders. “What? Suede you say? Are you crazy?” I know it’s bonkers, but it’s totally kid friendly. I don’t know much about leather care, but I threw it in the washer and dryer before sewing it and it came out soft and lovely. So there you go! Then I just used my yoke pattern to sketch out some patches that would fit and sewed them right on with my sewing machine. Is that allowed? I don’t know. It worked so I went with it. (FYI I got the suede at Hobby Lobby…it comes in rectangles roughly 8×10″.)
My only regret is that I didn’t just cover the entire back yoke with suede, but I was being a little cautious. The back closes with one big button and an elastic loop. I feel like this button in way cuter in real life… kind of mother of pearl with a flower carved into it. I think I’d prefer the look of the white button against the suede, instead of the violet fabric, but overall I’m pleased with how it came out.
I gave this little dress sleeves because I like how they look and I think they balance the short hemline. Plus, my babies burn in the sun so some coverage is nice in the summer.
I really wanted to keep the actual dress very simple but the outfit needed a little something, so I made this little bow using embroidered cotton ribbon that I got at Bolt last summer while visiting my sister. I LOVE it. I bought four yards and have been hoarding it away.
I gave this dress a nice fat hem. That is actually one of my favorite things about sewing with vintage patterns…they all have fat hems. It gives the dress a luxurious feel, and it actually serves a very practical purpose too. The weight of the hem helps the garment hang correctly, especially when using something as light as voile. Plus it gives you room to let out the them hem when your darling child grows an inch or two.
And that’s it! Thanks for having me, Kristin! Vintage May was such a great idea! So glad to be a part of it!
thank YOU, Danielle! so so cute and the color is beautiful on Avery. i hope our little ones can play together the next time you’re in town!
Jess and I will be posting series wrap ups and another flickr group roundup early next week, so if you have any last vintage may projects go ahead and add them. i love seeing what you’ve been sewing! have a great memorial day weekend!