Monday, June 1, 2020
The Definitely, Most Certainly, Absolutely Not a Dress Birthday Outfit
My honorary niece Olivia has just turned four, and this momentous occasion called for a special outfit. Which mustn't be a dress, as Olivia absolutely will not wear dresses. I have made her two dresses previously before I knew she'd taken such a scunner to dresses after learning to talk, and I suspect she never wore either of them. Her mom and dad have at least gotten her to the point that she will wear a dress if they pair it with coordinating leggings and call it a shirt, but if they use the "d-word", it's game over. So this fourth birthday outfit would definitely not be a dress.
I searched for a suitable tunic and leggings pattern, and found one in Butterick 5877. I decided I'd make the top in view A with the cap sleeves of view B, and would make the leggings in the full length. It would be a totally cute outfit on any little girl, but I must say that redheaded child model has gone all out in selling it, with attitude to burn. I bought a pretty cotton print, thread, buttons, and jersey to coordinate with the print.
Of course, there was the matching purse to consider (Olivia does love her purses), which I would be making out of leftover fabric from the top. There was no need to buy a pattern for it as I have had this Vogue 9893 pattern with its five different evening bag options for what must be close to 20 years, and I have used it many times -- and not because I have an active night life. They're all small enough to make properly scaled purses for a little girl. Strangely, I had never before used option F, but I went with it this time because I had very little fabric left after I squeezed the cap sleeves into the fabric requirement for view A, and it used the least fabric. I will be using this purse pattern again in the future. It makes up so easily and looks good.
The completed outfit. The cotton print was so fresh and crisp and the pattern so cute that they proved a nice combination. The leggings made up very quickly, and so did the purse.
This fabric was a difficult colour match -- it's an odd shade of red. I did find buttons that went with it perfectly, though I have my reservations about how practical they were for the back of a dress. Olivia may find those round, shank buttons uncomfortable when leaning back against a seat.
The purse. There was no way I was going to be able to find trim for this purse, but I made a little rosette out of some grosgrain ribbon and a few beads that I had on hand, and it works well enough.
A few dollar store things I bought to go with the outfit, so that Olivia would have something to play with, something she appreciates more than clothes at this point: an activity book, a box of crayons, a book of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, and a cupcake coin bank.
I wasn't able to make my usual two-day spring visit to the little town where my friend's family lives due to the COVID19 pandemic, and had to ship the gift. Olivia's mother suggested that I just hang onto the gift until I can visit, but I insisted on mailing it. As I hinted to her (in an effort to avoid saying what specifically was in the gift), children's clothing is time sensitive. Olivia only has this one season to wear a size four spring/summer outfit -- next fall will be too cold for it, and next spring it probably won't fit. And I wanted Olivia to have her birthday present reasonably on time. I ended up not sending the coin bank because it didn't fit in the box I had, and I also had reservations about whether it might get broken in transit. It can be part of Olivia's Christmas present, given that it will still fit her at that time.:D